More Juice from the Squeeze
It’s been an amazing run for many kitchen and bath showrooms with unprecedented demand and unimaginable challenges from supply chain shortcomings, quality control lapses and difficulty in attracting and retaining best-in-class team members. Many showrooms have been running at an unprecedented pace. As one showroom owner related, “Last year was the best year in the history of our company. I never want another one like it again.” One lesson that the last several years has taught us is that going full speed ahead all of the time has a downside. It increases stress and fatigue and erodes your ability to think clearly. Donna McGeorge, author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact claims that your brain will function better and more productively if you build in more downtime. To achieve peak performance, you need to be engaged, happy and relaxed. She recommends the following techniques to improve productivity and performance.
Apply a lesson from manufacturing that measures the difference between production and production capability. 85% is considered optimal for most manufacturing. As such, there is a 15% buffer to offset equipment malfunctions, labor shortages, supply chain challenges, etc. Just as manufacturing can’t optimally operate at 100% neither can humans. McGeorge recommends working at 85% to optimize your energy and mental capabilities. You can build the 15% buffer by eliminating 80 minutes from your workday and committing to taking public holidays off and use those days for family time, reading, relaxing or simply taking it easy.
Take advantage of the most productive time of the day to perform the most challenging or important tasks. For most people, this is typically the morning and block out time in the afternoon for more repetitive tasks such as checking and responding to email.
Create more time in the day by keeping meeting to no more than 25 minutes. McGeorge claims when you have a definite time limit, meetings and attendees tend to be better focused on what needs to be accomplished. Don’t meet for the sake of meeting. Have a goal for every meeting.
Creating a not-to-do list is another effective technique to get more juice from the squeeze. Tasks to avoid during the day may include checking social media, meeting before 10am or after 3 and burning the midnight oil. Concurrently, remove tasks from your to-do list that are low priority or that deter you from focusing on key performance indicators. When you eliminate tasks that are not important, you will find that productivity takes a giant leap.