Working Smarter not Harder

About a month ago I discovered that a large, national organisation were asking agencies to tender to be on their approved supplier list. Upon receipt of the documentation it looked like a big document and I asked a fellow colleague to look at it! :-)…

…now, as it transpired they also felt it was a great deal of work (over 2 days) and, about a week later passed it back to me as they were too busy. The deadline was still a few days away and so I dropped it down the to-do list. The week took it’s course and I had another look at it on the Thursday at 11.30am. To my horror I realised I had got the deadline wrong and the entire response had to be completed and uploaded to the organisation’s response management system by 12 noon that day!!! …

…man, I shot straight through ‘stress’ and came firing out the other side into that kind of almost transcendental state of calm where you’re all just numb and ‘of course it will work out! ..erm…’

… I spent a minute scanning my previous notes and decided that what I could achieve in 25 minutes or so was one sentence / paragraph on each key point that jumped out at me from their document. I then battered away at my keyboard, prepared a response pulling in some of our other previous documentation and uploaded the tender response with 36seconds to go before the deadline.

If I’m honest I didn’t rate our chances much and apologised to my colleagues for being a complete idiot…but then, that said, I did wonder to myself, what else, in reality would I have written if I had allowed myself 2 days?….

A week later the organisation in question sent an email saying we had been accepted onto their supplier list and asked to pitch for the first piece of work!! Wahoooo…

..Naturally I was delighted and felt pretty lucky but it also made me think how often I, and probably most of us at work, spend time and energy writing / coding / talking / thinking about what we don’t need to – stuff that’s irrelevant, background noise or just ‘faff’ or maybe stuff that we’re actually happy to be distracted by.

The experience has given me renewed confidence in the expression ‘work smarter, not harder’ Thinking about this I realise that I am waaaay busier at work than I ever used to be put I probably work less hours because I’m simply better at what I do. I’m sure most of us could say the same thing.

So, be encouraged! Be focused! Be efficient!


About finchleymusic

Businessman, Singer/songwriter, traveller, worship leader & mentor
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