When was the last time you worked for an hour straight?
I mean really all out worked for an hour.
No email, no texts, no calls, no distractions.
What could a full hour or just 30 minutes of uninterrupted work do to your day?
What if you could be one of those people that seen to defy the laws of time?
You know the one, two things going on at once and it just doesn’t faze them, they act like they have all the time in the world.
While you’re over here pulling out your hair with only one project, wishing you could slow down time or eek out another few minutes from your day.
“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” –Thomas Edison
Well, it’s time to get a little more productive.
Now, I’m not talking about you working harder, I am sure you work pretty hard right now.
And honestly who the heck am I to tell you how hard you need to work, right?
No, this is all about working smarter.
In the Marine Corps the Gunnery Sergeant of our company was promoted and he moved to another unit. A Gunnery Sergeant (Gunny) is a senior ranking Marine who has at least 8 years of service under his or her belt. I had a boss who said that he wanted the laziest Gunny available. I heard this and I just had to ask why, because that just sounded counter intuitive.
Why the laziest? I would want the hardest working Marine I could get.
He said anyone who has made it to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and remained lazy means that they know how to work smart. The main reason is they are truly accountable for their actions and the lives of Marines. A lazy Gunny is going to get the job done in the most efficient way possible so they can slack off for the rest of the day.
Work smarter, not harder.
So it’s time to be a lazy Gunny. Here are some tips to consider so you can get yourself some slack off time.
1. Never Touch Things Twice
Never save an email or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention you should act on it, pass it on or throw it away.
2. Get Ready for Tomorrow Before You Leave the Office
The lazy Gunny always made sure all the people working for him knew what to do in the morning. That way when he rolled in a few minutes late, nobody was sitting around waiting for instructions.
3. Eat That Frog
Do the least appetizing, most dreaded item on your list before you do anything else. After that, you’re freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires you. Plus, you don’t have that big item looming over your head all day.
4. Know What is Truly Urgent
Lazy Gunny was really good at putting out fires. Well, not all fires, lots of those “super urgent needs to get done now” things would cross my desk or another capable Marines desk. Think of a fire like a match lying in the dirt. Something needs to happen, but nobody’s losing an eye over it.
The ones that would get Lazy Gunny out of his office were the ones that really mattered, the real urgent ones.
5. Stick to the Schedule During Meetings
Meetings are the biggest time waster there is. If it can be handled with a call or an email, do that instead. Invite only the people who are affected to a meeting if you truly need to hold a meeting.
And, do everyone a favor, if you say it going to take 30 minutes, only go 30 minutes. Never go over.
6. Say No
There were times that my boss would forget that he wanted a lazy Gunny. That meant when my boss would try to lighten his load by getting lazy gunny to do something, lazy Gunny would say “No”. Lazy Gunny would say No to a lot of things. The first time I heard it I was shocked, but he knew what he could take on, and what would not happen right if he took it on.
7. They Only Check E-mail At Designated Times
Come on, how many times do you check your email throughout the day? Those little notifications that are supposed to make our lives easier turn us into moths to the flame.
Don’t think so?
Go to a Starbucks and play a notification sound. Now marvel at the amount of people who pull their phones out of their pockets.
Break free from the email monster, just say no.
8. Don’t Multitask
Multitasking is a myth. Sure you can do ten things at one time, but not one of those ten things are you going to do just once. Plus, when you multitask a simple 5-minute project drags out to be a 20-minute project. Put you full attention on that 5-minute task and knock it down to 3- minutes.
9. Go off Grid
There was no such thing as smart phones when I knew lazy Gunny, but there was a door. When lazy Gunny’s door was closed it meant, “do not disturb”. You can get this affect by turning off your cell phone. Become unreachable for a small part of your day.
10. They Delegate
Any task that can be done by someone else should be delegated.
I don’t know how many times I heard another Gunny tell me that his job needs to be done by lazy Gunny, only to have that job passed on to me. I brought this to lazy Gunny’s attention once, he said that his job is to make sure it get’s done, my job is to do it.
There you go. A few simple tips I learned by working with a lazy Gunny. I hope this inspires you to get a bit more lazy at work.