Workshop or Lecture


Work Smarter, Not Harder

by Dr. Beverly Potter

Today, most of us feel tremendously pressured to accomplish more and to do it excellently. To succeed in today's fast paced and changing world, we must manage ourselves effectively. Working harder doesn't work; we must work smarter.

Most of us have learned poor self-management skills. Some, confusing excellence and prefection, set unattainable standards and drive themselves with nit-picking and criticism. Others procrastinate until anxiety levels are so high that fear propells them to perform. Clearly such styles of management are sub-optimal and make work a drudgery.

Set Compelling Goals
Good self-managers set compelling goals - those that draw you towards it like a magnet does. Making action plans with "doing" steps for accomplishing them is essential. Good self-managers don't wait passively for others to notice their successes; they maintain high motivation with self-rewards instead.

Think Powerfully
Self-management is not limited to actions, it also applies to thoughts and feelings. While poor self-managers create stress by carrying problems with them, good self-managers put a stop to destructive ruminations by altering the way they think. They think powerfully by defining problems as challenges, failures as learning, and disappointing situations as opportunities to practice coping skills.

Break Your Inertia
Managing yourself is not a matter of will power. It is an array of simple but effective techniques for boosting motivation and increasing productivity. The first step is the hardest. Inertia must be broken to get yourself into motion and to keep moving. Brainstorming maps, small steps, leveraging and want lists are techniques you can use to break you inertia and move into action.

Develop "Seeking" Motivation
Not all motivation is equal. Sometimes you work to avoid negative situations and other times you seek positives. Avoidance motivation is insidious and can sabotage doing what you want to do. Goal setting and envisioning are powerful tools for developing seeking motivation.

Rewrite Mental Software
In some ways you are like a computer. Your body is the hardware - the machine - and thoughts - the way you talk to yourself - is the software. Just as the computer changes the way it performs when the software changes, so, too, you feel and act differently when mental software is changed. Thought-stopping, detached concern, mindfulness, and humor are tools for rewriting mental software.

This session covers techniques of self-management and how to use them to work smarter.

"...helpful and motivating...
especially relevant to middle management...."
-Stanford Univeristy Library

" was overwhelmingly positive..."
-California Community College Placement Assoc.

Who is Dr. Beverly Potter? | Other Workshops | Books by Beverly Potter