Working quickly is one of the most important characteristics of the high performing business person.
You can be highly intelligent, motivated and experienced, but if your output is slow then you’ll never reach your potential.
Speedy working is a craft well worth learning, but few executives spend any time developing their skills in this area.
To help you work much faster, I’ve outlined three simple, yet exceedingly effective techniques to improve the pace at which you work.
1. The 80% Rule
Invented by well known Canadian business coach Dan Sullivan, The 80% Rule suggests you should do tasks to about 80% of excellent standard, then move on to another task. It’s extremely effective because it’s often the last 20% of the task that takes much of the time. Yet in general doing that last 20% is not appreciated by other people, nor is it necessarily particularly useful to you that you got it done.
Be clear that I’m not suggesting that you don’t finish the job, but rather you finish the job to an 80% excellent standard. Perfectionism tends to destroy productivity.
2. Rush The Unimportant.
You can usually achieve twice as much if you rush jobs that aren’t crucial to your business.
Most tasks don’t really matter, but many people give trivial tasks the same care they give important jobs. The net result of that attitude is they no longer have enough time available to do the vital jobs superbly.
Take it from me, you do not have enough time in the day to do everything well. Pick your battles and rush the rest.
3. Practice The Closed Door Policy.
No doubt you’ve heard of the Open Door Policy – that your door should be open to any staff that want to see the boss. In my view that philosophy has been responsible for more lost productivity than almost any other way of working.
Try keeping your door closed most of the day.
Interruptions are the great killer of high achievement. It’s not just the time lost from the interruption itself, it’s the time it takes to re-focus and get fully engaged in the previous task as well.
If you let people know that you’re available from X time to Y time most days, they’ll organize themselves to see you at those times. This will then leave you with most of your day available to get more valuable work done.
These three techniques are incredibly simple to institute, but will have a profoundly positive influence on the speed at which you do your work. Begin doing them this week and within ten days your output will be higher and your stress levels will be lower.