The simple way to effortlessly save time.
If you’re like most, you unwittingly waste time every day. After all, time has its way of inherently slipping by, oftentimes with each year passing by more quickly than the last. It’s easy to chalk it up to a byproduct of time itself, the result of not having enough time, or perhaps a lack of time management. Yet, high achievers have a simple secret that reveals how to save time that takes just two seconds.
The problem is that as people we commonly assume that we understand the expectations of a particular project, task or assignment. Yet, in reality, we don’t always have a clear vision of what the end result should look like. And so we trudge forward based on our assumptions of what we think it should be-oftentimes making it into a much bigger project than need be.
In the process, effort and energy are wasted on unimportant-if not irrelevant tasks. The result is hours lost, added stress and even missed deadlines or projects that miss the mark. But high achievers don’t have this problem because they do one uncommon thing at the start of every project.
High achievers have a simple solution referred to as the ‘two-second rule’ because it takes just two seconds to use. And it’s as easy as asking one basic question when given a new task or project:
What should the finished product be?
By getting a solid grasp on what the outcome should look like from the beginning, they spend less time on any aspects of it that might be superfluous and unnecessary. In return, they can more easily reach their goals while saving time. It’s part of Google’s backward yet brilliant strategy to increase productivity, and it might help explain the science behind how Elon Musk works upwards of 120 hours per week.
High achievers take the ‘two-second rule’ a step further, using it with the teams they manage and they even manage to use it out of the office, saving them time in their day, every day.
To save time, eliminate the potential for miscommunication
It’s not enough to think we know. To save time, we need to know we know. The core culprit of lost time is miscommunication. This miscommunication often lies within not what is said, but in what isn’t said-and the assumptions that follow. In other words, it’s very easy to assume the obvious, but that doesn’t mean assumptions are accurate.
So by taking the two seconds to ask what the end goal is, miscommunication-and assumptions-are largely eliminated. With that, you can more efficiently do a job and save time in a number of ways.
To start, it allows you to break down any task into more manageable chunks and prioritize them. It can give you greater motivation and drive since you know exactly what needs to be done in order to reach success.
It is also vital to understand expectations because It can help measure progress accurately against predetermined targets. And it gives us a better sense of direction, which can help us develop more efficient strategies for tackling projects that effectively allocate resources-so as not to waste any energy or effort.
This way, it becomes much easier for us to reach our desired outcomes. But the ‘two-second rule’ doesn’t just serve to save our own time. For managers, it can be used to save staff time.
Employ the ‘2-second rule’ to save others time
When managers are already strapped for time, it may feel arduous-if not elementary to explain your desired outcome. After all, if you provide the assignment to an employee, and they don’t ask questions it must be because they understand what you’re looking for. But people often don’t ask questions out of a fear of looking stupid as if they don’t already know something they feel they’re supposed to.
People often fail to meet expectations because they don’t know what is expected of them, according to research from Gallup. It’s often not a lack of skills, knowledge or capability-as it might be assumed when they return work that does not align with their manager’s expectations.
The onus isn’t limited to staff asking questions. It is also on the manager-who can leverage it to intuitively save staff time-which also effectively increases productivity.
What managers can see with the ‘two-second rule’ is simple: don’t assume others will know exactly what you’re looking for.
Miscommunication is common and incredibly easy. So rather than assigning a project with very basic details, take two seconds (or perhaps two minutes) to detail your desired deliverables. The result will be less time wasted, better deliverables and happier staff as no one likes to feel unsure about their work.
How to save time in all areas of your life
The ‘two-second rule’ isn’t limited to working within the workplace. It can be employed in all areas of your life to save time. Whether it’s studying for an exam or completing a DIY project around the house, having a clear vision of what’s expected will help ensure that your efforts stay focused on the right target rather than getting sidetracked with irrelevant details or tasks.
In addition to saving time and energy in this way, understanding expectations also gives you a greater sense of purpose when approaching any kind of challenge or task. In fact, purpose is a key indicator of whether or not employees will stay or quit, and it also holds the key to the seemingly strange, yet most effective employee retention strategy.
What sets high achievers apart is not just their ability to get things done, but their knowledge of what needs to be done. With that they can more effectively focus on what needs to be done, giving them more time for what they want to get done.
Extra time can assist you and your business. Austbrokers Terrace have specialists to assist you and your business as well. Speak with them today.
Source: Inc. Australia