• 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 is one of the Funds for Learning GuideMarks that I find myself applying to my everyday routine quite often.

I work with a group of about 220 schools that all need individual guidance through the E-rate program and help understanding and remaining compliant with the regulations. As you can imagine it can sometimes feel a little like juggling, there are multiple action items or apples in the air that are all developing at the same time.

To me juggling looks effortless and it just flows smoothly and naturally, but the reality is that it takes a well thought out process and knowledge of the tasks at hand to make it all work. For example, if I tried to juggle apples, I’m pretty sure I would drop everything and just end up with one apple that I can successfully toss between my hands.

Some of the keys to keeping all the "apples in the air" is knowing what your priorities are, what your resources are, and leveraging the situation so that you can achieve the desired result without ending up with a bruised apple.

Sometimes, you must experience a task before you can truly wrap your head around what is going to work to bring about the outcome you are aiming for. There are many processes I tried out which ended up being "bruised apple" approaches. I am fortunate that I have many experienced and insightful colleagues, or fellow jugglers, that I can reach out to who have helped me to figure out a system that accomplishes the goals set to ensure the best service for our clients.

Work By Design is a GuideMark that encourages growth and teamwork, which result in better more efficient procedures all around! Even if it is just juggling apples.


Key Words and Phrases
Skillful use of time and energy; Good use of resources with little waste; Produce desired result effectively; Work smarter, not just harder; Potent; Fruitful; Efficient; Productive

Opposite Terms
Wasteful; Ineffective; Unproductive; Ill-planned

GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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