Posted on May 20th, 2006

Okay, lazy is an exaggeration. I’m a work-oholic when the need be, but I can also relax when appropriate. I’ve been employed in some capacity for the past forty- five years, a lifetime for some of us. During that lengthy stretch, I’ve realized a few things about the work ethic. It boils down to a single area: coping. No employer or business situation is perfect and therefore it is rarely an ideal environment. I was lucky enough to work for companies that treated me fairly well. For the instances where I felt I was having a hard time, I formulated a strategy that allowed me to survive. It revolved around working smarter. So, how does on work smarter?

Lesson one: To begin with, I followed orders. On the surface that sounds easy enough, but I took it very seriously. When I was given a chore, I did so immediately and to the ‘T.’ I neither procrastinated nor whined about the project. I dove right in and got it over with. Why? Because there is more stress associated with thinking negatively or agonizing over a condition, than actually getting it out of the way. Think about any problem you have faced and how much better it felt after it was behind you. Tackle the issue and dispatch it quickly and efficiently.

Lesson two: I got organized. When I had my own advertising agency, I learned to set up a filing system for each account so I could rapidly find what I needed, thus saving time and frustration. So now I do the same. When I got a new position, I created a simple system I could follow in order to organize my work life. I had files for memos, manuals, and whatever I needed. I even had my own ‘In’ and “Out’ box for new, or completed, chores. Once I established a working routine, it saved hours of searching and confusion. It also allowed my superiors easy access, and my co- workers, a solution for filling in when I went on vacation. In addition, I planned every day using a basic calendar, as best I could, to help accomplish everything needed for that day.

Lesson three: I kept business and my personal life separate. I tried in earnest to leave my office problems at the office. I also attempted to bypass office gossip and not listen to negative gripes by co-workers. That way, I also avoided the accompanying stress. When I got home, I had a clear mind and could appreciate my leisure and family time.

Lesson four: Quit your job and start a home-based business. Then hire people to do the bulk of your work. You will make more money, save on commuting, and have a far more stress-free life. That’s the ultimate lazy-man’s solution to working smarter. I did, I love it, and I know you can too.

Jeffrey Hauser was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master’s Degree from Monmouth University. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. He has authored 6 books and a novel, "Pursuit of the Phoenix," available at http://www.amazon.com. His latest book is, "Inside the Yellow Pages." Currently, he is the Marketing Director for http://www.thenurseschoice.com, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.

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