Three Things That Can Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder In 2022
Since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1760s, we’ve been working harder and harder. As we changed from a farming and handicraft economy to one dominated by machine manufacturing, we saw economic, political and social change. Then came the financial markets and stock exchange boom. We worked harder still. In the 1980s, it came down to one thing: shareholder value. Since then, we’ve had a dot com revolution and, most recently, a time where some pundits suggested working harder, faster and often for free! Then, the pandemic happened, facilitating the need for us to adapt in amazing ways.
Change And Covid-19
Technologies improved — look at online shopping and robotic deliveries. Technology accelerated digital and contactless payments. It allowed us to work remotely and promoted distance learning. Telehealth thrived, online entertainment took over and we revolutionized research and logistics with 3D printing.
We have also changed at a personal level. The millennial generation (Generation Y) has long been the topic of many debates. In most aspects, mainstream media has drawn a picture of Millennials as lazy, narcissistic and entitled selfie-lovers. It was also said that Millennials value meaningful motivation, challenge the hierarchy status-quo and place more importance on relationships. They grew up with intuitive knowledge of technology so are open and adaptive to change, and have a passion for learning. They are also free-thinking and creative and value social interactions in the workplace.
For those of us born before 1980, it left a nasty taste in our mouths. But Covid-19 changed old folks. Maybe the Millennials had a few things right. As we went into lockdown, we all had to adapt. We began to see a few things differently. We did value meaningful motivation. We would love to challenge the hierarchy status quo. Relationships? Yes, we were missing them. We wanted to adapt and we were open to change if it got us out of a lockdown. We welcomed the rapid increase in online learning and boy did we miss the social interactions in the workplace (replaced by Zoom happy hours). In short, we have all changed — emotionally and socially — thanks to Covid-19.
Three Things To Embrace In 2022
So, what now? If you’re a business leader, owner or entrepreneur today, what should you be doing?
Start with why. Not profit — that’s a result. What is your purpose? What is your cause? What’s your belief? Why do you exist? Why does anyone else care?
In 2022, a business that is successful financially, but lacks purpose will not survive. There are two tools that you can use to develop your purpose:
• Your personal vision should be written out and lived by. This is your personal 100-word vision statement of why you do what you do and what is important to you.
• You also need motivation and that comes in the form of your personal “Champagne Moment,” not another business goal. There are way more important things than hitting the first, or the next, million dollars. That’s how you work smarter, and not just harder.
2. Operational Visibility
In 2022, it is going to be even easier to get data from your business and understand it through meaningful dashboards. The more data you have, the easier it is to find the most profitable solution. And the easier it is to plan, the quicker you can act.
Previously, if you wanted a dashboard for your business, you would have no choice but to purchase a system that costs tens of thousands of dollars. In the last couple of years, that has changed. Pulling data from your business and organizing it into a dashboard can be achieved for under $100 a month.
Information is king. If you want to work smarter and not harder, you need the data.
As an owner, you have the privilege to do what you want to do and delegate everything else. The most effective leaders in 2022 will also achieve the same for every member of their team. That’s important because we’re in a hiring crunch. It’s hard to hire team members. Everyone now wants more meaningful work and to allow that to happen you must outsource anything that your team doesn’t love doing.
There are plenty of global freelancer and gig sites where you can find someone who loves doing what you don’t love doing at a fraction of the cost of doing it in-house. It will take some management, but the ROI is real.
It used to be common to hire a general virtual assistant to help with administration. That’s too general. Divide up all your administrative and operational work. Then, find specialists to do each part. It sounds like it will be more management for you, but that’s not the case anymore with the gig sites. Plus, it gives you more flexibility and bandwidth.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
Each of these three strategies allows you and your team to work smarter, not harder. They can bring meaningful work to yourself and your team, make your business more efficient and allow you to have more fun. Enough with working harder — that’s so old school.
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