Work Smarter Not Harder
Lessons from Lear Jet, increasing performance, working smarter and living life
A program featuring the production of Lear Jets, in the USA got me thinking about the influence of the work environment on productivity and engagement.
At Lear Jet by changing the physical work space, they turned the sustainability and profitability of the company around and increased the engagement of their workforce. It was not about working harder or longer but by creating a better work space, one that was cleaner, tidier and more streamlined. They changed the work habits of the workforce and reaped the benefits in the bottom line.
Cyril Peupion’s book, Work Smarter Live Better, gives us tips for how to be more effective at work and leave time for living. His premise is that most of us have never been taught how to work. He too is not talking about working longer hours but a tidy desk and clean inbox can make a big difference. He suggests by challenging our work habits, we can improve a companies’ performance and change people’s lives.
By working smarter we make time for the important things in life.
To test his proposition, I followed his instructions and this is what happened. After several days of sorting, cleaning, reorganising and rethinking what I do and how I operate, a new clarity emerged from the fog. What had seemed like a logical order of things was gradually changed, regrouped and edited. Of course, there was the stage where I thought, this is all too hard I’m going to give up, but I pushed through. Then there were the unhelpful suggestions from others of alternative processes and possibilities that could be used, I pushed through this also.
After several days of using Cyril’s process the results were:
• Increased organisation and less clutter everywhere
• No more emails hanging around in my inbox for action
• Email folders much reduced, easy to find and use
• Soft files reduced and not overwhelming
• Hard files in logical themes and with much less paper
• Changed habits like dragging emails into my outlook calendar or task bar for scheduling or action
• More focus on my big goals and projects, less on busy work
As suggested by Cyril, reading his book alone is not enough. You need to practise the principles explained as though you were planning to teach them to someone else.
Did it change my life? Yes, it did. I can now find things easily and don’t have that feeling of ‘where did I put that?’ I feel totally in the flow and have more time to play. Did it change my performance? Yes, I now focus on a few big goals and I’m learning to say yes less to things that may want to distract me.
Need help to work smarter, get on top of things or simply survive? Read the book or get in touch.
Jenny Hoysted is an experienced executive coach, senior leader and workforce planner. She uses coaching to help transform workplaces and elevate the executive presence of leaders.
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