There are six ways that you can simplify your business and increase the quality and quantity of your results:
1. Work faster. Get on with it. Develop a sense of urgency. Pick up the pace. Whatever you have to do, begin immediately and move quickly from step to step. The very act of moving faster energizes you, increases your creativity, and improves your ability to get even more done.
2. Bunch your tasks. When you do several similar tasks together, each subsequent task becomes easier. You get it done faster. Return all your phone calls, one after the other. Answer all of your correspondence, one letter after the other. Do all of your expense reports together. Do all of your business proposals at the same time. Do all of your prospecting at once.
Efficiency experts have discovered that if it takes you ten units of time to do the first in a series of similar tasks, it may only take you two units of time to do an equal or better job on the fourth or fifth item in that series. This is called the “learning curve,” and it is the key to high productivity in every area.
3. Do things you are better at. A small percentage of the things you do account for the majority of the value of all the things you do. There are things that you do in an excellent fashion. When you are working on these tasks, you get more done of higher value, faster and more easily. You contribute greater value in these areas than on any other task.
One of the great secrets of success is for you to do more and more of the things that you are better at and get better and better at these tasks. Simultaneously, do fewer and fewer of the tasks that you are not particularly good at and eventually outsource, delegate, and eliminate them altogether. This will simplify your life and increase your results more than any other strategy.
4. Prepare thoroughly before starting. You’ve heard the Five P Formula: “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” It is much easier to focus and concentrate when you have every- thing you need at your fingertips rather than having to get up and go looking for essential information and materials.
5. Do things together. There are some tasks that you can complete far faster when you do them in cooperation with other people. The entire process of manufacturing is based on the “division of labor,” where a task is broken down into smaller chunks allowing each person to specialize in that task. In this way, each person gets onto her own “efficiency curve,” becoming more and more efficient at her job. The combined results of several people working together in harmony at specialized tasks can be extraordinary.
The huge Clydesdale horses, famous for pulling the Budweiser beer wagons in the advertisements and commercials, are remarkable examples of the power of teamwork. A single Clydesdale horse, working alone, can pull a wagon holding 5,000 pounds of freight. Two Clydesdale horses, hitched together and working in tandem, can pull a wagon with 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of freight. But four Clydesdale horses, hitched up and working together can pull as much as 40,000 to 50,000 pounds of freight.
Working together smoothly and efficiently with other peo- ple is a “force multiplier” that enables you to accomplish vastly more than if you attempted to do everything by yourself.
6. Simplify your work. Continually look for faster, better, cheaper, and easier ways to accomplish the same task. Reduce complexity. Seek for opportunities to delegate, outsource, and eliminate parts of the work. Simplify your life at every opportunity.