Strategies To Get The Best Results
Learn how to create a more enjoyable path on your way to your results.
The strategies are a culmination and integration of many lessons learned over many people. These lessons show up time and again in various contexts. The common theme across them is that they can make a significant difference in your ability to accomplish the results you want. What you do with them is up to you. Knowing is often half the battle and there’s a good chance that some of the strategies may surprise you.
Strategy # 1: Outcomes over Activities
Work backwards from the end in mind by figuring out the outcomes you want to accomplish. One simple way is asking yourself, “What do you want to accomplish?” The trap you can fall into is asking yourself, “What are you trying to do?” The key take away is that if you know where you want to go, there’s lots of ways to get there.
Strategy #2 : Goals Are Vehicles
They are a means to an end. While reaching for a goal, you become something more. That’s why you want goals that stretch you. You support yourself better by creating specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely goals. (SMART Goals)
Strategy #3 : Know the System
When you need to produce results, one of the best things to do is figure out the system. If you know how things work, you know where you fit in. You also know who needs to be involved when you need to get things done. Instead, find a way to make the system work for you. When you figure out the system, part of your job is to figure out the key levers you can pull. Sometimes, it’s as simple as knowing when to try and pull things off.
Strategy #4 : Know the Cycle & Rhythms
Cycles and rhythms can dramatically impact the success of what you do. If you know the rhythms and know the cycles you can make them work to your advantage or at least set better expectations. A lot of failures aren’t the result of bad ideas, but a consequence of bad timing. You might have experienced the upside of this when everything just seemed
to go your way and you were riding a wave.
Strategy #5 : Treat Time as a Valuable Resource
One of the most important factors in your consistent success is how you treat time. In order to thrive, you must spend time in things that make you strong, make you happy, and keep you growing. Think of yourself as the main manager of your time. Ultimately, you get what you spend your time in.
Strategy #6 : Fix Time, Flex Scope
Fixing time leads to improved time management, better energy management, improved techniques, and ultimately better results. We fixed time, but flexed scope. We bit off what we could chew and prioritized value. It’s that simple. When you fix time, you hit more windows of opportunity. You become more reliable to yourself and other people, because you stop biting off what you can’t chew. You get in touch with your capacity.
Strategy #7 : Diversify Your Results
You spread your life force across certain investments. Set minimums and maximums. Take a lot at where you’re over-investing and under investing. For example, you might establish a maximum number of hours in your career, and a minimum number of hours on your health each week. If your relationships are slipping, seize the opportunity to carve out more time for them. You’ll find that you get more of what you focus on and more of what you spend time and energy on.
Strategy #8 : Next Best Thing to Do
What’s the next best thing to do? It’s a quick check to help you course correct. That’s completely different than asking yourself such a pointed question at the start of your week, at the start of your day, or in the moment. Before you worry about whether you have the right answer, get in the habit of asking the question. Your mind is a powerful resource when you ask the right questions.
Strategy #9 : Value Delivered over Backlog Burndown
Backlogs tend to have two problems. First, backlogs rot over time. The longer an item sits in a backlog, the better chance that it’s time has come and gone, or that something else is more important now. The second common problem is they are often overly detailed plans. Don’t get bogged in details. Stick with tickler lists with just enough notes to feed into your decisions and to remind you what’s important.
Strategy #10 : Make It a Project
When you make something a project, you turn it into something more manageable. You give it a start and a finish. You can figure out the work involved. You can weigh the benefits of it against other things you might invest your life force in.
Strategy #11 : Have a Strong Week
First, figure out the activities each week that make you weak and that make you strong. Pay special attention to what makes you weak. Things that make you weak are those which leave you feeling drained—not in a good way. You never look forward to them. Pay attention to what makes you strong. Next, fix your week. Don’t let your weaknesses spring leaks in an otherwise potentially strong schedule.
Strategy #12 : Know Yourself
You can learn all the strategies in the world, but if you don’t know your own patterns, there’s a good chance they won’t help. If you know your own patterns, strengths, and weaknesses, then you can choose and adopt more effective strategies. If it’s not working for you, change your mindset. Know how to push your own buttons. Make sure you know why you do what you do.
Strategy #13 : Team Up
Pair up, team up, buddy up, whatever. Find somebody to complement your skills. If you’re a Starter, pair with a Finisher. If you’re a Maximizer, pair with a Simplifier. If you’re a Thinker, pair with a Doer. This keeps momentum and you get the benefit of synergy.
