Efficiency - A Coveted Stuck-State. Become more Efficient with NLP
Efficiency is a kind of word called a Nominalization, which freezes the active process of becoming more efficient into a static mental representation. So actually using the word EFFICIENCY makes it difficult to be EFFICIENT! So don't move towards Efficiency. Instead, behave more efficientLY.
We all want to work more efficiently, right? Be more productive, in less time. That's a lofty outcome, isn't it? Or not? Are you always more productive, in less time?
As many of you probably know, Michael Gerber authored a book called the E-Myth. He speculated that most entrepreneurs aren't actually entrepreneurial, but more like engineer-types who used to be experts in one field, and now run a small business doing that one job. So they're not really entrepreneurs. Gerber's business is devoted to teaching entrepreneurs how to optimize their business systems and do less of the grunt work.
I've known about his ideas for a couple of years now, but pulling the TIME away from other activities to follow through on his suggestions, is an ever present challenge we entrepreneurs face.
The value of knowing where Everything is,
and being efficient:
Now to the GOOD stuff. What does having an office that's up-to-date and very efficient allow us to do?
In my case, it allows me to get out of the office, and into audio & video studios. Enabling me to get studio time in -- is a major business-growth activity.
I also avoid wasting time looking for things (repeatedly). That's a huge time-waster, right there.
Obviously, though, the word "efficiency" only does a little bit, for it's own sake. Instead, denominalize it. Make that word MORE ACTIVE.
Streamline your tasks, organize yourself and your environment, and prioritize activities that will grow your existing streams of revenue -- and create new ones!
Having trouble getting started? Well, take "EFFICIENCY" as a lofty impossible end-goal, and chunk it down into smaller, ACTIVE representations, as I suggested in the prior paragraph.
Schedule a block of time this week, however small, now. Not later, now. Schedule it now, and follow through at the appropriate time. Even if it's just 10 minutes (to begin with). And during that 10 minutes you don't jump headfirst into the most pressing issue (that's what's preventing you from streamlining in the first place!).
What you do, during that block of time, is sit back. Look at the office or space around you as though it isn't yours. Can you tell what's done at each location? Each position in the room, each place -- should have a clear & unique purpose. If that's missing, write that down as one of your tasks.
Then, after that, consider how people move through & in the space. Yes, this is a little bit Feng Shui -ish, but aside from the energy weirdness and such, there's a lot to be said for maximizing the 'flow' of activities through/in a space.
Are things you need to reach regularly mostly between waist height and shoulder height (i.e., when sitting down at one place or when standing at another)? Are two people constantly bumping into each other?
How well is the space used? Are people too far away from their fax machines and printers? Or too close? What about the phones? Hand height?
Where are your files, and how efficient are your filing systems?
Do multiple people use the same filing system? Who manages writing file label tabs? Can you read everyone's handwriting? If not, have someone replace the tabs with printed tabs and minimize people's search time at the filing system every time they go in there.
Are your employees who do similar tasks doing the same thing, the same way? I hope the answer is "yes."
The list is endless, but you get the point. Pretend it isn't your space, because frankly, you may be too "close to it" to be an effective judge of optimal changes. From someone else's perspective, what needs to be done?
Once you've got a list, schedule blocks of time. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour; whatever you've got. And use that time to accomplish one goal at a time. You will thank yourself time & time again, with all the spare time you'll have created, afterwards.
So, in closing, whatever you do, don't try to tackle "efficiency."
Just streamline... organize... and prioritize....