Friday, June 2, 2023
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The Lazy Person Works Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter Not Harder?

“Work smarter, not harder.”

-Lazy person’s motivational saying

The first time I heard this saying something about it bothered me. When I pondered it the reason why it bothered me became readily apparent. This saying is often an excuse for laziness and it also encourages a belief that working less hours in a day is somehow the desired goal in life. Why should we desire to not work harder? Why should we desire to only work smarter? Why not do both by working smarter AND harder? Less work is only desirable to many because they do not enjoy their work, in which case a change in occupation could be more important than a catch-phrase of “work smarter, not harder.”

We should be striving to make our work more efficient and productive, but this does not mean that we should strive to not work as hard. Few people are working as hard as they possibly can in the first place, and to limit their output even more by trying to “work smarter, not harder,” will only decrease productivity and negatively impact their lives. It has the opposite effect of what it is intended to have. Even if you did manage to get the same work done in less time, if that work makes you miserable then you have only delayed the suffering slightly.

I do not believe that most people even object to hard work like they think they do. They object to an erroneous concept of hard work that is not really hard work. The reality is that most of what gets classified as “hard work” is inefficient and unproductive work. So we see people digging a trench all day with shovels and that looks like hard work, but the real problem is that we innately know that what they are doing is woefully inefficient. A simple rental of a back hoe could get the job done in minutes, while it takes them a whole day of “hard work.”

Our God-given reason causes us to have a natural objection to such inefficient work. It is not that most people truly do not want to work hard, rather they do not want to work inefficiently. They want to do work that they know is achieving the maximum productivity. To do work, day in and day out, that you know is inefficient or unproductive is not enjoyable and can be taxing on the soul. People then mistakenly see being lazy as enjoyable over hard work, but this is only because the work they are doing is so unpleasant, boring, and unproductive, or there is some other defect in the work.

Hard work does not have to be inefficient, nor does it have to be unenjoyable. Most people are at their best and happiest in work when they feel like they are getting things done each day. They will find that they have more stamina for their work when they are seeing fruit from their labor. This state of being productive is where people can thrive, and this comes easily when you work smarter AND harder. We should not be trying to find ways to get out of hard work, rather we should be finding ways to increase productivity, improve efficiency, and get more done in the same time each day.

Motivational Quote – Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson's Law -

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”

-Parkinson’s Law, from Parkinson’s Law, and Other Studies in Administration

Essentially this “law” is saying that all the time you allot to a task will be used in the completion of the task, and if you make less time available for the same task you will get more done in less time. While this “law” is not always true, it is certainly a truism. From early childhood we have all experienced this in one form or another. Most of us have experienced it finishing home work from school that should have taken us 2 days to complete but we finished it all on the morning it is due in a few short hours because we had to have it done.

This does not mean that working long hours is all inefficient work, but in many cases that work efficiency could be dramatically improved. How can you even measure your efficiency if you do not keep track of your activities? If you are not already, you need to be keeping track of your time spent throughout the day. This is where an app like Toggl can be extremely helpful for you to spot areas of inefficiency and correct them.

If you give yourself 2 hours a day to answer and manage emails, then that is likely how long it will take (at minimum). Why not challenge your efficiency and give yourself only 30 minutes a day to do that same task that currently takes you 2 hours? Perhaps you will not succeed, but I am certain if you tried you will find ways to be more productive in a shorter time period. You could discover that much of your email work is not needed, or find ways to dramatically decrease it with services like FollowUpThen.

While some may look at this on the surface and view it as restrictive and limiting, I think you will actually find that it works counter-intuitively and brings about a new freedom. You find out really quickly that you are more competent than you though and are able to do a lot more than you once presumed once you start placing time-limits and restrictions on activities and make yourself find ways to finish those tasks in the allotted time. You will bring about creative ideas to get things done and ways to make all aspects of your life more efficient. Far from being restrictive and limiting, it actually helps you free up precious time to use as you see fit. You will also know that the time you are using is being used as efficiently and productively as possible. Give it a try and tackle on task today, give it less time to be accomplished, and see how you rise to the occasion and get it done!

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Newbie Help – Reviews Can Make Or Break Your Sales

Ratings Can Make Or Break Sales
Ratings Can Make Or Break Sales

Many newbies to eBay and Amazon see a low price on an item that is selling for a high price and that is the end of their decision-making process. They buy it immediately. Sometimes this can work out well for them, but a very important variable that should be more important than just the return on investment in determining whether to buy an item for resale is the user reviews and ratings.

If you have an item that has issues where the majority of customers do not like it or it does not function as it should then it should be avoided. Selling that item is only going to lead to profit-draining returns, negative feedback, and unhappy customers.

