A few tips to avoid being a busy fool

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan– Understand your strategic goal and plan, plan, plan to ensure your activities match what you need to do to achieve that goal. You won’t know this unless you have criteria to measure your progress on your path to success. Eliminate any activity that doesn’t relate directly to your objectives.
  2. Avoid decision by consensus – groups and committees rarely make good decisions; they spend far too much time discussing minutiae and then ignore decisions when their personal agenda is not at the fore.
  3. Don’t let your sales team be sold to – The easiest way to get rid of a salesman is to say his products are great but you need a detailed proposal before you can make a decision. Call ended quickly, your sales team have a heap of work to do, the “client” just wanted rid of the call. Make sure there is oversight of all proposals before the sales team start on them.
  4. Never relax – if you relax in a meeting it is more likely than not to become unproductive and a talking shop. Some of my most productive meetings have been conducted standing up and to a tight time scale.
  5. Avoid rigid habits – why do the same thing just because people are comfortable with it? Change diaries, avoid fixed agendas, mix up the speaking order in meetings. Keep people on their toes and you will quickly identify those who can’t think on their feet…..
  6. Say no – not ‘I’ll consider’ it or ‘Come back to me, next week’ Busy fools allow their mouths to operate independently to their brain, just say what you mean. If someone can’t take it, are they right for your business?
  7. Ignore email – if the first thing you do at the start of the day is check your email and start responding, you haven’t planned your day! Begin by mapping out what you really need to achieve rather than allowing your Inbox to dictate your day.
  8. Learn – If you use office software whether it be Excel, Outlook or something else, know how to use it and if you don’t, do some on-line learning.  Knowing how to use the basic tools of your trade will save days! Most people don’t use these systems efficiently but an hour invested in training every few days will reap huge benefits over time.
  9. Act don’t wait – When you get an email or and enquiry, respond, file, delete otherwise you will be scanning them repeatedly becoming less and less decisive.
  10. Avoid the same brick wall – You make a decision, are working hard to achieve it but at the same point every time you get there you hit a “brick wall”. After the second or third hit you need to ask has the situation changed, do I need to review my decision or have I just taken a bad path? Busy fools have sore heads from continuously head-butting the same brick wall!