time to do nothing. Often.
Our world is too busy.
This busyness has created a population where
stress-related heart disease and cancer is at an all time
Get off the treadmill. Make the effort to schedule at
least a few minutes a day where you can do absolutely
At first you’ll feel guilty doing nothing (which shows you
how sick our society has become). But after a while your
mind and body will really look forward to these peaceful
times, and when you eventually return into the hustle and
bustle of the world, you’ll do so refreshed and renewed.
slow, sack fast
Most executives do the opposite. They
choose their staff quickly, without checking references,
having multiple interviews, or evaluating all possible
candidates. Then when they discover they’ve hired a dud,
they don’t have the heart to get rid of them.
Successful executives never rush into
hiring staff. But if they do have a poor performer, they
give them some coaching, some warnings, then if they’re
still mediocre they ditch them pronto.
The health of the overall company is
just too important to let mediocre minds bring it down.
And don’t feel too bad about the ones
you let go. If they’re any good, the sacking will be just
the wake-up call they need to lift their game and get back
onto the road to success.
Most people spend far too much of
their day doing unimportant things.
Delegate the laundry! Delegate the
car washing! Delegate the house cleaning! Then spend the
hours you save doing things that will really enrich your
career and your home life.
Most people think they can’t afford
to get hired help for these irksome tasks. But as the
renowned high performance expert, Dr Frederick Grosse,
pointed out, with all the time you’d save you could make a
heck of a lot more money.”
Think about it. It makes tremendous
work Hard, work carefully
work does not make you rich. The world is full
of people who work 70 hours a week and still
money comes when you work carefully, only
spending time doing things that actually
increase your company’s income, instead of
wasting hours every day chatting, eating, on the
phone or in meetings. Most people work less than
15 income-producing hours a week.
trivial administration at the end of the week
If your life is like mine, you probably get numerous phone
calls and a mountain of mail every day. If you respond to that as soon as you
get it, then you’re just letting other people run your
If it’s not important, leave it till
Friday afternoon at 5 o’clock, then handle it all in one
hour. That way your week will have a lot
fewer trivial interruptions and you’ll end up having
achieved a lot more.
ideas from other industries and areas
The invention of Liquid Paper@ made a
huge impact in offices in the 1970s. But its concept of
‘whiting out’ mistakes is what the painting industry had
been doing for centuries.
The creation of Velcro™
revolutionised the clothing industry practically
overnight. But its inventor says he got the idea from
noticing how burrs from plants stuck to his legs as he
Many of the most brilliant
breakthroughs in industry occur when there is a
cross-fertilisation of concepts from two different areas.
When looking to advance your
business, don’t just look at the competitors. Look at many
fields and ask yourself, ‘Would these concepts work in our
industries which might converge with yours
Just like at the cellular level, were
sub-atomic particles in our body are ceaselessly joining
together then splitting apart, so too in business there is
Petrol stations are merging with
general stores. Computers will soon merge with televisions
inside your home. Sport has already merged with fashion.
Is your industry in the process of
convergence? If it is and you can be among the first to
see it and act upon it, then a great fortune awaits.
friends with the boss’s secretary
Most people suck up to the boss. A
better tactic is to make a sincere effort to become
friends with the boss’s secretary.
Senior ranking secretaries usually
have a hell of a lot of power. And knowledge. Befriend
them, and they’ll often let you in on some of their
secrets, or at least give you regular sound advice on the
boss’s movements and moods.
employ too few people
Being a little short-staffed at work
makes the staff you’ve got work harder and really push to
do their best.
Also, strangely enough, it’s often
the companies where the staff are really working hard that
have the best team morale. Probably because most people
get a real achievement and adrenalin buzz when they’re
giving it all they’ve got.
The trick, of course, is to know the
difference between stretching staff levels and reaching
Remember Parkinson’s Law – work
expands to fill the time allotted to it. In other words,
when you’ve got lots of time you use it all, and when
you’ve got only a little time you somehow get the job
Why do we usually complete the task
even if we have a shortage of time? Primarily because when
we push ourselves, we think a lot faster and act a lot
This being the case, it makes a lot
of sense to create ‘false urgency’ whenever you’re at
work. By setting short deadlines on most tasks you’ll be
amazed at how much you can get done in a week.
Urgency works, and is a crucial
weapon in any top performer’s armoury.
Understand international business lag.
A lot of people have made their fortunes taking a good
product or business concept from one country to another.
This is because even in this age of
globalisation, it’s often years before good ideas spread
to other countries.
Take advantage of this lag time. Next
time you’re on vacation overseas, keep an eye out for
products or services that would be a big hit in your own
The world is full of people who have
made millions, and even billions, using this technique.