You need to read the reviews if they are bad, as the reviews could be actually unrelated to the item itself. Often on Amazon, for example, an item with a few reviews will be low rated, but the issue mentioned in the reviews is slow shipping or a problem with the seller and not anything actually wrong with the product. Normally a good rule to follow is to not buy something rated below 3 stars in a 5 star rating system. The only caveat to this would if the reviews are not actually reviews, but are feedback about a seller.

Ratings Can Make Or Break Sales
Ratings Can Make Or Break Sales

In the example above this printer could have been purchased for $15.99. It would make a good profit, but it has horrible reviews and out of 52 reviews it received and average rating of 2 stars out of 5. This item is a problem and buying it is just asking for a costly return. It, of course, was put back on the shelf and not purchased for resale.

As a newbie your initial reaction may be to buy anything you can find with a good return on investment, but do not ignore reviews, as they can make or break your sales.

Consider What Others May Be Going Through

Angry Woman -

Yesterday, I was sourcing via Retail Arbitrage at a local store where the employees are friendly and positive. As I finished up I got in line to check out. I heard a woman start yelling at a cashier about her receipt. Apparently she wanted the receipt put in her bag because her hands were full and “she had a system,” even though she had a free hand. She was yelling about how the cashier was there to serve her and if she could not do that she needed to find a new job. This was all due to the cashier putting the receipt in her hand and not the bag with the goods purchased!

After the angry lady left, there were multiple cashiers who seemed a little rattled. Had I not seen what had happened it might have come across as them being rude or unfriendly. I told the cashier, “Don’t worry, I don’t yell,” and she laughed and smiled. This seemed to snap her out of the shock the angry lady put the cashiers in.

The reason I bring this up is because I hear people talking about how rude an employee was at a store, but oftentimes I wonder if we are really considering what these people go through each day? Consider if you worked at a place where placing a receipt in a customer’s hand could get you lambasted by a vicious woman. We never really know what these retail employees go through dealing with the general public and should not allow perceived rudeness to change us or make us behave differently toward them. We should always be friendly and polite.

Another thing to consider is the mindset this angry woman had. She said plainly that those employees were “there to serve” her. While true in a technical sense, the mentality she had was one of a queen on a throne with these servants scrambling to follow her every whim. We need to ensure we are not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:3), and that we do not treat anyone like they are beneath us.

I do not know what the angry woman went through that day. Maybe she was frustrated because she had horrible things happen that day and took it out on a young lady who would not fight back. Whatever the reason was this is also a lesson for us to not bring our negative experiences into other people’s lives. Why yell at someone because your day went poorly? Why take your bad day and make someone else’s day bad too? Just because you are suffering, does not mean you need to make others suffer. We should strive to ensure that other people are blessed to be around us and not cursed. We need to make sure that we are so emotionally-stable that even when we are having a bad day people would not be able to tell, because we are positive and friendly as always.

Raise – An Important Profit Tool For Resellers

Raise Large Logo

Raise is a gift card site with a well-designed app for gift cards. If you are sourcing via Retail Arbitrage or Online Arbitrage then you need to be using Raise. You can find gift cards that are up to 85% off the gift card value. This means you could get a $200 gift card for $30, and these gift cards spend exactly like cash or credit. What this also means to you is instant profits. It also puts you at a huge advantage over your competition who may be paying a higher amount for the same product. It can also turn a decent deal with not a large enough ROI to a great deal that can increase your sales with a fast moving item at a steep discount due to the gift card savings.

Basically, with Raise you can search from hundreds of retailers for gift cards that are being sold at a discounted rate. If you are already spending $300 at your local retailer then why not save an additional 15% by buying a gift card with $300 in value for $255? This is the equivalent of an immediate $45 profit due to the savings, and this is savings on products you were going to purchase anyway. There are no additional fees or surcharges for using Raise, so your savings are not going to be diminished by hidden fees.

If you do Online Arbitrage then using Raise coupled with Ebates can save you a large amount of money on the inventory purchases you are already making. This is easy money that you are throwing away if you are not using these free services.

I use Raise regularly, but I only purchase electronic gift cards because I do not like having funds tied up in gift cards that I might not be using immediately. While doing Retail Arbitrage I have purchased electronic gift cards from Raise while in the store scanning items. Once I have an idea of about how much I will be spending on the items I am buying, I login to the Raise app, buy a gift card for that retailer with roughly the amount I will be spending in value, and then show the cashier at checkout my electronic gift card information. It takes about a minute and saves quite a large amount of money over time. For example, if you were saving 15% each purchase by using an electronic gift card this would be the equivalent of getting every 7th purchase for FREE (presuming you purchase the same total amount each time). This gives you a massive competitive advantage and propels your profit further.

Sign up for Raise today and use the coupon code RAISE75AF to save an additional $5 off your gift card purchase of $75 or more.

Raise Discount Gift Cards