There are countless blogs, podcasts, youtube channels, and other media that are meant to help us all optimize our lives, hack our workday, and motivate us to function at peak performance. 

A lot of these lifestyle influences offer the same variations of advice, which might sound familiar. Wake up early, follow a routine, drink water, etc. Usually, we can count on some variation of meditating, journaling or giving thanks. 

We don’t disagree with this advice on the whole. As a rule, this type of advice can be very helpful. However, it also has a tendency to ignore the individual for the sake of what is practical. No advice works for all people all of the time. So, today, rather than encourage productivity and organization at the cost of all other things we want to encourage you to ignore the advice of the influencers when it does not serve you. 


As an Individual

On some work days, you can tell from the start of the day that you are not going to be functioning at your full, energized capacity. Pretending that this doesn’t happen to everyone, at least occasionally, is unrealistic. So on days, or in seasons of life, when “the perfect morning routine” isn’t going to magically present full picture-perfect weeks, try stripping down to the essentials.

Ask yourself what needs to be done well, what simply needs to be done, and what can be saved for a designated “focus time”, possibly on another day or following a strong cup of coffee. Adding overwhelming tasks which are not absolutely necessary is more likely to hinder your day than help you accomplish anything. Allowing the energy you have to be concentrated on the essential tasks will almost guarantee success when it’s time to log out for the day. Just make sure to schedule those less urgent items for a specific time, or you might start to feel the unexpected pressure of creeping deadlines. 


As a Department

Growing businesses are constantly in a start of flux. So, systems change, company culture may shift, and the overall focus of the business may shift based on yearly or quarterly goals. Smaller departments within a business may experience this on more local levels as well. Personnel may change, the team may grow, and even upgrades in equipment can change the flow and feel of a workday. 

Public consensus would say to stick with the mission statement, follow the culture, and keep going until things stabilize. In times when changes are happening frequently, things like “company culture” can become vague and new tasks that pair with new goals can make it hard to focus on a big-picture business statement. 

In times like these, we stress communication, among the team and between individuals and managers. If tasks are confusing or difficult, or you are not sure of the purpose or approach to things, don’t spend too much time guessing why it is important, find out. The individuals performing a task deserve to be comfortable with what to do and why it is done so that they can understand the value of what they do. 

Working at a department level can be challenging, as most teamwork takes a certain level of skill and trust in the team. As changes occur you do not need to continue to do things just because it’s always been done that way. If there are doubts or you’re finding, as a team, that there is a need to innovate, that is worth discussing. 


When Serving a Client 

As a BPO provider, we know all the best shapes of a cookie-cutter approach. Why wouldn’t we? They allow for efficient, consistent, predictable results. They also don’t allow for much innovation based on the individual. When our teams start in a new office, we always come prepared with systems, software, and other equipment that we know will meet their needs. We are also able to pivot and customize based on the specific needs of each office. 

Business influencers usually say to automate and stick with standards. But, offices have different workflows, people have specific ways they like to categorize documents, and some firms need more sophisticated equipment to complete tasks. We’ve seen countless of very-individualized situations that called for a level of customization. 

This is one of the reasons we value employees who are able to think outside the box, or at the very least outside of the cookie-cutter. Our regional and site managers have a high level of control over their specific areas for this exact region. We know that they may need to approve changes that are specific and necessary for one particular place. We want them to be able to serve each client as an individual and to do that quickly. It takes a personal hand to make adjustments like that, and there isn’t a customized, planned approach in the world that will serve each aspect of each firm and each company culture that we come in contact with. 

So, when do you criticize the influencers? Do you find yourself going against the grain more in your personal life or professional life? 

Drop a comment on Facebook or LinkedIn to let us know.