Execute Well: How To Get Things Done

Aaron Walker
Oct 24, 2016

Great ideas, detailed planning and good intentions cannot help you succeed unless they are backed by a strong execution strategy. As a successful businessman for 38 years, I know what it takes to get things done. Apart from having grit, determination and perseverance, you need practical knowledge on how to execute and get things done. Here is a list of actionable tips that can help you move from where you are to where you want to be.

1. Break down your vision into smaller goals

 When you have a big goal, you might think it is good to work on the entire task list and get it all done quickly. But the best approach is to break your vision down into smaller chunks and execute them in parts. When I try to clean up my front yard, I divide the area in my mind into 4 quarters and work on it one quarter at a time. This ensures incremental progress towards getting the job done without any procrastination. The same is true in business. Instead of looking at your entire year and trying to tackle your annual goals, break them down to quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Align your budgets with your short term goals. Review them and make required changes when they do not happen. In our Community at View from the Top, we are currently studying the book The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran, in which the author talks about this technique of being masterful every single day. Try it out.


2. Align your workflow with your schedule

Depending on which stage of life you are in, try to align your workflow with your schedule. If you are just starting your career, you may not have much time on your hands to work on certain goals. So even though you have dreams and goals, you may need to postpone the execution phase for now. But if you are in an empty nest stage of life, then you may have the time and freedom to pursue certain goals and execute them. Think about your current schedule, discuss it with your spouse (or business partners) and align your workflow to suit your lifestyle.


3. Work in a creative environment

Staying creative can help you execute your tasks efficiently. Creative people find effective ways of getting things done. If you feel like you are running low on your creative juices, try to mix things up a little. Change your location of work, find a creative environment or go out for a walk.


4. Learn from others who have done it

Your are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. So surround yourself with the right people. Find people in your industry or area of work who have already done and executed what you plan to execute. Read about them, follow them on social media, listen to their Ted-talks, buy their teaching material, reach out and connect with them. Being surrounded by such people will help you learn how they got things done and how you can do the same.


5. Share your vision with the right people

 Sometimes people hide from others. They say that they will not share any details with others or meet people till they make things happen. That is not the right strategy. Once you surround yourself with the right people, share your plans and vision with them. This makes you accountable and committed. This can be a great motivation for you to get things done. So do not hide; share your vision with the right people.


6. Review your progress & have a contingency plan

 Regularly measuring and taking stock of your progress will help you increase your chances of getting things done. Be open to making changes when you review. You may need to change directions or adapt a different methodology to help you progress. Things may not be working out the way you thought they would, due to economic reasons or market conditions. There is nothing wrong in accepting that and making necessary changes to your approach. Without making things hard on yourself, accept the facts and have a contingency plan. Spend time planning on what your approach is going to be if a certain method you use for execution does not work out.


7. Focus on executing a few things well

 If you want to execute well, you need to focus. One of my clients had a list of 27 things he wanted to execute. My advice to him was to take off 25 things from that list and focus on the remaining 2. At any given time, you can only focus on 2 or 3 things if you like to do a good job of it. When you focus and specialise on something, you become an expert; people are willing to pay for that expertise and you will be in demand. But if you really want to do more than just a few things in your list, you could postpone and push some to another time. Try not to do too many things at the same time. It is better to be a mile deep and an inch wide, than a mile wide and an inch deep.


8. Just do it

One of my favorite taglines is Nike’s Just do it. The key to success in execution is to stop procrastinating and start doing. Put a stake on the ground today and decide to start executing all your plans well. Give it your best and if you fail, do not worry about it, at least you have learned something new. There is nothing called ‘failure’, you either succeed or you learn from your mistakes. Now go and just do it. All the very best!

Leave your comments and let me know your thoughts or questions.


Live on Purpose!

Aaron Walker



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