I read the book, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done based on the advice of Tim Ferriss. He recommended it in his video, How to Start a Business or Podcast From Scratch.
Here are some of my key takeaways:
- Time is everything. We need to be diligent in managing our time.
- Do a time audit. Write down how you spend your time in a typical day rather than just thinking about how you spend your time. You’ll be surprised how you’re actually spending it. (You can use a time tracker like toggl for this.)
- Avoid meetings. In the ideal situation, there would be no meetings. Everyone would be doing their work and know exactly what to do.
- People waste the executive’s time, but the executive also wastes a lot of his subordinate’s time with ineffective meetings.
- If you are going to have a meeting. You should be spending a lot of time preparing for the meeting to make sure it isn’t ineffective.
- Learn to manage your superior. Prep for your meeting with your superior, so you don’t waste their time.
- Rather than solving problems, effective executives focus on making a few good decisions.
- Never expect that everything will go right. An effective executive knows things will go wrong and plans for those situations.
- Constantly reassess your situation. Ask: “If we didn’t already do this, would we go into it now?”
- Police all programs and focus on the ones that really make a difference.
- Test your ideas. Spell out the criteria for good decisions.
- Get disagreement to make good decisions don’t start out with the conclusion.
- Don’t rush into a decision.
Effectiveness is About Discipline
- Common people can learn to attain uncommon effectiveness.
- It’s not about getting things done; being effective is about doing the right things well.
- Get better at time management – record time and analyze time wasters.
- Assume responsibility for results.
- Ask: “Why am I on the payroll?” Set high standards for yourself.
- Learn through doing.
- Focus on the end product.
- Practice foresight and courage.
- Learn to make rational actions. Use Benchmarks. Do a procedural analysis. Learn new work habits.
- Your analysis should inform you, but you need to act with courage to create the spark for action.
Act with Courage
- Focus on the future.
- Look at the opportunities rather than the problems.
- Chose your own direction.
- Aim high rather than for safety.
- Ask: “What will I do on Monday that is different?“