How to sail through even the busiest day

When I was in London at one point, years ago, I got a job through a temp agency. The agent only had one job available and I was over qualified for it. But as I had very little money, I grabbed it without hesitation.

The job was to stuff invoices into envelopes for three days, very easy. I went to the office at 9:30 in the morning and got to work, grateful to be earning money. I can’t recall how many envelopes were involved, but I finished the job in a day and a half.

The woman who was paying me said, “Let me give you a hint. If I hire you for three days, take three days. I can only pay you for one-and-a-half days.”

In reality, every one of us works at a different pace. But from our school days we have been taught to slow ourselves down to the lowest common denominator to avoid being a show-off. If you have always been quick at picking up things, don’t dismiss your capacities, or hide them so that you fit in with everyone around you. Use all your natural abilities to your advantage.

Speed of space

Every morning and with everything ask yourself, what does this project or situation require? What do I need to choose here? When you ask these questions you’ll instinctively know which project to start next, who you need to talk to first or to which email to respond. Trust your gut instinct, even if it doesn’t match up with your to-do list and you’ll accomplish way more than you thought was possible.

Joys of manipulation

If your co-workers complain that you’re making them look bad, be willing to manipulate them. It isn’t wrong or bad. In fact, manipulation can be a great way to empower others to step up.

Rather than tell someone what they should do, what if you asked a question? Asking questions is one of the greatest manipulations because a question is designed to take you out of conclusions and limited points of view. It also allows others to give you feedback and ask their own questions.

Start to look at what people really require. Do they need to hear you’re better and can work faster than they can? No! So you could say something like, “You’re so great at this. I’ve learned everything that I’m doing from you. I’m so grateful. What else could you teach me?”

If you’re not willing to manipulate others, then you will end up being manipulated.

Out-create

One of the things that can sap productivity in the workplace is competition. Conventional businesses often encourage competition internally between employees or departments.

I’d like to suggest a different approach. It’s called out-creation and is one of the key elements to leading a successful and joyful team.

Out-creation is not competition – it’s about going beyond any limitations in business that somebody else doesn’t see, but you do see. Start by asking yourself, what would it take for me to out-create myself today? With that question you’re asking for more of your capacities to show up and you’re acknowledging your willingness to be more than you’ve ever been before.

There may be times when you’ll have to step outside your comfort zone, and go beyond what you’ve decided you can’t do. What if every member of your team or business is willing to being greater every day? Imagine what could show up. You could end up having more awareness about something that totally changes how you do business.

Simone Milasas, company director and business mentor

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