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Work Smarter

7 Keys to Delegate Effectively

By | Business, Work Smarter

delegate effectively

If you are a manager, you have to delegate tasks in order to get things done. There aren’t enough hours in the day, or days in the week to do it all yourself. But it isn’t always easy to delegate effectively. If you don’t approach it strategically, you will end up making more work for everyone on your team. Here are some keys to effective delegation.

1. Decide which tasks to delegate

First, don’t let your ego convince you that no one else can do any of your tasks as well as you can. There should be people on your team that are better suited to certain jobs. If not, review your hiring practices. “You should be using your time on the most critical tasks for the business, and the tasks that only you can do. Delegate what you can’t do, and what doesn’t interest you.” (Forbes)

2. Match the right person to the right task

This is a good opportunity to look for the potential in others. “Think creatively about who may be able to handle some of the tasks that keep you from getting other things accomplished. What may be drudgery to you may be a joy to someone else. What you do poorly someone else may be able to do with excellence.” (Tim Challies) “Delegate to the lowest possible organizational level. The people who are closest to the work are best suited for the task, because they have the most intimate knowledge of the detail of everyday work.” (Mind Tools)

3. Use delegation to help others grow

Delegation is a great way to make everyone on your team better. It “…has the aim of not just getting tasks done, but of building others up through the accomplishment of tasks.” (Matt Perman) Be prepared to do some training, as your goal is to teach your people new skills. “Delegating doesn’t mean passing off work you don’t enjoy, but letting your employees stretch their skills and judgment.” (Inc)

4. Be clear about the expected outcome

Make sure your employee knows exactly what you expect them to accomplish, and set a deadline. “Delegate clear outcomes. Make them measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” (Brian Tracy)

5. Provide the required resources

A major part of managing is making sure your people have everything they need to get their work done. Take care of any necessary purchasing, password-protected materials, and so forth the employee will need. You might also need to help arrange meetings with others for them. “Allocate the resources necessary to complete the task. You may have resources available that are necessary to complete the task but the person given the task may not be able to access them.” (wikiHow)

6. Support — don’t micromanage

Nobody wants their boss looking over their shoulder or nitpicking every step of a task. At the same time, make yourself available to offer support, answer questions, and give advice when needed. “In delegating effectively, we have to find the sometimes-difficult balance between giving enough space for people to use their abilities to best effect, while still monitoring and supporting closely enough to ensure that the job is done correctly and effectively.” (Mind Tools)

7. Give credit and thanks

This is the final step of every delegated task. Thank your employee for their work, and make their contribution known to others. A little appreciation goes a long way. “Be sure to recognize and thank anyone who’s helped you out, and make your whole team (not just yourself) look good for doing the job well.” (The Muse)

A Note of Thanks Goes a Long Way

By | Business, Cleaning And Disinfecting, Fragrance, Work Smarter

note of thanks

One of the most effective ways to work smarter is to simply express gratitude with a note of thanks. Make an effort to notice someone doing something good and recognize them for it. As Larry Dennis wrote: “There’s little more we can do to give ourselves a lift than to express an ‘attitude of gratitude.’ It results in changed feelings on the part of the giver and ultimately influences the attitudes and feelings of the recipient. If you’d like to take charge of your world and work, begin today to be more appreciative and show it.”

How To Write A Thank You Note

“Over the last few weeks of the academic year, I began writing a note of thanks to someone in my school… The result was immediate. Almost every teacher told me that the expression of thanks was something that they needed to hear that day. That made me feel good as well.”
http://bit.ly/2eLd35k

Do Mops Spread Disease?

“Building managers should become aware of some of the studies available on how the tools we use to clean surfaces — specifically, cleaning cloths and mops — can sometimes spread disease and cause cross-contamination.”
http://bit.ly/2eogqDG

How Do You Become An Entrepreneur?

“The best way to become an entrepreneur is to simply start a business or join a fledgling business. Any business… Building a business is about solving problems… If you build value for people, you will make money.”
http://bit.ly/2f0LZ63

Three Email Habits That Kill Your Whole Team’s Productivity

“After hashing things out together, it became clear that the overload Eric and his company were experiencing wasn’t just a staffing issue. It was more likely a productivity one, starting with how Eric communicated with his staff. Three of his bad email habits were trickling down to everybody else, undermining the entire team’s working methods.”
http://bit.ly/2eEbBC7

Being Helpful at Work Can Make You Worse at Your Job

“One of the simplest strategies for making new work friends, if that’s your thing: Be helpful… But in a recent column in Harvard Business Review, University of Florida business professor Klodiana Lanaj outlined a major downside to this approach: Helping out your colleagues is exhausting.”
http://sciof.us/2dPCu7b

The Nose Knows: Humans Can Smell More Than 1 Trillion Scents

“People often say that humans can distinguish among only 10,000 different odors. But in fact, the nose can tell apart at least 1 trillion different odors, and possibly many more, the new findings suggest.”
http://bit.ly/2e477n1

Quote of the Day

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value.” — Albert Einstein

Students Need Clean Schools

By | Business, Cleaning And Disinfecting, Work Smarter

Back to School

Students are heading back to school, and they need to work smarter, just like the rest of us. They also need safe, hygienic work environments —students need clean schools. A survey conducted last year gave insights into students’ opinions of their schools’ cleanliness.