Strategy #14 : Factor Thinking from Doing
What do the most successful people that get results have in common? They don’t second guess themselves every step of the way. They don’t analyze everything while they do it. They decide and go. If you think through your actions up front, you can write the key actions to execute. If this is a routine that you’ll perform regularly, you now have a script that you can improve.
Strategy #15 : Factor Practice from Performance
When you’re practicing, it makes sense for you to go slower and be more thoughtful to get the routine down or learn a new technique. You might even be doing a dry run. When you’re performing, you can’t be second guessing yourself along the way. Simply perform.
Strategy #16 : Measure Against Effectiveness
For something to be useful, it first needs to be effective. It needs to work. You can want it to work all you want, but you have to be honest with what you’re getting. If it’s not working change your approach. That’s the key to success. Throw out what works in favor for what works. There are many ways to accomplishing something; the challenge, of course, is finding the right technique.
Strategy #17 : Know What You’re Getting
When you take actions, you produce results. Pay attention to what you’re getting. This includes both qualitative and quantitative feedback. There are always clues. The pitfall is to kid yourself when it counts. The quicker you have a good sense of how things are actually working out, the faster you can change your approach to something that might work better.
Strategy #18 : Model the Best
One of the ways to find the best technique is to model from others or to find reference examples. Stand on the shoulders of giants. One of the worst mistakes people make is reinventing the wheel.
“Best” is subjective and context dependent. What’s important is that you meet your objectives in the most effective and efficient way you can. That’s both the art and the science of results.
Strategy #19 : Test Your Results
The fastest way to get some useful feedback is to test your results. Call it an experiment and see what you can do. Don’t rely on your ability to predict what you can do; take action and get real feedback instead. One of the big surprises for people is when they believe they can’t do something and they actually test it. Sometimes it works better to try to prove your right. If you really think you can’t do something, prove it.
Strategy #20 : Ask Better Questions
The right questions can dramatically improve your results. They can improve your efficiency and effectiveness. They can improve your state of mind. In contrast, the wrong questions can waste your time and put you in a deadlock. The right questions can save you from working on the wrong things, or using the wrong approach. They can get you out of a bind. If you know how to ask more effective questions, you can easily avoid deadlocks and keep forward momentum.
Strategy #21 : Enjoy the Process
Don’t let the focus on results trump your approach. You have to enjoy the process, or you won’t achieve sustainable results. This doesn’t mean that every aspect along the way tickles you pink. What it means is that you feel the journey is worth it, and it’s not just because of the destination. You become more along the way without sacrificing the basics along the way: like your health, your mind, your emotions, your relationships, and your fun.
Strategy #22 : Link It to Good Feelings
It’s actually important to link what you do to good feelings where possible. If you simply try to talk yourself into something, then all you end up with is a logical argument that’s not very motivating. You get more leverage on yourself if you create an emotional connection. For example, let’s say you don’t like the pain of working out. One technique you can use is to play your favorite songs. You’ll end up linking the workout to feeling good.
Strategy #23 : Make the Most of What You’ve Got
You’ll end up in a lot of situations that aren’t ideal. That’s called life. Your ability to stand strong when tested will serve you in the long run. Another way to make the most of what you’ve got is to play to your strengths. The simplest way to play to your strengths is to spend more time in your strengths, and less time in your weaknesses. While you can improve your weaknesses, you get more results by maximizing your strengths.
Strategy #24 : Teach What You Need to Learn
It forces you to learn the information at a deeper level. Rather than just recognition, you work on your recall. You also get exposed to more questions and perspectives. Teaching requires you to burn info in at a deeper level. This requires sustained thinking and focus. Of course, as you put the information into practice, you’ll want to know it beyond the intellectual. Through repetition and practice you’ll want to burn it at an emotional and physical level.
Strategy #25 : Pave the Way Forward
If you think of yourself as a pathfinder, you can improve your results. Rather than stumble on results, pave a path towards it. When you find a path that works, you can improve the path by doing some simple things. If you treat what you do like a system, you can improve it systematically. Make it easy for you and others.
In Summary :
Familiarize yourself with the 25 strategies for getting results and draw from them as needed to help you turn the underlying principles into action. Use the strategies to help guide your tactics. Tailor and adapt the strategies to suit your scenarios and context. Test strategies to find what works. Mix and match strategies as appropriate.