People are constantly being asked to get more done in less time and with fewer resources than ever before. This has been a trend for a while and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. While there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of books on being more efficient and effective in getting things done, we thought you might like a condensed version of what works.
7. Quit Multitasking
There are a lot of “systems” out there that claim to help you get things done. But sometimes the simple ones are the best and the simplest way to get things done is to just focus on one thing at a time. The old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” may not be politically correct anymore and upset vegans and PETA members, but it expresses a general truth. Any plan or goal can be broken down into one or more projects. Any project can be broken down specific, doable steps or tasks. Just focus on doing one task at a time and get it done. You’ll find that doing this not only brings you closer to completing your project or achieving your goal, but you’ll also feel better.
First, I’m not advocating sloppy work. Second, in some industries, being exact is not only expected but required. Third, some products (like a road, a bridge or a building) isn’t something that can be “tweaked” later to improve it or at least the cost of doing so wouldn’t be worth it.
Now that I’ve given the disclaimers, the importance of this section is to “start” and get better later. If you try to make something perfect to start with, you’ll never get it completed. Doctors, road designers and bridge builders all started somewhere and gradually got better. If they had waited to get the perfect road or bridge built before starting to build roads and bridges, we wouldn’t have either. The same is true in any life or work situation. Start somewhere. Once done, get feedback on how you can make it better and then do that.
5. Less is More
These days people are bombarded with communications and products. According to at least one study, our attention spans are 33% less than they were in 2000. When you have too many distractions, things can start to get complicated or confusing.
Anything that is less complicated is often better understood and more appreciated than something that is more complicated. Whether you’re writing emails, selling, designing courses or creating products, see if there are ways to simplify your communication or offering.
By doing this, you’ll find that you’ll focus more on what’s important in your communication or offering and less on “fluff” or unimportant aspects.
4. The 80/20 Rule
Simplification brings us to Pareto’s 80/20 principle that says 80% of the results are caused by 20% of the inputs.
The 80/20 rule reminds you to focus on the 20 percent that matters. Only 20 percent of the things you do today matter. That 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on the important things.
3. Systematizing, Streamlining and Automation
And the 80/20 rule brings us to systematizing, streamlining and automation. You can make your life and work more efficient by streamlining things you do, from handling emails to writing a course to researching.
First, document the steps on how to handle tasks that you either do frequently or ones that tend to take a long time to do. You can do this either in written form or with photos or videos. Smartphones have both cameras and video recorders. There are free tools available that will let you record your computer screen. However, you do it, just document how you handle tasks.
Second, look for ways that it can be done quicker or with few resources. Are some of the steps really unnecessary or maybe don’t need to be every time?
Part of the streamlining may be to complete your tasks in batches. For instance, do emails all at once. Make phone calls at the same time. You get the point.
Third, look for ways of automating what you’re doing. Are there free or inexpensive tools available that will do the job in less time or require fewer resources? Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean that you have to continue doing it that way. Technology has changed drastically over the past few years and will likely continue that trend. Most likely, there’s an automation tool or suite of tools that can help you get more done, faster than what you’re doing now.
2. Connect with People Who Know
This is a tip that’s been around for hundreds of years. And today, thanks to the Internet and Social Media, finding and connecting with knowledgeable people in your industry is easier than ever.
Join or start your own mastermind group. Your mastermind group will help you move forward. You’ll leverage other people’s strengths, and that can greatly accelerate your success. You’ll surround yourself with like-minded people who’ll inspire you and keep you accountable.
Attend industry trade shows and seminars. This is another great way for you to surround yourself with like-minded people and get insights into challenges that other people in your industry are facing and what they’re doing to overcome them.
1. Keep Learning
In life, you either grow or you die, just like a plant.
Over time, best practices change. The best way to stay on top of what’s working is to take up-to-date courses that cover subjects you want to learn or brush up on. For instance, we offer courses from award-winning vendors on leadership, sales and project management as well as certification courses for the IT industry. We also offer a broad range of general business skills such as public speaking or using Microsoft word. Need onboarding, leadership, communication or safety training? We do that, too.
But learning doesn’t have to be solely academic. Study those who are already doing what you want to achieve. Find out who the leaders in your industry are and read about them, follow their blogs, learn their strategies. Read their books and the books they recommend. If possible, connect with them through LinkedIn, Facebook or at seminars they give.
Remember, you’re great and great people never stop learning.
We’re Passionate About Helping You Get Things Done
Where training is involved, we excel at that. Our LMS was created to help you meet just about any kind of workflow you have while making it easy to use for your learners. For instance, our newly launched “tile” interface, takes simplicity to a whole new level while still giving you all the power of a Ferrari. We invite you to see why our LMS technology is the best value, LMS technology available. Contact us today at (800) 868-8039 and we’ll show you how you can improve your company’s bottom line and help you get more done with your training initiative.