So today was a big day for me- I was performing an extremely overdue spring cleaning of my inbox! I was going through my old emails and filing away ones from my former life as a CPA. As I was going through, memories came flooding back to me. I thought about co-workers that were such a big part of my daily life, the old habits I used to have that helped get me through the long days (coffee, pizza, etc), and also the business clichés people LOVED to use. I can clearly remember hearing, reading, and (unfortunately) even saying many of the following:
“Look for the synergies”
“Make sure we’re using best practices”
“At the end of the day”
“Have you been managing expectations”
“Let’s take it offline”
“Grab that low-hanging fruit”
“I’ll circle back with you”
“I’ll be out of pocket then”
“It is what it is”
Uhhhh what does that even mean? The last phrase is completely non-sensical! It used to drive me crazy when people would use that as an end to a conversation. Even so, I would hear it on a daily basis while sitting at my cubicle desk up in my downtown high-rise. One thing I noticed that was missing was the efficiency-based idea of “not making things harder than they need to be.” A lot of these clichés are just ways to put off or excuse not getting something done. So while a corporate office has it’s own jargon that takes some time to decipher, there are some very valid underlying lessons here of what NOT to do…
Now in business, completing a task is often times easier said than done due to the back and forth approval process, checks and balances, and constantly changing data that often adds time and headaches to block progress of a task (especially if you are in a client services industry). One of the biggest differences I noticed in my own life, is how these blockades don’t exist (if you don’t want them to). You have the power to simplify things; so don’t make things harder than they need to be!
Unlike the in some corporate environments, we have the power to streamline the path to getting what we want. Here are a couple tips to help:
- Determine what you want and WHY you want it. It’s really easy to rattle off things that we want in life. I always hear people say how they want to lose weight (like literally everyone talks about this). What might not be so obvious is WHY people want this. In the losing weight example, people may want to improve their self-esteem, look hotter in a swimsuit, or get more intimate in their relationship. Once you tap into WHY you want something, you’ll be much more motivated to get it!
- Find the path of least resistance. What is a potential blockade to getting what you want? Let that settle in. Now think of ways you can prevent this blockade or totally avoid it. My favorite example of this is money. If you really want something but it costs too much do you walk away, or do you find places in other parts of your life where you can save? Try making a list of all the other places you can “tighten up” expenses and you’re on your way to creating an easier, faster path towards getting what you want.
- Get it! So here’s the fun part: don’t stop til you get enough (thank you Michael Jackson for those words of wisdom)! It’s time for the payoff, so do whatever it takes to obtain what you’re after and don’t let up. Make a plan, commit to it, find support. Do whatever you need to do to get there!
One of the most liberating things about leaving my accounting job and branching off on my own was knowing how much was now in my control. I used to get really down about the standard operating procedures and lack of open-mindedness towards increasing efficiencies and reducing the time spent on insignificant details. Basically, I missed striving for doing something better and faster and being encouraged to do so. What I found is that, in our personal lives, we can take advantage of this freedom in a much more direct way than at work. It’s so much easier to take control!
Ever stopped and realized how much more difficult you were making something? Maybe it took seeing someone else do the same thing to realize this about yourself. Share your experience in the comments below! If you’re looking for the “simpler way” and need some help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We’d love to hear from you 🙂
Live your WHOLE life,
Shannon + Meg