Do you want to do more in less time using less energy? Then it is time to fix the bad processes in your daily activities that cause inefficiency and sub par results. This is of particular importance to those of us who work against outcomes rather than time. If you are involved in sales, or in consulting, then delivering more value using less energy and less time, means that you could generate more money by acquiring more clients.
A process is a series of steps that can be repeated to create an outcome. In order to sell a product for example, one can identify the steps starting from first contact with a potential customer all the way through to after sales service. Once a person performs the steps in a series then they are enacting a process.
Bad processes have the following characteristics:
- They may have too many steps
- The steps are not well aligned with the ultimate goal
- The process is open to interruption
So, how does one fix a bad process? In a word: FOCUS.
- Focus the steps by removing any tasks that are not absolutely needed to reach your goal. If other people require those steps for you to continue, consider outsourcing it. A good process rarely needs more than four or five steps.
- Focus the goal by clarifying it, then ensure that each step in your process allows you to reach it using the shortest route possible.
- Focus your energy by closing your process off from interruption. When you are following your process, ignore all interruptions until you are done. Very few interruptions are truly important enough to disrupt your focus.
A good process has the fewest possible steps that are fully aligned to a clear goal, and is performed without disruption.