Friday, May 6, 2011

Increasing Office Efficiency: Work Smarter, Not Harder

This is a great t-shirt to wear to work, especially if you intend on leaving early that day for happy hour. The real secret to this statement is the difficulty in actually proving someone is working smarter rather than harder. People working hard are coming in early, leaving late, finishing projects, etc. These are all observable behaviors. Providing evidence of working smarter is a trickier, but you can use this to your advantage.

For a limited time, I am providing free with this t-shirt some tips on implementing the work smarter plan.
1. Buy a lot of business books to place in your office space. This will impress people with illusion that you are reading. I recommend selecting books not by content, but by titles.

Here are some examples I pulled off Google of business books with good titles:
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles J. Wheelan

(As a general rule, you should always choose books that include the word ‘naked’ in the title over those that don’t)

Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

(I would be happy with one hat that thinks, but SIX of them??? This guy is a genius. I might actually read this one.)

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie

(A hairball with gravitational force seems really interesting and makes me wonder if this guy works for NASA.)

2. Now that you have your impressive collection of books on display, you will need to develop efficiency methods that inconvenience other people rather than yourself. You will then state these methods throughout the day with a tone of self-importance. Feel free to use the situation below as a starting point.

Imaginary Situation: Colleague asks why you have not taken action on an email.

Your Response: In order to increase my efficiency, I will only be checking email at noon, and 3:00am on Tuesdays.

Most importantly, do not apologize. This will only give the impression that you might respond to said email at some point in the future. The more people perceive your time as valuable, the less you will be expected to do with it.

3. Fill your dry erase board with complex diagrams and to do lists. This will make you look both busy and important. I have included a photo of my own dry erase board as an example.


  1. I could surely use this shirt today! As I am in academia, however, I fill my bookshelves with unknown authors discussing out of the way things to make myself appear more knowledgeable about things of no significance.

  2. Nerd moment, technically everthing has a gravitiational pull. If I knew the mass of the hairball and the distance from it I could tell you what it is but right now I'm worried about my cats conspiring to suck the entire world into my place via their hairballs.

  3. Genius! I will be implementing your suggestions first thing Monday morning! The one about espousing how valuable my time is of particular interest - since everyone seems to think that since I'm "just" an admin my time is not as valuable as theirs!

  4. You are a fucking tee-shirt savant.

  5. Ha ha!! I love these ideas! The dry erase board is adorable!

  6. is that a newer white board?

  7. Brilliant. I could write more but that would be harder not smarter.