Confession: I’m all for cheating. Now, I’m not talking about pulling a sneaky in a game of celebrity heads (no!) – but what I am talking about is taking shortcuts. This is a seriously underrated way of making headway in your business without working 16-hour days (because, who wants that?!).
Once upon a time, I thought that there was some secret prize for whoever worked the hardest. I pulled SO many almost-all-nighters in the office (and worked many a weekend, too) when I worked in magazines. I had scored my dream (at the time) gig working for titles like GQ, Collective Hub, Cleo (RIP!) and Elle, and it was like I had this unconscious mission to work myself into the ground, to work harder than everybody else in the office (except that, nobody was playing this game except me!).
THEN I slowly felt the resentment build up as I took my tired little tush into the office each morning, huge coffee in hand, wondering why my editor sitting in her glossy corner office STILL didn’t see just how bloody hard I worked.
Eventually I realised, all she saw that the job was done (which was, essentially, my job requirement) – she didn’t care much for how it got there (or that I’d double-checked each and every comma 37 times, damnit!). Once I saw that no one really cares how HARD you work (as long as you're getting things done), because a) they’re all too focused on their own game to take notice of how many hours you’re putting in and b) the end result is what they’re looking at... everything changed.
Yep, there definitely is no prize for being the most strung-out girl at the table!
This desire to ‘prove ourselves’ by working the hardest often stems from a need for external approval, but once I finally realised this was near impossible to attain consistently (and also, once gained, didn’t feel as sweet as I’d hoped) I totally changed my tune.
These days, I’m all about meeting the approval of my inner compass - aka how well the job turned out, and how creatively fulfilled/proud/content/myself I'm feeling at the end of the day, not how many hours I put in!
My mantra now is about working smarter, not harder.
That means doing an un-freaking-believable job - while also taking as many clever shortcuts as possible, so there’s still time for logging off the emails and watching The Bach at the end of the day.
So, what are some practical examples of how to go about this way of working? Well, as you may have twigged from the title of this post, this has been a very long-winded way of touting 'cheating' via repurposing content.
I 111% recommend repurposing content wherever you can as part of your digital marketing.
One easy peasy way to do this if you're running a business and spending loads of time on your digital marketing, is with your blog and socials. If you’re blogging valuable content, cutting and pasting the best pars from your blog into an Insta caption takes about 7 seconds – and constitutes cheating, not in a ‘dirty n sneaky’ kind way but in a ‘my, that girl’s clever and has so much time to go for afternoon wines while still nailing it in her biz’ kinda way.
Or, do it the other way round – if you aim to post on socials daily but never dedicate time to blogging, copy your best Insta captions into the back-end of your website, break up the pars with some pretty pictures, add a sentence here or there if you feel the urge and, voila – blog post, tick! (This approach is especially useful if you’re like me and sit down to write an Insta caption then find you’ve written a 500-word mini essay 15 minutes later!).
Tell me – what golden shortcuts have you found super useful in your biz that you’d recommend to others?