How to Work Smarter Not Harder


>>Hello I am Jennifer Whitt, Director of ProjectManager.com. [Music Intro]>>Well welcome to our whiteboard session today
on how to work smarter not harder. I just recently celebrated another birthday, and
people asked me what I liked the most about getting older. And I said it is actually getting
smarter. So I remember back in the day when I started
my first corporate job after college and I noticed that I was always the one working
late as everyone else kind of waved goodbye. You know at five o’clock and I was still
there until all wee hours of the night. And I thought wow how do they do that? They are
so much smarter. And they kind of smiled and they always said great job Jennifer, you are
working so hard. So I was so proud of myself because I was
working so hard. That got me even more projects and more responsibilities, and I thought that
was great until I finally caught on. So if you’re one of the ones who are working
late while everyone else is going home or you are getting all the harder projects and
everyone else is getting all the cushy jobs, well let me give you a few tips I have learned
along the way. So first of all access and ask yourself why
it is important for you to work smarter. Because I decided there is actually our own triple
constraint that we are working with. Because you might want more time, you might want more
money, like how can I do more with less and make more money at the same time. Or what about scope, how can I get more deliverables
done, how can I get more done in my day? And maybe quality of life, for me now as I am
getting older and smarter I am actually more interested in my quality of life and my life
balance. So assess yourself now and decide again what
makes it smarter. What are you trying to accomplish? What are the results that you want? So once you do that and know why, then here
are just a few things that I want to share in how. The how to work smarter, so number
one check your abilities on what you are doing and ask yourself am I the best person to do
this? I know even in the realm of project management
there are some things that I like to do better than others. There are some things that I
can do better than others. So I decide if I’m to do this or not. So I
find if there is a team member who can do this better, or do I have a colleague, do
I have someone else in the group or organization. I re-assigned different tasks according to
abilities. Number two boundaries, always looking at boundaries
and making sure I set my own boundaries. Where people are not able to come in and decide
that I need to reshuffle my schedule on their behalf because of some lack of planning they
are doing. Or maybe people just come into my office,
or my cubicle, or maybe they hijack my meeting. So I have to set my own boundaries and learn
to say, “No,” and make sure people understand that. The next item is your calendar. Your calendar,
your schedule, the days you work, the hours they work, I remember when I first started
out of college it was important for me to have to come in early. So I would get in early at 6:00 a. m. So from
6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. I would plan all of my activities, and then when my team came
in then I would be able to work with my team, meet with my stakeholders any other project
team members. Then at the end of the day it was important
for me to go do my exercise routine. So I had a certain time that I wanted to leave
at the end of the day. Then, now it is almost reversed. So now I
start my morning out with my exercise routine. The things that I need to do for me to get
quiet, maybe I meditate, or maybe I get my quiet time. So I do not even start my workday until 10:00
a. m. and then I ended my day at 2:00 p.m. so I can do the planning for the next day.
Then I come in and then everything is set. So you have got to be able to set your own
schedule and your own calendar, and then one of the things I see with some of my mentees
is, and I used to do it myself when people would call and want to change meetings around,
well you can do that, you know things do change, but you have got to be able to control your
calendar. Understand how that impacts your day and your
projects, so being able to manage that effectively. The next one is mentors and mentees. I am
constantly engaging new mentors for myself because I want to find people who have been
there, done that, for the things that I want to do because I feel like I can learn from
them. So I engage them and I asked them questions
like, “How am I doing?” I have them assess me. They get to look at my work habits, what
I am doing, how am I doing it, and they get to question, and they get to see where maybe
I have gaps where I cannot see for myself. So they may offer different suggestions of
things maybe more abilities that I need to learn, more skill sets I need. They may see
habits that I have with maybe not setting boundaries and not being able to own and manage
my calendar. Then mentees, I think it is important to have
mentees, people who are learning. Maybe they are trying to learn things that I know how
to do, so they constantly ask questions. I will never forget an environment I was in
where we had people who had just been hired on. Some people were new out of college, some
people were new out of other companies, but they were considered the new people. So I remember there was one guy in particular
who always had these great ideas. Creative ways to save us time, maybe money, energy,
and he was told that he was young. So the new people were to be seen and not
heard. I thought that was so crazy, so later I would always pull him aside and I would
talk with him myself and question him, and I always got new ways of doing that. So I have never forgotten that, so I always
solicit, and I always feel I have something to learn from my mentees just like they have
something to learn from me as their mentor. So I think it takes both mentors and mentees. Then the one for processes, it is always great
to have processes or systems established, documented, repeatable, measurable, processes. For those who may work in different fields
where there is the Carnegie Mellon capability maturity model, there may be ISO, there may
be other standards, but those are the components that they look for. Being able to document things so people who
maybe you can hand work off to so it is a documented procedure and it is also measurable.
So you cannot improve anything if you cannot measure it. So those measurements help you to improve,
and then question. Always question, is this something I even need to be doing anymore?
Is this the way I need to be doing it? Because as things change we always need to
be able to update how we are doing things. A good example is I have someone in my group,
who is still using Excel, and so we started looking at it, and back in the day Excel was
a way to make things better. It was an improvement over doing things manually,
so to put something in Excel was a step up. It actually improved and save time, but now
we have learned that because there are online systems, online project management systems
we can actually put that in a project management software and they can do the calculations
without doing Excel. So Excel is now an old way of doing things
where the new project management system is the new way of doing it, so it is always question. So these are some of the ways that I have
found over time as I am getting older and now smarter. Those are some of the things
that I just wanted to share and I hope they help you too. If you are looking for a tool that can help
you work smarter not harder then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

29 Replies to “How to Work Smarter Not Harder

  1. Thanks for the sharing.. I just realize that I also the one who always work late.. Maybe I should learn from you 😀

  2. Well No her saying is false in fact just working smarter won't cover your work load as much as working harder and smarter you will most likely get raises or maybe even promotions.

  3. These videos are great but for some reason the information always goes over my head,
    Need to take notes. Jennifer your very knowledgeable .
    Project manager.com

  4. All Good Videos. I am a 57 year old PM in the California Steel Construction Industry. You provide a quality video for all ages.

  5. The fact that this video gets 118k views while the "Nyan Cat" video has 549k reassures me that i will be very wealthy.

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