David Horsager, Author , THE DAILY EDGE: Simple Strategies To Increase Efficiency And Make An Impact Every Day
High productivity and high profitability usually go hand in hand. But unless we drill down to absolute clarity on our goals and strategies, we will not achieve either. While the books and experts on the subject are innumerable, most of the material out there doesn’t seem to capture the right blend of productivity and relationship that is displayed by our most successful CEO’s and business executives. Each day brings a mountain of tasks, but are you focusing on the things that will make forward progress on your most important goals?
Every decision you make has to do with protecting or growing your company’s bottom line. That is an enormous amount of pressure, there’s no doubt about it. In consulting with executives across the country, I can understand your uniquely stressful position. However, you have an opportunity like no other to set the tone in your organization. When those around you see you set daily goals and work to accomplish them, they will be influenced to do the same.
Consider this simple strategy. You can start tomorrow. I call them Difference-Making Actions (DMA’s). There is power in clarity and this tip gives you practice getting clear. In the morning, take a sticky note and write at the top your most important current goal. Then write numbers 1-5 along the left side. Next to the 1, write the most important thing you could do today that would help accomplish this goal. Write the next most important thing under number 2 and so on. You now have a list of the five most crucial action steps you can take toward accomplishing your most important goal. You can do an electronic sticky note, but I much prefer pen to paper for this one. This tip is pretty simple, and yet how many of us have reached the end of a day only to realize we didn’t make any forward progress on something critical to our organization?
Here’s another tip. Have a daily power hour. Choose one hour of the day where you will take no meetings, e-mails, or phone calls. There are three important ways to make this a success.
- Go public. Let everyone know about it. You will feel more comfortable with your temporary unavailability if you communicate to people who try to reach you on a regular basis that you are unavailable.
- Share the idea. Consider offering a power hour to those in your office, to your upper management, or even to your whole company. If no one was interrupting anyone, so much work would get done! Perhaps you all have the power hour or perhaps each person needs to choose based on the most common pattern of their work day. Impossible to pull this off, you say? Try it for two full weeks, then decide.
- Be consistent. Do this at the same time every day if at all possible. People will learn to not only respect your power hour, they will have more attention and focus from you when you do eventually meet.
The end goal for me is not to save time to save time, but rather to save time so there is more time for people and the relationships and tasks that really matter. When people can count on you to meet a deadline, they trust you. When they trust you in one area, they are more likely to trust you in another area. And so it goes. A results-oriented CEO who delivers time after time will make the shareholders happy. Combine that with the CEO who is so efficient that he or she is able to create margin for people and you have a rock star in the business world.
[Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
About the Author
David Horsager, MA, CSP, is a business strategist, entrepreneur, and author of national bestseller The Trust Edge. His new book, THE DAILY EDGE: Simple Strategies To Increase Efficiency And Make An Impact Every Day, will be published in October 2015. For more information, please visit www.DavidHorsager.com.