by Lina Martinez

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Image via Pixabay

There are a truly staggering number of books and instructional videos out there promoting all sorts of different techniques and strategies that may help you to excel in your professional life, and in your particular industry niche.

Many of these techniques and strategies will be directly useful – but the key point to take home, in any case, is that just about everyone is looking for effective ways to boost their efficiency and to gain the edge on the competition. Among other things, that means that if you aren’t doing the same, you’re likely to get left behind.

If you’re new to business – or if you’re just beginning to dip your toe into the world of efficiency-boosting techniques – here are a few simple and straightforward principles and suggestions  for boosting your professional efficiency.

Level up your tools

When rival companies are competing at a high level, it’s pretty safe to assume that both parties are working hard, both are exploring different strategies for efficiency, and both are probably doing a lot of the same core things.

One of the key areas where a difference can be made, is with regards to the kinds of tools that each company is employing.

For example, certain aerospace companies make quite dramatic savings per aircraft, by virtue of the fact that they are using particular sorts of composite routing tools that aren’t ubiquitous across the industry.

In your specific professional context, these “tools” may be items of mechanical equipment, or they may be software programs.

In any event, one of the surest ways of gaining an edge is by exploring the different tools that are available to you, and selecting those that work just that little bit better.

Narrow your focus, and strive to become “1% better” every day

James Clear, author of the book “Atomic Habits,” argues that it’s not so much your big-picture goals as your every day habits, that are most likely to lead to success in your personal and professional lives.

Among the various examples Clear gives in his book, is the case of the British cycling team who first won the Tour de France after decades of mediocre performance. Their big secret? Well, they started to focus on small, iterative improvements – specifically, they started to focus on getting “1% better” every day.

It’s often very difficult to conceptualise and implement a comprehensive strategy for turning your professional life around. But, given a lot of thought, everyone can identify and address areas of their professional lives where they could be performing “1% better.”

Narrow your focus, and strive to become 1% better every day, and the results may be dramatic.

Introduce and apply insights from skilled generalists

It’s commonly believed that in order to be successful in any given endeavour, you’ve got to be as monomaniacally focused as possible, and ideally should have started the process of “training” and “specialising”  as early as possible, too.

The recently released book, “Range” takes a different view – and cites plenty of examples from research and history to show that skilled “generalists” are often more insightful, better at problem-solving, and more likely to be successful in many domains, than “specialists.”

When you’re looking for ways to increase the efficiency of your business, you need insights from people with good lateral thinking ability. Try to get suggestions from skilled “generalists”, as they may give you ideas that never would have occurred to you before.