Working smart

computer

Why working smart is the only way forward

We know only too well that for entrepreneurs getting their hands on the investment and funding that you need going forward can be tough. However, there’s another valuable resource that can be pretty tough to get your hands on too, and that’s time. All too often innovators, entrepreneurs and start-up owners almost burnout by the time they get to launch. As a start-up innovator or entrepreneur, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the luxury of a team behind you who’ll make sure every t is crossed and every i is dotted and that can be tough. Trying to do everything on your own can leave you feeling isolated, frustrated and under huge pressure, but unfortunately, that’s often just how it is. So what can you do to make sure you don’t reach this point?

The best thing you can do is to work smart. Working smart is all about achieving the same results but with less sweat and with less pain. Working smart is all about being in control, prioritizing and making the most of the limited time you have available. It’s a fact that there are only 24 hours in any day, so making sure you get the most out of those hours will play a huge part in whether or not your reach your launch inspired and motivated or drained and washed out.

Here are our Top Tips for working smart:

  • Plan. The key to working smart is knowing what MUST be done to achieve the results you want and what can be ignored. Once you’ve identified the essential tasks, it’s important to plan when they will be done; by whom and how long they will take. And once your plan is in place try to stick with it, unless there’s good reason to change.
  • Prioritise. Once you have all your tasks identified it’s important to  know which are the most important and which can be allowed to fall down your ‘To Do’ list. Prioritising might take place on a monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly basis, but making sure you know what’s most important and getting those things done without distraction is essential.
  • Take the shortest route to a result. A result might be securing a  sale, getting your website up and running or adding the final touches to your product or service, but no matter what the result, it’s essential to take the shortest route to get the right outcome. For example, it may well be that you know how to build your own website, but pre-launch does it make sense for you to invest the time required to do that? Ask yourself tough questions about every major decision.
  • Keep your workspace organised. Although this is fairly basic, having everything you need to do your job to hand is a really important part of working smart. It may be at this stage in your start-up development, you’re working from a spare bedroom, a box room or some makeshift office, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make sure you have everything you need close to hand and in the right place.
  • Delegate or outsource. While you may not have a team behind you to pick up the tasks that you don’t have time to do, there may well be people around you that you can ask to take on some of your responsibilities. If not, outsourcing is a great way to buy support on an ‘as needed’ basis without blowing your budget.
  • Use technology to the max. It may sound like weird advice to give a tech innovator, but don’t forget to use technology to the maximum to help you get your tasks done. For example, running a really efficient diary will help you to rid your mind of the 1000s of things that you have to do and will give you a greater feeling of control.
  • Listen to yourself. If your body is telling you that it’s had enough and needs a rest, it’s probably time to listen. When you’re busy it’s only too easy to forget to eat well and to exercise. Both of these things are essential parts of working smart. You’re no good to anyone if you’re run into the ground. Knowing your most productive times of day is another smart way of deciding what to do and when. If you’re not a morning person, there’s no point in tackling the most complex and demanding tasks at 6.30 am!
  • Listen to others. Having a good mentor in place is a great way to    keep you on track with your smart working. Choosing someone who you can ‘tell all’ to, without fear of judgement will help you get to your desired destination quicker and with less effort, ie. smarter.

    If you wish to speak to us about our incubation service, please get in touch at peter.andrew@innovationcentre.org

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