The Fast Eat the Slow

cheetah-gazelleAs a follow-up to my recent “Darwinian Marketing” post, I want to emphasize that successful people will not only be the ones who can most easily adapt to change, but they will most likely be faster than their competitors. That’s right.  In today’s economy and for as far as I can see into the future, it’s not about the strong beating or eating the weak, it’s all about the fast eating the slow for lunch!

At the top of my 2010 goals is to streamline processes, work smarter and faster and enjoy life more.  We’re all being tasked to do more with less, but there are ways to do it, make money and enjoy your life.

So, how can you become faster in business today? Here is my list to 25 ways you can work faster and position yourself to survive and thrive!

  1. Read and embrace Stephen Covey’s best-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” and work to excel in Quadrant II living
  2. Be flexible and adaptable to new ideas and processes (think Darwin)
  3. Work to rid yourself of distractions such as email, instant messaging, turn of the TV, turn your phone/s off and turn your music off (although I work quickly and calmly listening to classical and piano instrumental music)
  4. Get rid of things that slow you down (clients, employees, suppliers)
  5. Set up power hours of work blocks and prioritize on job at a time
  6. In your email inbox, tag all emails with a project ID so you can resort your emails by subject or client and stay focused and fly through them.  For example, for a book I’m working on, I simply tag these emails “Book” first followed by related copy
  7. Batch your email work – only respond at specific intervals 2-3 times per day
  8. Batch your phone calls too – never answer unidentified calls
  9. Get the fastest computer set-up you can afford
  10. Set earlier deadlines – if a client’s expectation is 7 days, deliver it in 6.
  11. Get up earlier and take good care of yourself to stay sharp
  12. Outsource most anything that costs you below your hourly rate
  13. Focus on the 20% of activities that reap 80% of the most rewards for you
  14. Cut things to the core bare necessities and essentials and key features
  15. Keep features, processes simple
  16. Focus on those things that help you gain or keep a customer
  17. Anticipate trends and act on them.  For example, mobile marketing is starting to smoke. Are you studying it, using it, putting together a skunkworks operation, looking into strategic alliances etc.?
  18. Phase things in to keep customers happy and moving business forward
  19. Create processing rules (see Tim Ferris’ stuff here – awesome read – love virtual assistant idea too – actually all of his stuff is brilliant – great book)
  20. Create templates of your work to easily repeat efforts
  21. Create processes
  22. Create life and decision-based rules (see Marcus Aerilius’ Meditations)
  23. Begin with and end goal in mind and then focus on all of the processes of everything you do to achieve the end, list all the steps and key critical path and look for ways to take wasted steps and time out of the process.  Rinse and repeat.
  24. Look to eliminate all busy work that takes time away from building your business
  25. Take one information day off per week – no phone, Blackberry, email etc. – rest and recharge your battery

I’m sure there are a ton more ideas – feel free to add!

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