Survey Asks Students To Evaluate Restroom Cleanliness

“Ninety percent of those polled agree hygiene was important to them as a student, and 93 percent say they washed and dried their hands every time they used the restroom. And while students generally gave their schools high marks for cleanliness (73 percent said the lavatories were at least somewhat clean), the majority — 57 percent — felt their schools didn’t do enough overall to support on-campus restroom hygiene.”
http://bit.ly/2b4qFcz

20 Brutal Truths All 20-Somethings Need to Hear

“Nobody cares if you didn’t have enough time. If your toilet flooded. If you weren’t feeling well. If you are “going through a tough time.” Some people do — they care a little bit, and want to make sure you’re OK. But in general, nobody cares. Everyone has “stuff” going on in their lives, and it’s on you to figure it out and stay on top of your responsibilities.”
http://on.inc.com/2aypsuJ

Working 80 Hours a Week is Not Actually What Leads to Success

“Some founders are fanatical when bragging that they work 60 to 80 hour weeks. Their sense of building ‘sweat equity’ blinds them to the sacrifices they make — to their health, to their marriages, to their families and communities. What they mistake as a successful lifestyle is actually a massive failure.”
http://entm.ag/2bcxZBc

9 Pieces of Obsolete Tech That Just Won’t Die

“Have you had to write a rent check lately? Or maybe fax some important documents? Despite things like Venmo and email that normal people use every day, these ancient bits of tech and culture just keep hanging on. There’s clearly better technology, it’s just that not everyone is using it. Here are nine outmoded technologies that just won’t disappear.”
http://bit.ly/2bd4YaL

7 Interview Questions For Measuring Emotional Intelligence

“Emotional intelligence involves self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. In other words, it’s a complicated amalgam that hiring managers have a hard time testing for. As a result, many fall back on gut instincts and subjective impressions. It isn’t always a smart move to leave something so important to such faulty measures.”
http://bit.ly/2aPVFfW

BookBub — free & discounted ebooks matching your interests

“BookBub is a free daily email that notifies you about deep discounts on acclaimed ebooks. You choose the types you’d like to get notified about — with categories ranging from mysteries to cookbooks — and we send great deals in those genres to your inbox.”
http://bit.ly/2aXBVX2

Quote of the Day

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” — John Wooden

A Personal Story Stands Out

By | Business, Safety, Work Smarter

 

Postman

Our first work smarter item is an article on Entrepreneur that underscores the importance of storytelling in marketing. A personal story always stands out from crowd of noisemakers. We are often so familiar with our own stories that we think they aren’t interesting. But we all have a story to tell. Share yours.

The Secret Weapon That Will Make Your Business Stand Out in the War of Ideas

“A Silicon Valley venture capital investor turned to me during a recent lunch and said, ‘I’ve seen more than 2,000 pitches, and I can only remember about 10 of them.’ ‘What made the 10 stand out?’ I asked. ‘They all told a personal story.’”
http://entm.ag/1rdgsPo

Asking for Advice Makes You Seem More Competent, Not Less

“You hear a lot about fears of heights or spiders or clowns, but down deep, most people are most afraid of this one thing: sounding dumb. New research shows that people shy away from asking for help for fear of appearing less competent, but that this is an unfounded fear: Asking for advice actually makes you seem more capable.”
http://sciof.us/1XMGQtL

Avoiding Germs on Airplanes

“A former airline industry employee reveals some things you should know before flying. Airplanes can be much more germ-filled than you think. Don’t fly without hand sanitizer.”
http://dailym.ai/1KQyKPm

Some Hand Dryers “spread germs 1,300 times more than paper towels”

“Dyson Airblade hand-driers spread 60 times more germs than standard air dryers, and 1,300 times more than standard paper towels, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.”
http://bit.ly/1SAGrfQ

There’s a Better Way to Wash Your Hands

“You do it several times a day: You grab some soap, rub your hands together for 20 seconds or so, then rinse. Yet if you’re aiming to get rid of as much bacteria as possible, you’ve been washing your hands all wrong.”
http://bit.ly/1SoupAA

Smell Dating: The first mail odor dating service

Is this really a thing?
http://bit.ly/1nk0f8F

Quote of the Day

“To add value to others, one must first value others.” — John Maxwell

Work Smarter (January 28, 2016)

By | Business, Work Smarter

 

Man atop misty mountain

Work smarter, and you might find yourself working less. It helps to start by asking the right questions, then doing the right thing. Keep your tools in good working order, and make sure you have the resources you need. Take care of yourself and take care of business.

