Time is our second-greatest asset. We all run out of it eventually, so we need to use it wisely. Whether it’s in the office or in the living room, none of us is getting the most out of the time we’ve been given. From the moment we wake up and check our Facebook page or emails—before we even crawl out of bed—to late at night when we stay up longer than we should, watching TV or working. From the government worker in Cairo who averages 10 to 20 percent less productivity a day (according to many studies) to the sales guy in Cincinnati who takes an extended lunch, has trivial chitchat with his or her coworker, and checks his or her email too often (studies show that it is more productive to check your email only twice a day). Lack of productivity, which extends to lack of engagement, is a crisis in much of society. Workers are pushed beyond their limits. This is proven by studies that show increased dissatisfaction at work and higher rates of depression and suicide. It’s simply bad business to overwork people. People become less productive and companies lose money and risk losing employees. In America alone, the average business loses 10 to 25 percent in revenue due to this phenomenon. It’s only now that we are able to measure it, analyze it, and make changes.
For more than 40 years, I’ve been advising organizations around the world. For most of that time, I owned and operated one of the largest privately held global consultancies, advising companies such as Google, Sony Pictures, Hilton Hotels, and McDonalds on international expansion and productivity in more than 90 countries. I became the specialist, flying around the world, building bridges between employees and their employers through innovative human resources (HR) tools that brought the two groups together. I became an HR forensics investigator, hired by numerous companies to uncover rogue employees who were stealing money from the company and breaking numerous laws in the country. Some were just flat out mobsters. My goal, as directed by the CEOs, was to stop the corruption immediately and prevent the news from landing on the front page of the New York Times. I’m pleased to report that not one of my clients ever ended up in the news concerning these sensitive issues.
I have learned valuable tools that I utilize in my personal business as well as advise for the businesses of others. Here are my two definitions of productivity:
“Get More Done in Less Time—and Do It with Joy”
“Do Only the Things That Only You Can Do.”
Previous generations said, “Work Harder,” but now we’ve learned it really is “Work Smarter.” I have successfully tested my methods in hundreds of opportunities. Every individual and business should have these tools.
This is why I wrote Work Smart Now, to condense many decades of knowledge into an easy-to-read book that every top-performing individual, CEO, or high-level executive can refer to for guidance. I hope this book is helpful to you. It has certainly been a joy to write, and the lessons contained herein have been helpful to me in making my whole life more productive.
So, if time is our second-greatest asset, what is our first? It’s our integrity. You can have all the time in the world, but without integrity you have nothing.