Have you ever observed really successful friends or colleagues that seem to have all the time in the world? Wondered in envy why they never appear to get stressed out by deadlines? How they manage to achieve so much with so little apparent effort? The answer is simple; they PLAN To Be LAZY!
So here’s the key! People that make work/life look easy are usually the most organised. These are people that don’t get stressed out by deadlines because deadlines are usually set in advance and as such they can plan their work accordingly. When urgent (panic) issues do arise they have time to firefight without compromising their ‘business as usual’.
So if you want to be successfully lazy, you have to plan for it! Here are my top tips to follow if you want to become lazy:
- Never leave truly important things until the last minute
- Set yourself clear tasks/targets that you must complete each week and prioritise them
- Review your task list each night and reassess the priority order if needed
- Don’t get distracted by not important/not urgent ‘noise’
- Seek clarification when people tell you something is urgent, as your idea of urgent might be very different to theirs!
- Be prepared to challenge on timescales if they are unrealistic
- Push back requests for meetings unless they have a clear purpose, agenda and WILL result in something of value
- Unless it’s company policy DO NOT allow ‘open access’ to your Outlook calendar
- If you are a manager, give your people as much responsibility as you can and delegate. More responsibility encourages their engagement and use of common sense. Giving less responsibility does the opposite!
- Get in and start work early but always leave on time
- When things go wrong fix them quickly and ensure the same thing can’t happen again
- Prepare for the predictable so you are always ready for the unpredictable
- Make unimportant decisions quickly (Don’t sweat on the small stuff?)
Remember and use the daily mantra of ‘the lazy’!
My most productive day is ALWAYS today & my least productive day is ALWAYS tomorrow!
On a final note, 80% of your ‘problems’ will come from 20% of your clients or staff members! Don’t let this small proportion sap so much of your vital resource of time. Read my earlier blog “Beware of the Parasites In Your Client Base” for ideas on this point!