Redefining Success: Quantity in Hours ≠ Quality of Work
Ok, I listened to my smart marketing people and first wrote some educational blogs about how many hours a week American's work on average and the effects, now I get to share my opinion and tell you my story!
Why? Why? I think it's because many of us define our work success in the number of hours we work. We're really important at work if we have to work more than 40 hours a week. We know that with each promotion, we need to add on a few extra hours a week. Why do we know this? Because this is what is presented to us when we first enter the workforce. We are constantly seeing the person at the level above us working longer than we are. It's what's to be expected.
My take on this: we're all very busy, but busy does not equal productive.
Stigmatism that if you're not working 40 hours a week, that means you're lazy. But what if it's not lazy, what if it's working smarter, not harder?
Let me use my career in corporate American as an example. I was constantly finding new and more automated and efficient ways of completing ALL my tasks. Literally ALL of them. I like to say, "I never met a task I didn't improve." Even the processes I created myself. If I was in charge of creating a weekly report, it was pretty much a guarantee that the process behind generating that report would be drastically different in 6 months. Many times, I would look back at my old stuff and think, "How the hell did I get anything done with a process like that?"
Now it wasn't that I was changing for change's sake. I was constantly evolving, learning new things and making improvements. Continuous Improvement is the 'business' buzz word that describes this process. It's also a description of my nature, my personality, I can't help it. I was doing it before it was cool! And doing it before I even realized that I was doing it!
Because of this, every role I had in the corporate world drastically cut back on the time it took to complete all my tasks. Literally reducing many 40 hours per week roles to 20 hours or less (i.e. I once had a weekly report that took me all day on Monday to do, I got it down to 20 minutes. There was also a billing process that would take a ridiculously painful 3 days a month to complete, I cut it down to 1 day).
Now according to many people's deep down subconscious beliefs, only working 20 hours a week in the corporate world made me lazy. And call me lazy all you want (I have joked about being a lazy millennial, except now I'm apparently not a millennial, I'm a Xennial).
Sitting at my desk planning my next family vacation, how lazy, you should be working and busy like I am. Well guess what buddy, what used to take you 8 hours to do, I've got down to 20 minutes. I did my job. I'm not lazy. I planned ahead and Googled and learned the efficiencies within this system that we're using and am utilizing it to its fullest potential so what used to take you all day to do, now only takes me 2 hours. So I think I've earned an hour of family vacation time!
And the company is benefiting greatly from my 'laziness.'
So can we please stop putting so much frickin' emphasis on quantity of hours, can we please start looking at the quality of work and start encouraging people to work less. Work smarter, not harder.
And if you don't have the skillset internally, give a smart techy Xennial a shout! Clear Simple business.
My goal with my company and this blog is to show that there are other ways of doing things than the 'traditional' way we've always seen. There are ways to be successful at work and at home. There are ways not to spend 40, 50, 60+ hours at work each week. That as you get promoted, it doesn't mean you have to work more. I may piss people off, I may be called lazy by some, but that's ok. I'm fighting against the 'start living when you retire' or 'regrets on one's deathbed'.
I will be the CEO of a multi-million-dollar company and I will not work more than 40 hours per week and my employees will not either.
Now I know that's a ridiculously bold and perhaps ignorant statement, and I'm slightly terrified right now writing it on 'paper' and posting it to the world, but if my background is any indication, I work more efficiently than others. Usually twice as efficient. So, if the average CEO is spending 80 hours a week working, I feel as if I can confidently say, I will cut that in half. Because I've already done it.
And if executives and business leaders need to see an example of how it can be done before they themselves do it and improve their lives and the lives of ALL their employees, than God willing, I will be that example (which I'm pretty sure He is willing, otherwise He wouldn't be pushing me to be so damn pushy and vocal about this. He wouldn't have given me this knowledge and these skills).