Culture, Trends & Stories

3 more ways to be effective in your B2B manufacturing business

As part II of the series on Tim Ferris's book The Four Hour Workweek, we'll be talking about why you should be consuming fewer articles, videos and podcasts, as well as setting up email auto-responders. We also want to emphasise why micro-management is not the way to go when it comes to being more effective in your company.

April 8, 2021
Written by
Natali Andersen

For Skimmers:

  1. When you consume too much information, you comprehend less, which affects your ability to make decisions. It's time to cut back on the blogs, YouTube videos and podcast shows you binge on.
  2. Checking your emails constantly throughout the day trains your clients, colleagues and yourself to become reactive, instead of proactive. This means more interruptions and less time for quality work.
  3. Micro-management is not helping you, or anyone around you. It's time to shut it down once and for all.

Here we have for you part II to the series on Tim Ferris's book, The Four Hour Workweek. Read part I here: (click here).

Tim Ferris and his book the Four Hour Work Week

The Four Hour Workweek puts forth some great ideas about reducing time wasted at the office and streamline business processes to deliver your clients' best value. Although targeting individuals, we believe that Tim's book has lots of gems for manufacturers, B2B companies and startups alike.

As part of a two-part series, we will be breaking down the top six insights we got out of reading The Four Hour Workweek into two articles. Follow us on socials to stay in the loop!

Insight 4

If you've recently checked out your 'screen time' settings on your phone, you've probably noticed an exponential increase in your time spent reading articles, watching videos and listening to podcasts.

Screen shot of screen time on iPhone
Screen time settings on the iPhone

You're not alone. According to Forbes, global online content consumption doubled in 2020. However, how much of the information you're consuming do you comprehend? "Increased output necessitates decreased input" Obviously, it's crucial to stay informed and keep up to date with the industry, but that probably lies in only 10% of all the articles, YouTube and audiobooks you consume weekly. When you ingest more than you can digest, it can lead to information overload, which can affect your cognitive and decision-making abilities.

Synonyms of information overload: Digital overload, over-consumption, infoxication, infobesity, data smog, information consumerism, mental fog. In his book, Tim admits that he only consumes around 1/3 of industry magazines, and one business magazine, for a total of 4 hours per month. He believes that this practice of being intentional to what he reads, listens to and watches provides the mental clarity he needs to make effective decisions.Before you begin your next book, article or video, ask yourself the following:

  1. Will I use this information for something immediate and vital?
  2. Is this a “just-in-time” information or a “just-in-case” information?

"Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace."

Insight 5

You should not be clicking into emails as they arrive in your inbox. That's just as effective as doing your laundry every time you have worn a piece of clothing, instead of batching them and doing them in cycles.

Electronics on a table

Email, as Tim puts it: "Email is the single largest interruption in modern life." The idea is to become more intentional and proactive to how you manage your email, instead of reactive. Tim suggests that the best way to take back control over your time is to set up auto-responders. Here's one of the templates provided in the book, the Four Hour Workweek:

Greetings, Friends [or Esteemed Colleagues],

Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12: 00 P.M. ET [or your time zone] and 4: 00 P.M. ET.
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12: 00 P.M. or 4: 00 P.M., please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555.
Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

This communicates to your clients and colleagues what they can expect in terms of response times. Learn more about auto-responders from Tim's blog post here: https://tim.blog/autoresponse/

Insight 6

We all know that micro-management is the ultimate killer to productivity and efficiency at work. It's time to end it once and for all.

Getting frustrated as an employee

We talked about empowering your team in more length in our previous post, which you can read here: https://www.inqova.com/insight/exploring-3-ways-manufacturers-can-implement-the-4-hour-workweek-by-tim-ferris If you dealing with a manager that has micro-managing tendencies, it might be time to sit down with them and communicate your wish to be more productive and to pose less interruptions. Tim suggests beginning with something like this:

"I hate that I have to interrupt you so much and pull you away from more important things I know you have on your plate. I was doing some reading and had some thoughts on how I might be more productive. Do you have a second?"

Suggest a short trial period and see how things go, you might be surprised by how open people are to working these things out.

Conclusion

  1. When you consume too much information, you comprehend less, and it affects your ability to make decisions. It's time to cut back on the blogs, YouTube videos and podcast shows you follow.
  2. Checking your email constantly throughout your day trains your clients, colleagues and yourself to become reactive, instead of proactive. This means more interruptions and less time for quality work.
  3. Micro-management is not helping you, and everyone around you. It's time to shut it down once and for all.

About Tim

Tim Ferris has been listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” and one of Fortune’s “40 under 40.” He is an early-stage technology investor/advisor (Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of five #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. The Observer and other media have called Tim “the Oprah of audio” due to the influence of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which is the first business/interview podcast to exceed 100 million downloads. It has now exceeded 600 million downloads.


Watch Tim's TED talk on fear setting here: