GET-ER-DONE!Posted on June 10, 2013 by
It amazes me how some people, most in fact, who have the same amount of hours in a day, get so little done. I’ve always had a hard time understanding why people intentionally waste time and live an unproductive life. Most people are just hanging around waiting to die. Every day is the same, more or less, and a whole lifetime is spent doing or accomplishing not one darn thing worth remembering.
Not me brother. The older I get the more valuable each of those days becomes and I’m fully aware none of us are getting out of this life alive.
If you’re reading this, I hope you’re not one of those folks I’ve just described, but I bet you could make a list of those who are. Some will have your last name perhaps. If you get this week’s lesson, you paid for it, which by itself tells me you’re looking for a more active and productive lifestyle. Kudos on that decision.
It’s hard for me to understand why some people can’t get one productive thing done in a whole day. Personally, I’d rather be snowed under than bored. Never could understand how people can lay on a beach all day and do nothing. Not me bubba!
Okay, Ron, what’s the secret to getting so much done? Are you superman? Nope! Not even close. I’m a 65 year old, overweight auto-mechanic. I’m no genius. I barely got out of high school, no college, just 45 years of working for myself and making the same stupid mistakes I see people make everywhere I look.
There are definitely a few keys to productivity, but I’ll address only those that are so critical to me and my ability to get more done than most any ten people I know combined.
- Clarity – You can’t get it done if you don’t know what it is. You must be clear on the objective and make sure those responsible are clear as well. This can only be done if it’s in writing and signed off by all parties. If it’s not, it’s your fault, not theirs.
- Good People – If you try to do everything, you won’t do anything well. It takes people to succeed whither they are employers or vendors or partners or contractors. The people you choose to surround yourself with are an extension of you. If their idiots, so are you. If they’re sharp and can think and act, they make you look sharp. I get credit for a lot of stuff I didn’t do, much of which I couldn’t do. Of course, when things go wrong, I also get the blame. Therefore, I choose people who succeed more than fail and quickly replace them when I’m wrong, just as I’ve done at Global.
It’s the people at Global who make it easy for me to step in and move quickly. They’re sharp folks with more ability than they use. I’m simply letting them use it, which leads me to my next and probably most important key.
- Delegation – I have greasy shoulders so monkeys can’t land on my back. The only tasks I handle are those that can’t be handled by others. I’m a delegation fanatic. My PA, Tish, is one the receiving end of an avalanche of paperwork and assignments that never end. She delegates some and handles some and does it very well. She has learned not to let things pile up or she’ll never catch up when I’m doing the shoveling.
All the tasks at Global have been delegated to staff members who know they’ll be held accountable because I’m a guy with a planner who writes things down and doesn’t trust his memory. If I did I’d be like most people…an unorganized bumbling idiot going in circles and making excuses for my failures due to busy time management. This brings up the next key.
- Follow up – This is huge and grossly under-valued by most people in business. It’s common for leaders to dish out assignments and assume they get done. It’s uncommon for leaders to be organized enough to follow up and make sure they got done. This can’t be accomplished without a system where the tasks are recorded and time activated to check on later…i.e. the planner, which I teach at Business Management boot camp.
No follow up strains or kills relationships and business deals. I can’t tell you how many people I deal with (briefly) who can’t follow up. It seems to be a lost art. A few years ago, a New York company promised to be our leverage partner for my fund to make commercial loans. Several conversations and a trip to NY got a contract done. Then I sent them a test loan to process on one of my projects which they promised to close by year end, six weeks away. The sixth week came and no closing. After chasing them to reach a human being to talk with, they promised to close it the next week, a week late. During the entire week, I received not one phone call, fax or email from their office.
I learned what I needed to know. Good thing, I put them on the DUFUS test, which they failed. Their lack of follow up cost them millions in future revenue and a relationship with a guy who has over 250,000 customers. Pretty stupid if you ask me, but to this date, I’ve still received no apology.
I assume everyone is lying to me about what they’ll do until it’s done. I don’t trust anyone to do what they say because most don’t. That’s one of the things employees in their past lives who became entrepreneurs struggle with early into their businesses. They can’t believe people to do what they say. Don’t be one of them and do what you say when you say it. If you do, you’ll have no trouble attracting good people to work with because you’ve become the exception, not the rule.
- Multi-tasking – You can only do a lot of things at once, if you’re not doing all of them. That’s why you need delegation, good people and follow up. I always have a lot going on and yet I’m not forced to do anything on any day I choose not to work, except my teaching days. It’s fun to keep a lot of balls in the air and it spreads your risk in case one of them hits you in the nose.
I have enough projects working to support my family the rest of my life, my kid’s lives, and their kid’s lives and beyond. Any one of them could get me through life easily. I’m not so active because of the money, although it helps. It’s the thrill of the chase. It’s the game that keeps me going, just as it does for Trump, Turner, Gates and most rich people you know.
Juggling a lot of balls keeps the game exciting and doesn’t hurt to build wealth either…But, it starts with the activity to “Get-er-done.” The last thing you need is more projects if you can’t even get one done. Think about why you’re struggling. Fix the real problem until it becomes easy to move quickly and you’re able to find good people and keep them. Delegate well, manage your time and develop a follow up system. Then and only then can you become a hard charger who’s going for the gusto and accomplishing more than any ten people you know.