• Planning ahead of time what it will take to achieve a desired outcome

  • Thinking through the priorities, resources, and methods necessary to achieve a specific result

  • Working smarter, not just harder, by leveraging knowledge, experience, team skills and available tools


Work by Design = working smarter, not just harder, by planning through work and thinking through our resources.


My job involves a fair amount of travel. Funds For Learning ® works with schools all over the country, and because of that most of my travel is on an airplane. Over the past 16 years, I have traveled to Funds For Learning® clients in nearly every corner of the United States.

Below is a list of travel related packing items:

Anti-bacterial hand wipes, Belt, Brush, Cash, Cell phone, Cell phone charger, Change of clothes, Deodorant, Directions, Dress Shoes, Flashlight, Laptop computer, Laptop computer charger, Medicine, Shaver, Sleepwear, Socks, Suit, Tie, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Umbrella, Underwear, Various medicines

This is not a list of the things I pack on every trip, although most of these items are with me most of the time on the road. This list is a list of things I have failed to pack at one time or another. In fact, for most of these items, I have multiple examples I could share with you of the times that I have not brought something with me that I needed. Over the years, having forgotten these items, I have:

Bought extra ties, belts and shoes that I did not really need

Brushed my teeth using my finger and water

Re-worn the same clothing for multiple days

Paid expensive, overnight delivery charges to get the unpacked items

Sat in the dark (during a power outage)

Got soaked walking in the rain

In each of these cases (and the many more I would be delighted to share with you), my inconvenience, stress, and/or the extra expenses that I incurred could easily have been avoided had I properly planned for my trip. By just taking a few more minutes to think through the contents of my bag, I probably could have avoided a lot of extra trouble later down the road.


“Work by Design” is about taking an intelligent approach to our responsibilities, thinking through the priorities, resources, and methods necessary to achieve a specific result. Sometimes that planning is complex and time consuming; but other times all that may be required is an extra 30 seconds to check to see if you have your toothbrush packed!

Key Words and Phrases

Skillful use of time and energy; Good use of resources w/little waste; Produce desired result; effectively; Work smarter, not just harder; Potent; Fruitful; Efficient; Productive.

Opposite Terms

Wasteful; Ineffective; Unproductive; Ill-planned.


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