To Work Better, Work Less

“[E]ven though the amount of time you work tends to match how productive you are as if on a sliding scale, length of work and quality of work at a certain point become inversely related. At some point, in other words, the more you work, the less productive you become.”
http://theatln.tc/1SHhEFM

Business ethics, ripples and the work that matters

“Customer service is difficult, expensive and unpredictable. But it’s a mistake to assume that any particular example is automatically either good or bad. … Customer service succeeds when it accomplishes what the organization sets out to accomplish.”
http://bit.ly/1SfBiHo

Make Your Computer Faster

“I’ve seen a lot of people buy a new computer when their old one was perfectly adequate, but had just gotten bogged down with too many things running at the same time. For your computer to make you productive, you want to reduce the amount of time you spend waiting on it to do something. Some of these tips can help.”
http://bit.ly/1QwAmhP

Why Start with Why?

“We are all able to explain what we do and how we do it. But the more challenging conversation to have is why we do what we do. Why does our company or business exist? When we can answer that, the what-we-do and how-we-do-it are not neglected, but easily follow.”
http://bit.ly/1JEKmED

7 Ways to Get Over a Winter Slump

“While the concept of ‘Blue Monday’ — typically the third Monday in January — as being the most depressing day of the year might not be scientifically proven, let’s face it: January and February can be a drag. Winter stretches ahead for weeks and, in many places, it’s so cold you don’t want to go outside. The combination can be enough to get anyone down. If you’ve got a case of the winter doldrums, use these tips to feel better and rekindle your energy and creativity.”
http://bit.ly/1nk0f8F

Small Business Loans: What Your Lender Really Wants to Know

“Most entrepreneurs don’t start a business because they’re experts at small business financing — and they shouldn’t need to be. However, they do need to become experts at financing their businesses. I’m convinced it starts with understanding some of the questions a lender will likely ask and why they ask them.”
http://bit.ly/1Jzl36C

Quote of the Day

“The real test of business greatness is in giving opportunity to others.” — Charles Schwab

Work Smarter (September 25, 2015)

By | Business, Fragrance, Work Smarter

Gemini Mission Control

Even if you are not in the technology business, doing business requires a lot of technology these days. There is a lot to learn in order to work smarter, and you must not stop learning. Communicate clearly and give others the benefit of the doubt. Just don’t let your own story get lost in the shuffle. And remember — you can learn something from unlikely sources, like witty baseball players.

IT 101 For Small Businesses

“IT is everywhere in your small business environment, from your business’ internet hookup to your website to your credit card processing system. If you’re just starting out with your company, building your IT infrastructure can seem like a big haul. In truth, you can start small and grow it as you go along — but you do need a plan from the get-go.”
http://bit.ly/1LCF6jD

3 Ways to Keep Your Small Business Story Personal, Yet Credible

“There was an era when big business ruled. … But in the last decade the tide has changed. More consumers are seeking out small businesses as a personal choice. … Today, it’s a balance between personalization and legitimacy that is essential to building confidence in consumers and turning them into customers.”
http://bit.ly/1R5OAnJ

How I Managed to Out-Learn the Competition

“The real goal with knowledge — and where you can out-learn your competitors — is to internalize learnings and let things you learn change you. After all, you can know the name of all the tools in the shed but, if you’ve never learned to use any of them, your knowledge isn’t worth very much.”
http://bit.ly/1Fyp0X0

How to Avoid Miscommunications & Email Like a Real Human Being

“When speaking face-to-face, it’s the verbal and nonverbal social cues that allow us to gauge the best way to arrange our wording in order to get our point across clearly. In email, we don’t get such real-time feedback. Once our message is in the hand of the recipient, we’ve lost all control. … So how do we write emails that enable empathy — especially with people we might have never met in person before?”
http://bit.ly/1KUvjEF

11 Smells That Are Slowly Disappearing

This one’s just for fun. “Nothing can trigger a memory so unexpectedly as an aroma. … But some fragrances are being phased out of existence thanks to technology and safety regulations. How many of these do you miss?”
http://bit.ly/1iQ8ojA

Four Lessons for Small Business Owners from Yogi Berra

“Baseball legend Yogi Berra was among the most successful athletes at creating an enduring personal brand. He had a reputation for excellent performance, honesty, and good humor — qualities of successful entrepreneurs. Here are some of the leadership lessons that small business owners can take from the life of Yogi Berra.”
http://bit.ly/1PBR63U

Quote of the Day

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” — Yogi Berra