Here’s a Tip That Will Save You Hours a Day

img-snl-wrench-eggOkay, do you see that egg? The one in the vice? That’s you.

Yes, you!

You’re the egg clamped in the pliers. One side of the pliers represents you working smarter and not making things harder for yourself. The other side represents your team and the demands they put on you.

You’ve got to keep it perfectly balanced or… splat! Yuck. You so don’t want to be that mess.

We all feel these pressures at least some of the time, which is why we asked internationally acclaimed efficiency thought leader Bill Jensen to lead a master class session on working smarter. We already work hard enough. Bill, known as Mr. Simplicity, showed the ExecuNet community how to get more done by being more efficient and training teams to be more efficient with their communications.

It’s not enough for you to work smarter; you’ve a self-interest in those around you also working smarter. After all, they are the ones who send you all those emails and pull you into all those meetings! “Let’s be the change we want to see,” advised Jensen.

“The biggest challenge you’re going to have in working smarter is you, changing and disrupting yourself,” said Jensen. According to Jensen, it’s you who owns you working smarter and more effectively, not the company. “Most companies are super fast when it comes to changing things that lower costs for the company but are behind the curve when it comes to changing their people management systems.”

One of Jensen’s many tips for you to demonstrate and to train your team to follow is:

  • Know: What do you want me to know?
  • Feel: Why should I care about it?
  • Do: What do you want me to do?

At a high level, to capture attention, lead with the answers to these three questions. The order can vary but emails should reveal this information in three to five seconds. All content, when looked at through the lens of the receiver, comes down to these three questions, so it is most effective to organize communication accordingly.

If you’re face-to-face with someone, you have only three to five minutes of their attention. After that, they’re ready to move on, so provide the answers to those questions quickly and train your team to do the same… even with you.

Everyone is competing for your attention and you are competing for everyone’s attention. Understand and accept that everyone has a short attention span these days. Jensen has spent the past 25 years studying simpler ways to get things done and has uncovered the secrets you need to know. Check out Work Smarter, Not Harder, to hear him explain these concepts, and many more, in greater detail. I promise you… it’ll be well worth your time.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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