Work Hard Vs Work Smart

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Case study – A merchandiser’s workday at XYZ Export House, a reputed apparel exporter dealing with major brands and retailers of US and Europe.

Samir is a sincere hard working merchandiser associate at XYZ Export House.  He is handling approximately 35 styles each season in men’s woven bottoms division. At a given point of time Samir has to work on three season’s work simultaneously. For one season he is engaged in doing prototype development, costing negotiations etc. For the second season he is doing the pre-production follow up like lab dip approvals, fit and PP sample approvals etc. For the third season Samir is making sure that the styles that have gone into production are shipping on time and there are no major surprises for the buyers, like short shipments, color mismatch approved standard in bulk etc.

Samir has to wear multiple hats during his work day and juggle different sets of tasks, each seeming equally critical to get done. His job involves making sure that all important courier packages are sent out in a timely manner. In such a scenario Samir often finds himself spending late nights in the office. He has even got into the habit of coming to the office on weekends to cope with his workload and get some undisturbed time, free from vendor, buying office phone calls, reviews and the hustle and bustle of a packed work week.

There is good news at hand for Samir. By following the principles and exercises outlined in this training module, Samir can go home each day on time and bring a sense of balance to his work life.  Go to the next tab to find out what Samir will learn in this module.

At the end of this training module Samir will learn –

  1. How to accomplish more by doing less.  (It’s not only possible, it’s mandatory J)
  2. How to avoid unnecessary interruptions during his work day to improve his productivity.
  3. How to identify, capture and minimise the time bandits in his work life.
  4. How to prepare his to do list for each day and prioritise the most critical and important tasks for that day and get them done within the required deadline for all his styles across all the seasons.
  5. How to beat the sneakiest enemy of productivity – procrastination.
  6. How to delegate and use impact and influence to distribute his workload across peers, team mates and vendor resources
  7. How to get out of the ‘fire fighting’ mode he often finds himself in and learn to anticipate issues early in the game, and stay in the proactive mode more often.

Samir will participate in exercises so that his learning is driven by doing, not just by listening

Capturing the Time Bandits.

An interactive discussion, on identifying the most common time bandits in merchandisers’ daily work life. Participants will learn ‘work smart’ techniques to reduce time bandits like interruptions, phone calls, e-mail and other distractions.

Time Management – Introduction of the concept.

Everyone is given 24 hours in a day. What would you do if you were given an extra hour each day?   If you don’t know, you hardly have a reason to manage your most valuable resource better.  In this introductory lesson, participants will evaluate and articulate their immediate, short-term, and long-term time management goals.

Being Effective versus Being Efficient.

Are you busy preparing your PP file to perfection or have you made sure that your vendor has placed the fabric order, which if not done today, will delay the order delivery for sure. An industry specific discourse on whether the merchants are spending more time on doing things right or on doing the right things, in their daily work life.

80/20 rule (Pareto Principle)

An interactive dialogue on the most important cornerstone of effective time management and productivity. Participants will be encouraged and guided to identify the ten ’work smart’ things that they must do each day which will have maximum impact on their desired goals.

Parkinson’s Law

Orders just confirmed today and the next Order status review is on Friday. There is still a lot of time to update the status. A discussion on how merchants get caught in this ‘work expands to fill the time available to it’ trap. They will learn ‘work smart’ techniques to set measurable, achievable goals and complete the tasks within set deadlines.

 Prioritization and Planning

An application of ‘work smart’ methods including the Critical Path Management and the Urgent Vs Important Matrix in a merchandiser’s daily life. This section will involve practical exercises on How merchants can prepare their ‘to do lists’, set schedules, and set priorities.

Eat the Ugliest Frog first

The sneakiest enemy that ‘work smart’ merchants need to identify and kill – procrastination.  Participants will find ways to identify when they are putting off important and critical tasks that will need effort and commitment and getting busy doing the easy trivial things.