Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Productivity Knowledge Base: Myths That Undermine Productivity

  1. "I need to figure out how to get my people to work harder." Wrong. You need to provide them with the training, tools, procedures, and coaching they need to work smarter.
  2. "Multitasking is the answer." Wrong. In fact, multitasking usually reduces productivity. One reason each part of the brain can do only one thing at a time. Dividing its attention between two tasks adds transaction times--and delays. Another reason is we tend to do two things poorly if we don't focus--we see this all the time when people are driving and using their cell phones. Bruce Lee's famous one-inch punch came from focus, not multitasking.
  3. "More sophisticated tools will raise productivity." Maybe, maybe not. If the tools are too hard to use (or the users just find them that way due to lack of training or whatever), productivity will suffer. Consider what happens when you automate a bad accounting system--you just get errors faster. Or, an electrician buys a sophisticated meter and doesn't learn its functions--no advantage.
  4. "Sticking to simple tools will raise productivity, because people can do their jobs instead of learning how to use and maintain fancy tools." Maybe, maybe not. If the tools take more time for the user to do the same work that could be done with a better tool, productivity will suffer. Consider what would happen if a big electrical contractor replaced its power conduit benders with manual ones--not a pretty sight. Or, an electrician tries to track down a problem using a simple voltage tester rather than a DMM with recording features.
  5. "Some people are naturally better workers than others. The key to productivity is hiring the right people." Hiring is important, but even good hiring decisions can't make up for poor management, poor tools, minimal training, poor procedures, and other failures.
  6. "The answer is putting new workers with senior workers, so they get the right OJT." Wrong. Time on a job has nothing to do with competency in that job. Some people learn for a month, then have one month's experience a dozen times a year for the next twenty years. Many "experienced" workers have bad habits they simply pass on to younger workers. That said, senior workers often have knowledge training typically doesn't provide. A good approach is involve those senior workers in developing specific training that builds on their experience, while also involving them in the new training.
  7. "I don't have the money to invest in productivity training." Wrong. While training incurs some cost up front, not training incurs enormous costs later. If you spend one hour training a crew  how to do wire pulls (this is a case where you can utilize the experience of the senior person), that is much cheaper than paying that same crew a day's wages to fix a wire pull gone wrong.



Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.