In an increasingly fast and changing world of business, strategies and practices of effective people are always under a microscope. Their habits are examined and shared in hopes of setting standards and pushing people to exceed standards already in place. There are nine efficiency habits that seem to really be present in the most successful people. These include:
Laser focus on a task does not constitute efficiency. In fact, people can be laser focused on an outcome, know every intricate detail of a new program or product, and still not practice efficiency. In order to become successful, and more importantly remain successful, focus must be aimed on the “how” and not the “what”. How can a task be completed, or how can a product become developed in the most efficient way? Focus cannot solely be on the outcome; process must outweigh outcome. What process needs to be followed to save time, develop quickly, and become the best? Process trumps product!
Efficient people are very self-reflective. They do not think simply about finishing a job and moving on to the next. They take a day and use it solely for reflection. They ask themselves questions like, “If I were going to do this again, what would I do differently?” “Why did this work well, and this didn’t?” “How can I save time here if I am faced with a similar situation?” Efficient people recognize that there is always a better way to do something, and they are always questioning how to find that better way. They do not settle for a one and done type mindset. Knowing that skills from one project can be transferred to other projects, and then reflecting on how to improve upon the process of utilizing those skills develops efficient habits in successful people.
3) Get Up Early
There is no time like the present. Efficient people get up early and start the day! They do not sleep until noon on the weekendsor meander around in the morning. Knowing that there are jobs to get done, ways to improve, and processes to figure out pulls efficient people out of bed in the morning. A shower to start the day followed by a healthy breakfast followed by a trip to a designated area to begin working helps to develop a routine that the body becomes accustomed to. Routine frees up the mind for thinking about new things. According the studies done on the brain, two to four hours after waking is when it is functioning at its peak. Waking up early gets the brain at its best before others.
4) Don’t Multitask
In an age when machines multitask, there is no reason for their human counter parts to be multitasking as well. Machines were meant to do things quickly. They are the product producers, but they need their human counterparts to partake in the thinking process. Brains cannot get muddled down with too many things to think about without sacrificing efficiency. As stated before, laser focus on process is necessary in order to maximize efficiency. If the brain is bogged down with too much, it can’t yield results. A good rule of thumb is two tasks per day. Efficient people follow this rule of thumb. Google, one of the most successful companies today, believes, “Do one thing really, really well.” Don’t get lost in trying to do too much. In the end, more will go wrong than right, and time will be lost.
5) Make A Plan
Efficient people make plans when trying to tackle a project. A plan frees up the brain to focus on process. Knowing what needs done, and in what order it needs done eliminates the opportunity for mistakes. Again, a laser focus on process over product will lend itself to great success. Taking the time to formulate a well thought out plan is essential in achieving that necessary focus on process. Ben Franklin said it best when he declared, “What good shall I do today?” The most efficient people not only know what they want to tackle for the day, they also have an idea about how they are going to tackle it. Daily goals drive efficient people to be the best.
Efficient people do not get overwhelmed racing to the end product. There are several steps that it will take to achieve completion on any project. Jumping right into a project without thinking about how the steps in construction influence one another can lead to wasted time. Time spent undoing things, just to redo them again, is wasted time. Efficient people take the time to look at the big picture and then prioritize the steps involved in creating the big picture. It will eliminate mistakes. Doing things out of order can actually create more work. It may be scary and seem like a waste of time to sit back and think for a day, but in the end, it will save loads of time and eliminate mountains of frustration. Knowing how all the pieces fit together will lend itself to focusing on process.
7) Pay Attention To Surroundings
Those people who work efficiently do not stay in a bubble trying to work, work, work. They understand that more can be learned by watching than by doing. They take the time to notice how colleagues do things differently than them, and they are not afraid to reflect on their practices. Knowing that there is always more is essential to success. Risking becoming stagnate and uncompromising is not worth it. They keep an open mind, and pay attention to change. In a fast paced, ever changing world, change is always on the horizon. Efficient people pay close attention to the change, and examine how other people are welcoming it and adjusting to it.
8) Ask Questions
Efficient people do not just take the time to ask people what they are doing; they take the time to ask people how they are doing things. Questions can lead to some very stimulating conversation from which a lot can be learned. Efficient people engage colleagues and peers in conversation about process. They take the time to ask questions about anything that is difficult for them to understand. They do not take people’s answers to questions as the only way to accomplish a task. Instead, they use their answers as starting points for exploration. They take the time to examine their answers and modify and adjust when necessary to achieve the most efficient approach to tackling a problem.
9) Do Not Be Afraid To Fail
Efficient people know that failing is necessary when efficiency is the test. Failure will occur each time a process is not done as efficiently as possible. Keeping this in mind allows for the exploration of avenues for better production while remaining ahead of any competition. They stay in the mindset that there is always a better way to do things, so failure is inevitable. This makes it easier to accept that things can be done differently and most importantly more efficiently. They know someone is bound to come up with a better way to do things, so knowing that there is always someone out to compete keeps them on their toes. Staying ahead of the game help efficient people avoid that failure that can’t be recovered from and makes that failure that is essential for their growth seem like progress.