We all want more efficiency in business and in life. Most people simply don’t have enough time or energy in the day to accomplish everything they would like to complete.
After nearly 50 years of managing my own business, I’ve learned a thing or two of what it takes to successfully leverage your time and energy. Here are a variety of energy-leveraging tools that will allow you to spend the least amount of time and effort necessary to achieve the maximum result.
1. Skip it. Only read words, especially in emails, that are relevant to your life or business. If it isn’t relevant, skip it.
2. Establish deadlines. Give yourself a deadline. You will find that you work far more efficiently when you know that you have to complete a task by a certain date and time. Also, give others deadlines. That way you won’t have to follow up as much. And expect deadlines to be met.
3. Be clear. When you make a little extra effort to be clear you will receive fewer questions and leave less room for errors. This can save you an enormous amount of time and headaches.
4. Stand at meetings. When you stand, meetings do not last as long.
5. Value long-term relationships. You should minimize having to deal with new individuals or companies, because they require far more effort. You will need to spend much less time supervising a known employee or contractor, or interacting with a long-term investor, then you would when you’re working with someone new.
6. Delegate. Nothing is more efficient than having someone else complete an entire task for you, provided they will do it effectively.
7. Educate. The more you know, the less time you will spend consulting experts and the more effective your questions and decisions will be. The more your coworkers know, the greater number of decisions can be made at their level.
8. Do it immediately. There is always a cost when you look at the same matter two or three times, so do it immediately. Procrastination often takes more time to explain.
9. Multi-goal. Rather than try to do two tasks at once, which leads to inefficiency, try to make each of your tasks accomplish multiple goals.
10. Create procedures. If a task will be repeated many times, establish a procedure, preferably in writing. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Established procedures reduce errors.
Whatever your business, increasing your efficiency will have bottom-line results. By using these tools — and others you develop on your own — you can leverage your energy to get the most out of your time and effort every day.
Alan C. Fox is the president of ACF Property Management, Inc, and The New York Times bestselling author of PEOPLE TOOLS, a self-help series that offers powerful advice on careers, relationships, and self-improvement learned from his incredibly successful and vibrant 76-years of life. He has university degrees in accounting, law, education, and professional writing. He was employed as a Tax Supervisor for a national CPA firm, established his own law firm, then founded a commercial real estate company in 1968 that now owns over $1.5 billion dollars in real estate. Alan has recently been featured on The Meredith Vieira and Steve Harvey shows. Discover more about Alan/PEOPLE TOOLS at www.alancfox.com