“Work smart, so you don’t have to work hard.” One of my mentors subliminally ingrained this phrase into my head while working at a high-level PR & Social Media firm.

I assume most working-folk feel like they “go through some of the same motions” when it comes to accomplishing tasks. Many might also agree that no matter how hard they work, there is never enough time to accomplish everything. As I sat in a vacant office on 7:15 pm on Friday night thinking about dinner and next weeks travel (SXSW), it was clear that I hit a roadblock. The path I had planned in my head is no longer possible.

SmartFile Office Trophies with Hulk
The Hulk Stands Behind SmartFile’s Trophy Gallery

A negative mindset is a waste of time and energy. Instead, I switched gears and made a few phone calls, wrote (not typed) down some organized action items, shot a couple of long-range baskets on the office mini-bball hoop before deciding to turn this roadblock into an opportunity for growth. After talking with a few straight shooters and researching ways to improve thoughts and ideas in order to overcome obstacles; here are a few quick tips I found helpful:

  1. Idea-Pivoting – Edison did not invent the light bulb, but he did produce the first commercially viable one after trying out 6,000 different materials for it. Taking existing ideas and rethinking them or pivoting them to point to something greater can turn on a creative light or two.
  2. Engage with People – One person’s understanding of the situation can be different than yours; so don’t reject third-party feedback…initially. The path in front of you may seem blurry, but letting someone else point it out so you can get on your way is smart, not hard.
  3. Do Something Fun – Refresh your mind and enhance concentration by stepping away from the stress. Sometimes inspiration hits when we least expect it, in the most unexpected ways and places.

On that note, take care of yourself, enjoy the weekend and remember that what does not challenge you does not change you! Share your challenges or steps for overcoming obstacles below or @SmartFile on Twitter.

Happy Sharing!

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About Patrick Tarpey

I am the Communications Coordinator for SmartFile. I am responsible for public and media relations, content creation, social media and corporate blog management.

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