Tesla upset the balances in the automotive market and helped major automakers to accelerate their electric vehicle production. After the launch of its new electric truck, which is expected to go on sale in 2020, the company reminded us that it has always been an innovative company.
While talking about all these developments, we always hear the name of Elon Musk. But one of the biggest keys to this success are the unique designs of the company’s Chief Automotive Designer, Franz von Holzhausen. (Just a little bit of information, he designed the Model S, which went on sale in 2008 and was a huge success.)
You will probably never design a car in your lifetime. But you can use Franz von Holzhausen’s principles to design your own life.
1) Efficiency in planning
It took only eight months for Tesla to bring the Model S to market after its debut in 2009. It’s a process that can take years for most automakers. Of course, Von Holzhausen and his team spent many sleepless nights. But they have minimized the time wasted on unnecessary steps by putting them in a certain order to maximize results.
You can apply this approach to your business-related projects. Here are some areas where you can start:
Focus: Science shows that multitasking kills productivity. Avoid it as much as possible. Reduce your distractions, isolate yourself from the outside environment, and focus on one task at a time. Make sure to use the tools that help you, but don’t let them grab your attention and take your time. Things like this can do more harm than help.
Empowerment: Taking on too many tasks does not lead to productive work. It often creates an employee who is constantly stressed and refuses to give up on projects. People in power often break this rule and, worse still, expect the same from those who want to rise. A true leader, on the other hand, knows when a team should be on task and when to stay out of it.
Time tracking: Can you accurately measure the time you waste and the time you spend being productive when you’re stuck? Tracking time spent working and time ‘busy’ can really enlighten you on where to invest in yourself. To be effective, you need to plan your activities and projects. Set a time for a task, make a phone call and finish it on time. If you can’t finish your work on time, set aside half an hour more for the same task the next day and consider this in your future plans.
Downtime: Despite what many career-oriented people think, not all work done without downtime equals more productivity. Your body needs rest and time off from work each day to re-energize and attack the new day.
2) Pay attention to details
Von Holzhausen’s approach involved focusing on areas that other automakers had overlooked. For example, he focused on the door handle and changed its design to increase the driver’s initial contact with the car.
Thoroughly completing a task in any area of a project, no matter how small, requires quite serious attention. As you work, you may discover that some points require more attention. Your focus may change over time, but don’t forget to go back and pay attention to the remaining work once you’re done with the details.
What do the effects of attention to detail look like during and after the project?
When giving something to interested parties in a form they can use, you should generally provide precise and consistent conclusions about what you are reporting. You can do this using a timeline with the help of to-do lists and shared calendars. This will help prevent small details from falling into the cracks.
Ultimately, this allows you to work more comfortably as it gives your advisors confidence about your abilities.
3) Try something new
When von Holzhausen moved from Mazda to Tesla, he made the choice to “leave a traditional automaker”, which many conventional-minded experts questioned. This choice put him at the top.
He got a chance to work for a company that works and reflects on its promises about the future, rather than reassuring oneself. This choice made him take a different path that led to incredible results.
You may not have the option to change careers or employers. However, you can also achieve the desired effect by applying new approaches. Experience how effective something as simple as changing your working environment can be. Another suggestion might be to familiarize your team with using a technology they haven’t used before.
If you’re the project leader and have recently learned some new management tricks, try them out to see what works. Try testing team members’ skills in areas outside of their normal range.
Knowing where your “box” is can help you explore new ways of working inside and outside the box. Von Holzhausen not only found new ways to design cars; he discovered new ideas by changing the spaces, bringing new perspectives to previous design approaches, and used a new technology to complete the same operations more efficiently.