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Business Productivity: The Importance Of Playing To Your Strengths

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Business Productivity: The Importance Of Playing To Your Strengths

It’s a statement we hear throughout our lives.  As school-leavers, when it comes to making those all-important decisions about our career and later, our business productivity – those around us are often heard recommending “playing to your strengths”. 

Simply a Proverb?

I have to admit using [and abusing] this exact statement over the years – advocating it to many – and not always sticking to it myself.  However, like many such proverbs, there is a clear undercurrent of truth to it, and a message we should all take on board.

Playing to Your Strengths

Your Business Productivity

# 1. Find a Job You Love

Sticking with the subject of proverbs, I always remember my first Management Theory lecture, when my lecturer opened with the following teaser: “find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life… the challenge is finding that job”.

  • Most of us who follow that challenge into self-employment have actually fulfilled the task… however, that doesn’t completely eradicate irritations or frustrations [aka, not always ‘strengths’].
  • The key is in recognising that this is the case, and not dwelling on it.

For every hour you spend undertaking an element of your workload that bores, frustrates or exhausts you, you deny yourself the time to spend on things you relish.  The irony being, the things you relish and enjoy often generate positive outcomes for your business.

# 2. Be careful  around Energy – v – Exhaustion

We can all relate to that task we abhor: the monthly accounts report, the marketing budget, those pesky forms… they drain us of energy, focus and motivation, and worse still, leave us feeling negative towards our business.

Not a good ‘place’ to be when you’re working on growth plans, exploring new services or products, or preparing for a special client presentation.

What can you do? Well, it’s not quite as simple as waving a magic wand, sadly, but you can manage more cleverly…

# 3. And Manage the Negative Tasks

Well, of course, in an ideal world, we’d all be able to outsource or delegate them away… so if you can, then… DO!

  • For those of us with limited resources, a better way of managing the *yuck* tasks, is to break them down into smaller chunks, minimising the impact the job has on your general motivation [and head-space!].
  • Another good idea is to actively reinforce the success you feel when the job is done [giving yourself a pat on the back].  This tends to help in attacking similar work on a regular basis.
  • Depending on the person, allocating a specific period of time to manage the piece of work also pays dividends [an end is in sight!].

The Proof is in the Pudding

Yes, yet another proverb.  Undoubtedly, spending more time on the things we enjoy, our strengths – propagates more energy, creativity and enthusiasm in all of us.  Defining ourselves by the things we dislike or are not strengths of ours, is detrimental to the way we communicate, interact and sell our businesses.

Considering the things you enjoy and contribute to positively – do you spend much or little time on them?

Ultimately, when we consider the times we excel in business – it’s easy to understand why.  There’s harmony, ease and alacrity in our actions; things just seem to ‘work’ and adversity feels minimal.  It’s called playing to your strengths.

Being realistic, of course, there are times when we have to do the *yuck* stuff, however – we can minimise and manage its impact on our business productivity – and ultimately ensure that we’re playing to our strengths as much and often as possible.  Make sure you do, and the proof will be in the pudding.

This post was inspired by Mike Gaffney of LEAP Consultants.

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Image: “ Colorful illustration of a man playing fair strength test game on city

Olwen is the owner of Irish Business Intelligence, she works with SMEs as a business partner, supporting their growth through practical consulting advice - specific focuses include messaging, strategy and business development. Olwen also works as a project manager and advisor for enterprise and development organisations, as well as mentoring start-ups and early-stage entrepeneurs.

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  • Sian Phillips

    I always try to play to my strengths but then worry about what I’m not so good at. Unfortunately we can’t always do everything we like and are good at but at least if we can most of the time that’s a bonus

  • Martin Lindeskog

    Olwen Dawe: Your post will give me fuel for continuing with the development of my own productivity method, F.I.X IT! I wrote down the first version of it on paper on October 1!

  • Sian and Martin, thanks so much for the great feedback! I know it’s probably pretty obvious, but we often forget that spending time on things which don’t motivate us much = zero productivity = very little progress!

  • Hi Daniel, thanks for the comment and you’re welcome. It was a great post and we’re always on the look out for those for our #TYBcommunity list 🙂

  • Sian, thanks for the feature. I’ll be back at writing with you soon. Getting my writer’s mojo back!

  • You’re welcome Warren – and will be lovely to have you back in the fold

  • You’re welcome Alex – we like to include the good ones 🙂

  • Thanks Niall – I saw the Facebook post recommended by Mari Smith so I knew it would be good

  • I LOVE this roundup, as it is the perfect read with a cuppa; thanks for taking the time to compile this for us Sian, and looking forward to the next one.

  • Thanks Frederique – I’m glad you like it. I enjoy finding the good posts that are out there to share

  • Thanks for the BloggingWizard mention, Sian!

  • Thanks for the mention Niall and thanks for the other links too. Lots of good reading there

  • You’re welcome Amanda 🙂

  • No problem, it’s a great interview!

  • A great roundup here, Niall!

    Thanks for the Blogging Wizard mention too.

    I’ll be sharing this one with my followers 🙂

  • Agree that a lot of people doing this type of mistake. This tips are really helpful for every person whose attached with eCommerce world.

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