The Pre-Req to Hard Work

Hard Work Alone is Not Enough

One of my favorite sayings in work and life is ‘work smarter, not harder’.  Whether you are a recruiter, client manager, a travel nurse, stay at home mom, or plumber the key to success is working smarter. Working smarter allows you to be more concise and intentional with your day.  Working smarter enables you to remain calm and trust that what needs to get done, will get done.  And working smarter doesn’t leave you feeling time is slipping through your fingers at the end of every day.  Hence, you won’t wind up feeling like a chicken running around with it’s head cut off.  One of my favorite gurus to follow is Gary Vaynerchuck, and he said it perfectly, “Working smart needs to be the pre-requisite to working hard. You can’t have one without the other if you want to win.”

Working Smarter to Compliment Hard Work

  1. Make decisions early in the day. Early morning hours seem to be a more productive time for most people.  Therefore, at the beginning of every work day, decide what your goal is going to be for that day.  Come hell or high water, you are accomplishing this goal.  Your goal may be getting a new contract with a client hospital. Perhaps your goal is to have a contract signed by a traveler. Conversely, it could be making sure to get your 8 glasses of water in. Ultimately, your focus each day is to accomplish this singular goal.
  2. Set a daily to-do list and prioritize. What NEEDS to get done today? What things from yesterday rolled over to today? Are there items you need to complete this morning and others which can wait until the afternoon?  Have you followed up with your submittals to see if an interview is going to happen. Even better, I’ve seen some even create a “Don’t Do List”. They know they’re stretched thin; so today they won’t volunteer to run a morning meeting; they will make sure they stay off of the internet; they will limit their friendly phone calls to 10-15 minutes or cut down on time away from their own desk.
  3. Workday building blocks. Moving and working in blocks.  Create a well thought out plan for what to do in each block of time.  For example, if you are in the early stages of your job, you may want to make sure you are setting aside specific times in the day for marketing and recruiting.  Dedicate time for following up with clients or travelers if you’re already up and running a desk. It is also important to have specific time dedicated to managing your desk, like checking emails, returning phone calls, calling back hot leads, etc.  Set aside blocks of time each day for everything you do. It’s important that during that block of time, you don’t stop what you are doing to address something else.  If you’ve set your blocks right, you will have time to address whatever has come up unexpectedly.
  4. Take a break! You are your greatest resource.  One of my favorite quotes is “Get your mind right, get your grind right.”  Address issues which are steering you away from production before you put your work hat back on. For some it could be meditating for 15 minutes in the middle of the day.  Another option may be going to the gym or going on a walk over lunch.  Be sure to block time each day for whatever it is that sharpens your focus and provides you with a productive “edge”!
  5. Learn to say no. Gasp!…. tell the boss no?  Yes, that’s right.  No more meetings!  You can’t possibly be productive with all of these other things weighing so heavily on your plate.  You need to stay in the right frame of mind to build your desk.  After all, that’s what they hired you for, right?  But not just your boss!  Your pesky co-workers who want to shoot the breeze.  Or talk about what they are doing over the weekend.  You want to chat with people….get it in your work blocks.  You want to attend meetings, get them in your work blocks.  “Workaholics aren’t heroes.  They don’t save the day; they use it up. The real hero is already home because they figured out a better and faster way to get things done.”

Automate: Don’t Just Stay Late

Finally, the key to all of these steps is consistency.  Consistency in action allows for the development of habits. As a result we accomplish them with little effort or thought. And when we don’t do them it just feels wrong. For many reasons, being intentional isn’t easy, but by making small tweaks in your behavior and the way you handle responsibilities you can grow your desk without feeling overworked.  Consequently, your work will become seamless and easy.   What small tweaks will you start making today that will make a world of difference? For assistance with developing positive work habits, improving organization, and reducing daily stress reach out to our team today!

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