I think I am just going to go with illustrations, on this one.
I have this friend who was constantly overwhelmed by her job and one of the reasons was because she had a lot of expenditure reconciliations that she had to account for every day. She spoke to me about it and suggested that she would prefer to leave the account balancing till the next morning when her mind was more relaxed so she didn’t get stressed out and make mistakes. After carefully listening to her, I suggested something else that really became a game-changer for her. I told her to distract herself from her work, devote some of her time to creating a suitable spreadsheet for what she was doing and systematically integrate it into what she was doing so she could only need her notes just for verification purposes. It worked magic according to her because her spreadsheet did all the summation for her and she only had to look through her handwritten notes if there was any form of discrepancy. I recall her asking on how an Architect should have any valuable insight into Accounting and to that I just smiled. I wasn’t going to let the cat out of the bag on how much I loved my spare time and as such was ready to do the time to create a system just so that in return, the system can eventually give me time to ‘sleep.’
I hope that makes sense but here is another illustration. I love Architecture so much and I try to see myself as a good Architect both on the drawing board and off, on-site. However, I detest the rudiments of measuring to get quantities out. Now in time past, we just gave these works out to quantity surveyors and relied on the information they gave us but their data were becoming more and more unreliable by the day, making us have to go back and verify them before using the information. So, because I ‘detest’ hard work, I got myself a suitable app that helped me ascertain my measurements without having to even leave the office. It eventually turned me and the Quantity Surveyor at loggerheads, who never could comprehend how I generated my values almost at the snap of a finger and how amazingly accurate they were. What he would need a week to achieve, I did it in half a day, and eventually, the organization had to align with my system of operation which ensured they maintained growth and development. Plus, I ended up with a lot of spare time, to do other things I always wanted.
It is kind of an irony to say that you have to invest time in order to have free time but honestly, that is exactly what it is. Working hard has never created successful wealth; forget what they told you about hard work and success. Creating results is the surest way to making wealth and it comes from taking the time, out of the norm to creating the right tools that can deliver great results in record time. The strangest thing about it is that you have to detest hard work for you to figure out that there must be an easier way, in the first place. I love to work hard, don’t get me wrong but working hard in the actualization of the execution process can, and would only result in you getting caught up in the place of total frustration and exhaustion. Take your car for instance. All you need to do is sit down on a chair, control a few pedals and ‘a small round thingy that just sits in front of you’ and you are moving all of a sudden at a hundred or so kilometres per hour and this is purely so because the car itself is a system that has already been created and established for that purpose. Imagine what it would have been like if you have had to try to spin the engine by yourself in order to make the car move. It is a principle of life you need to start applying – Focus your energy on creating a system and let the system do the work for you. “Lazing about” in your car got you to that sort of speed; what makes you think that spinning the crankshaft of your job or business is going to take you anywhere after all? A comprehensive understanding of this would always help you to see things from outside the “busy-ness” where you can proffer solutions that guarantee far more productivity. Every inventor was pretty much that… every football coach sits out the 90 mins without kicking the ball; how else do you think they are the most effective in strategizing the success of the team?
For me, this is what I call STRATEGIC WORKING and I have some set rules that guide me on how to apply it to everything I do. First of all, the world has become too technologically advanced and saturated with information and so, if you find yourself stressing out on a daily basis just to get some hard work done, the chances are that there is already a solution for it out there. You might not just be looking hard enough. Most times I have come to realize that this is true; it could be a paid service (and more often than not you would find free versions of good enough quality for almost every paid service) but the main thing here is, you need to find a means of creating greater value for your time rather than just slaving on your job. The second thing I do is this. I try to genuinely equate the task at hand to my actual capability in combination with how much was invested to gain those abilities. Let me explain it this way. If I had to measure the area of a wall or the length and width of a building or the volume of a building all the time for the rest of my life, I probably wouldn’t need to have gone past Junior High School to be qualified to do it. Having to do that kind job with a higher qualification certainly means that there is something I did not do right with regards to working smartly and making amendments as soon as possible is surely going to set me on the right path of value and ultimately increase my ability to earn enormously.
It is worthy to conclude that, it always starts with the mind… You have got to make yourself begin to think smart and stop yourself from obsessively thinking that you have to work hard all the time in other to make success… See you at the top.