It doesn’t matter if you worked 60 hours last week, you stayed late at the office everyday, or you are doing all that you can, sometimes your 100% is not good enough. Here’s a simple test: if you are a business or sales leader, do you want someone who produces 100% of target with 40% of the effort or 40% of their target with 100% effort? The answer is simple.
So how do you get the bricks off of your head and become more productive? How do you balance work and life while still meeting or exceed expectations in business? Why are other people moving forward while you are still doing the same thing and expecting different results?
Use my wheelbarrow approach.
- Find the optimal load. You can stack your workload to the sun in a wheelbarrow if you are the Minecraft king/queen of the universe, but that does not mean you’ll be able to accomplish your goal of getting your load to its destination. Instead, find the perfect balance between what you can lift and the path you need to travel in the time you have to get there. Think of the bricks as tasks of various size due to complexity. If you try to pile too many unfamiliar workloads into your wheelbarrow, you are probably going to take 3x as long to get there or wind up dumping the load.
- The key is balance. On the wheelbarrow, you need to balance between the left and the right arm to keep from tipping over. This is akin to work and life in the real world. Too much of either will keep your from being successful at both. Strive for a happy medium.
- Walk do not run. At least until you get the hang of it. I see many people jumping in extremely eager with no idea of the plan to get there. Spend time looking at the overall goal and focus on the low-hanging fruit first. It’s amazing what you’ll accomplish and build your confidence for the more strenuous endeavors.
- Plan for the front tire. You, like the front tire on the wheelbarrow, are a single point of failure for getting the job done. Develop a contingency. Keep someone informed of your progress and make notes in case something comes up that takes you away from the task. Think of this as the spare tire you’d need for your wheelbarrow.
- A wheelbarrow is not a dump truck. Set expectations. If your leadership wants the job done in 8 weeks and you are certain it will take 12 weeks, then communicate that you will aim for the goal but commit to the realistic time frame. Working like a dump truck while being a wheelbarrow will lead to you broken, unhappy, and unproductive.
- Sometimes it’s easier to pull than push. Going up a large incline in a wheelbarrow if often easier by reversing grip and pulling the wheelbarrow up the hill. Do not push when you should pull. Try new approaches in business as you would any other task. Do not believe there is one way to do everything and be open to understanding that the tasks rarely change, only the way you accomplish them.
If all else fails, you can always snap off the handles of the wheelbarrow and beat someone with them. Okay, that’s definitely not good advice, but I had to check to see if you read the entire article.
I would appreciate your comments or feedback.
Good luck and happy selling!