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Work Smarter Not Longer (or Harder)

This may be 2 years old, but it’s still as valuable as ever. Stever ("No, That’s Not a Typo") Robbins writes at Working Knowledge for Business Leaders on the Harvard Business School Website:

Working smart means getting the same results in less time. To do that, you must change how you work. You’ll get the most by changing your speed, increasing focus, and organizing to do things in parallel.

Many scientists learn this when they’re faced with the prospect of adding teaching and service to their research obligations — or starting a family — after starting their first faculty jobs. And because women (on average) spend more time on home-related obligations — who was it that said that every prof, male or female, needs a wife at home? — this message is especially valuable for women.

2 comments on “Work Smarter Not Longer (or Harder)”

  1. dev says:

    A janitor once told me precisely this was the secret to life.

  2. Jim Austin says:

    Your comment–about the janitor–reminds me of a guy I knew in college. It was an elite school and he was a talented fellow–a jazz guitarist–but for years he had worked as a night janitor.
    “The great thing about being a janitor,” he told me once–I’m paraphrasing since this was more than 20 years ago–“is that at the end of the night you can take a shower and leave the work behind you.” Unfortunately at a college like Swarthmore (since that’s where we were), he went on to say, you can’t do that, since the work is never finished and it follows you everywhere.
    In a rare fit of wisdom, I told him (he was a couple of years younger than me) that it was not only possible, it was essential–but it’s harder. You have to learn to leave the unfinished work behind you and get on with the rest of your life. I think that’s kind of a correlary to the “work more efficiently, not longer” concept.

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