If you are in a managerial position or running your own business then you know what it means to grind and hustle. You have responsibilities, targets and your only guarantee to keep going is your competence and commitment to work. To work for maximum output and effectiveness, it is important to keep looking for ways to make our work more efficient. Some people say “work hard”, others say “work smart”. I say always look ahead and see what needs to be done. Plan it well and execute it precisely.
Not so long ago I was really struggling with this. Being responsible for a number of client accounts and being in various roles at other companies simultaneously left no choice but to develop the necessary skills to be able to manage everything well.
In this article, I will share what worked for me, and I hope you can embrace a few of these thoughts and experiences. So let’s get started 🙂
Have precise goals and roadmaps
A roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach it. It also serves as a communication tool, a high-level document that helps articulate strategic thinking—the why—behind both the goal and the plan for getting there.
Creating a roadmap is simple if you know what you need or want to achieve. Build the process, outlining how you will complete each critical step before moving on to the next ones. This helps a lot to keep you focused.
Important to highlight: do not make your roadmap overly complicated. Just make it enough to guide you through the process from start to finish. The required planning will vary depending on the complexity of your project but in general do not overwhelm yourself with unnecessary preparations.
Plan diligently, execute with discipline
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip, regarding having precise goals and roadmaps. The more efforts you put into planning, the easier job you will have to execute it. There is no need to get lost in planning tho, just make sure you have a procedure with a well-defined definition of when it can be considered complete. Have clear milestones all your initial questions answered before you move on to implementation.
Poor planning will slow down the implementation process, it will multiply the chances of getting lost and you will be doubting all that you have done prior.
When you are in the execution phase, make sure to follow the plan with discipline – both regards of timelines and implementation. You will be tempted to do things differently, take shortcuts and change the concept. If you think that such changes will be beneficial for the outcome, then get back to the planning phase and make those changes as those will likely mean alterations in your further steps of implementation. In order to avoid future confusion then just pause your implementation, change your blueprint and milestones and get back to work only after.
Be bold first, smart second
This might go against the standard professional project and business management procedures – but sometimes not sticking to the rules will get what you want a lot faster.
Bold is someone who is showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous. If you know what you have to do, and the opportunity to make it happen is right in front of you then go for it – you can figure out the rest later.
See, the vast majority of wannabe entrepreneurs tend to sit, wait and watch the opportunities passing by. They are just good in theory. Meanwhile doers take those opportunities even if their initial business concepts are immature.
When I decided to go for my independent consulting business, I left a high paying job at Corinthia, a leading European luxury hotel company. When I resigned I did not even have an idea how I will establish myself but I knew that there was a gap in the market for hotel marketing specialists. So basically I started to send emails and LinkedIn messages to hundreds of hotel managers until a satisfying number of clinents have signed up – and now 5 years later this is still my main business.
If you see the opportunity, go for it. You can figure out how to grow and optimize once you have secured your position.
There are dozens of more tips and tricks that increase the probability of business success, but the three principles we discussed are guaranteed to make fundamental changes.
To sum it up: keep it simple, plan precisely, execute diligently and take opportunities when you see one. That is it really, all the rest are just details.
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