Geil Browning – Kenya Children Foundation, February 2002.
What can you do to work smarter, prevent burnout, and make sure your brain is always open to inspiration?
1. Work fewer hours. Working the longest hours of anyone is just foolish.
2. Clarify your goals and core values. What are you ultimately trying to accomplish? Are you spending too much time spinning your wheels on tasks that are irrelevant?
3. Track your time. Being ruthlessly efficient allows you to block out periods of non work time.
4. Don’t over promise. This is especially challenging for entrepreneurs, given that in many cases you won’t get the job unless you tell the client you’ll get it done in record time–for the least amount of money.
5. Say no.Learn to walk away from jobs that will be a nightmare.
6. Hire help. If you refuse to delegate, you end up hurting only yourself by working longer hours. You will have to learn how to not be a perfectionist and how to not be a control freak.
7. Get a life. Make sure you have a good life outside of work and that you’re not trying to escape something by working too hard.
8. Unplug. Block out periods of time when you will let your phone take messages and let your email collect unread. It’s not going anywhere.
Fortunately, you don’t need to travel halfway around the world to learn how to make your life less busy and your brain more innovative. By working smarter, you’ll have an opportunity for strategic thinking and planning during prime time every day, instead of squeezing your most important visionary work into late nights and weekends.