I’ve heard my whole life that getting up at 6, work by 7, home by 8 pm meant you were a “hard worker”. No offense to you long-day workaholic types, but if you truly can stay on task for 12 hours straight then watch out, you might turn into a science experiment because the normal human brain doesn’t allow it. If you don’t believe me, watch Brain Games. #mindblown.
In reality, It seems the more office time I have, the better I get at appearing like I’m working hard while actually getting less done. What others call hard working actually is soft working. You know, rushing around so the boss “thinks” you’re busy, but actually just finding work to do for work’s sake. I like to call this deceitful action Multi-Masking.
We’ve all been infected by the alien Multi-Masking bug. Society has told us that 8 hour days are the standard, but we’re better than standard right?? “Well, I’m a harder worker because I stay 9 hours” we convince ourselves. Then the next guy stays 9 hours, so we stay 10 hours, and the cycle continues until our family & social life suffers, we lose focus at work because of our home life issues and all we can do is softer work. We are now slaves of the multi-masking disease.
Thankfully, there is a cure. I like to call it power-tasking. Think of work like a hammer and a nail. Would you ever try to put pressure on as many nails as possible thinking you’re going to drive them in? Of course not, but you sure would appear to be “working hard”. Or you can use max effort, in short bursts, leveraging all you have on one specific task until it is complete, then recharging and moving on to the next job.
It’s easier than you think, you only have to be willing to say “no” to distractions and lazy work (goodbye email notification). Automate & batch those things that need to be done but don’t bring the most results(i.e. social media, mailing, accounting, most meetings) Then delegate whatever can’t be automated or eliminated, freeing you up to be the most efficient and effective “hardest” worker in the office because what you do creates results. Hopefully your boss isn’t a multi-masker and can look past the shorter work days and breaks in between when they see their bottom line fattening from your efforts. The great thing is, just like the multi-masking bug is contagious, so are results.
Agents of TrACTION, become immune to the multi-masking bug and focus on results, then there will be no question who works the hardest.