The one thing that all highly successful people do is to stay organized and do more of what works. They make time to measure their results and follow efficient routines that save time and money.

They know what activities are critical to getting results.

Optimization is the process of incrementally improving your processes, systems, or better still how you work.

Success in any endeavour is a process — unless you’ve peaked and want to retire. Making progress in life and career requires measurements, upgrades and a flexible mindset to adapt to better systems, rules and principles.

Optimization is a popular concept in the technology world. Launching a product is always just the beginning — constant tweaks and upgrades are required to create something truly extraordinary.

The same concept can be applied to how we build our careers and lead our lives — a flexible mindset allows you to make room for improvement, upgrade or reinvention.

Find the small tasks you do over and over, and make them better

The main goal of optimization is to reduce or eliminate time and resource wastage, unnecessary costs, bottlenecks, and mistakes while achieving the objective of the process.

Although the natural tendency is to stick with what works, true growth comes from constantly challenging ourselves (and our projects, teams) in small ways every day.

“Despite research that encourages us to build on our strengths, we spend more time fixing what’s broken than optimizing what works. Why? Because any measure of success impairs our ability to imagine something better” argues Scott Belsky,founder of Behance, and Adobe’s Chief Product Officer.

By tracking your weekly, or monthly efforts (and corresponding results) you’re able to identify the processes that are contributing to the results you seek. You gain valuable insights for making improvements and optimizing processes that are not working.

Optimisations also help you track how much progress you’ve made on your primary tasks connected with your ultimate goals.

If you’re trying to lose weight, an example could be “work out half an hour” every day instead of sprinting for an hour once a week.

Have a bunch of emails to send? Set out ‘email time’ in your calendar and then sit down for half an hour, an hour, however long you need to take care of them. That way you don’t have to keep getting back to it every ten minutes.

Need to pay your bills? Don’t pay one when you find a moment and another in the next passing break. Put it directly into your calendar —” bill payment at 3 pm” works better. Or better still automate the process if you do it at the same time each month. Get clarity of plan and stick with it.

You can also optimise your environment by getting rid of simple distractions like notifications that make concentration even harder. The temptations of distractions are strong. Master your tools and make them work for you.

Rethink your processes for getting work done and improving yourself. Ask yourself: Is there a better way to achieve the same goal? How much time does process use/waste? Where does the process stall? Which part of the process can be automated to make for high-value work?

For effective optimisation, every detail is important. Through regular evaluation, you can stay ahead of yourself and achieve your project or life goals without wasting time and resources that could be used elsewhere.

“Despite the quality of your ideas and output, the impact you will make largely depends on your ability to constantly optimize — to build on your successes and grow them into something greater,” says Scott.

A few changes every week be can the difference between huge improvements and getting the same results every month. Optimise your efficiency and productivity and you will see noticeable strides towards your goals.

It pays to regain control of your time, energy, and environment! It’s time to reach your peak and get back to your “prime” to get what you want.

It’s important to be intentional about the role of optimisation in your life. Plan it and move on to important things that need your attention.

Optimize your way to success, but recognize that, eventually, obsessive optimization can become a detriment to getting real work done. Make the process work for you.

Optimize is about being consistent — being consistently productive, not pushing yourself to the unattainable 100%.

Originally published on Medium.