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SHAPETH UP AND GETITH THINE ACT TOGETHER

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 20, 2012

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Some tricks of the trade for being productive.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My friends and colleagues often ask me how I am able to produce so much in so little time. Although I am flattered by such compliments, it’s really not much of a secret which I attribute to the following areas (in no particular order):

* A strong sense of organization and prioritization which has been ingrained in me over the years during my professional development. Basically, I had good mentors who taught me what was right and what was wrong, what was important and what was not, and how to best spend my time and how to avoid wasting it. This included being sensitive to schedules and commitments, particularly those of customers. Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that a person’s word should be his bond. My company has now been in business for 41 years and in all of that time we have never failed to meet a customer commitment. This is something I am particularly proud of.

* Training and experience. Although I have a college degree, I recognize I am far from being perfect, and smart enough to learn from my mistakes as well as others. I network, I listen, I learn, and I believe we’re never too old to learn a new trick. As such, I am a firm believer in continuous improvement and set aside time to stay abreast of industry developments. I guess what I’m saying is that you have to exert yourself and exercise some intellectual curiosity as opposed to sitting like a vegetable and hoping someone will spoonfeed you. They won’t.

* Use of standard and reusable methodologies. I recognize the value of uniformity and standardization in work effort and understand its impact on productivity. I am also not a big believer in reinventing the wheel with each project. If something has been tried and proven, I will use it unabashedly, regardless if it is old or out of fashion. I am more interested in results. This also means I am a student of history in my field and have noted successes as well as failures.

* Competency in the use of technology. I am sure my early indoctrination in computing has materially assisted me in my work effort over the years. In particular, one thing technology taught me was the concept of multitasking; not just what I do on the computer, but also how I work in general. More importantly, I do not fear technology and am always looking for new ways for it to assist me. Make no mistake though, I have been burned on more than one occasion by new technology, particularly in the use of beta-releases. Consequently, I am less likely to migrate to something new until it has proven itself as a viable alternative. In other words, I have to trust the technology before I make it a normal part of my operations.

* Avoiding complicated solutions. I tend to believe the best solutions are simple ones. Some people have the curious habit of making life more complicated than what is really necessary. As for me, I have always sought pragmatic solutions as opposed to wallowing in technical detail. True, there may be situations where there are many elements to be addressed by a single problem. In this event, controls have to be enacted to manage complexity, but in all my years in this industry, I have never encountered a technical problem that couldn’t be conquered with a little imagination, some concentrated effort, and a lot of good old-fashioned management.

* Caring about what you produce; which I consider to be of paramount importance. If you do not have the determination or dedication to see something through to its successful completion, no amount of technology will expedite the assignment. To me, your work is a reflection of your character and how you will be judged by others. Interestingly, some people do not make this connection and put forth little effort. Caring about your work makes you more resourceful than others as you are concerned with doing whatever is necessary to get the job done. Ultimately, your work is a reflection of your value system which will become obvious to your coworkers and your boss.

Bottom-line, my productivity is based on my sense of organization and discipline I learned at home, in school and in the workplace. Fortunately, I believe I had some very good teachers along the way. The one thing I have learned is that you make money when you are organized and waste money when you aren’t.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


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5 Responses to “SHAPETH UP AND GETITH THINE ACT TOGETHER”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A B.S. of Oklahoma wrote…

    “This is a nice post.Thanks for sharing.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “No wonder the U.S. is $16 trillion in debt. Congress should take your advice.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A D.O. of Madeira Beach, Florida wrote…

    “FYI – I enjoy listening to your broadcast!”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “my productivity is based on my sense of organization and discipline I learned at home, in school and in the workplace. Fortunately, I believe I had some very good teachers along the way. ”

    Tim, I have a feeling that you are a very good teacher yourself. Great post.

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    An O.B. of Macon, Georgia wrote…

    “Hi Tim, one of the things I ain’t is organized. I sometimes envy those who are because everything for them seems to be in the right place. However, being organized in my shop is almost an impossibility.

    Of course you realize that I am not in the business of making money. My retirement pays necessary bills and commitments. But I get up and go to work every day. (just like I did when I was working) and don’t have work hard or fast or even show up if I don’t want to. And one or two days a month I stay home and play on the computer( catching up on my writing and emails from friends)

    You and I see eye to eye on customer commitment. I was not in business as long as you have been., I only spent 20 years at mine before I quit and want to work for someone else. In twenty years I never has a dissatisfied customer. I did miss a few deadlines because of material not being shipped when they said it would be.but most of the time I finished ahead of schedule.

    It was not organization that keep me in line but having a great background knowledge (both book learnin’ and hand on) that kept in the black. Thinking back maybe there was some organization to what is did. First I picked the customers brain to get a true understand of what they wanted me to build. Most folks would say, “Man o Man, he asked a lot of question” but through those question, I could get a picture in my mind of what the customer really wanted. Then I made a drawing of what had to be built and a material list and then I want shopping for it. Then came a cutting list, then a glue list, then an assembly list and a finish list..so maybe that might qualify for a wee bit of organization.

    Today the picture presented in my shop is so much different than when I was in business for myself.
    My Time is truly volunteer. I get no pay, but that are benefits.

    Might have told you before, my shop is in a very big barn, 100 x100, In October is becomes a “Haunted Barn” Charity event. It runs the whole month of October, ending on Halloween, We start working on the next years Haunt no November 1st. I went out to the barn in April of 2010 to help a friend to come tool repair and I have been there since. I build props, animated figures and all sorts rigs and gadgets. For this service, they built me a nice 25 x 25 shop and when I don’t have work for the Haunt, I build airplanes.

    Now in my shop are tools for building airplanes, Mechanics tools, carpenter’s tools, electrician’s tools and and electronics workstation. When I arrive every morning, the first place I look is the table in the center of the shop. If the Haunt requires anything from me, it will be there, and no matter what else I have planned, the Haunt come first. so at any given time you might see tools from each category all over the shop and in use. No organization what ever. On a day to day basis and sometime during the day my work load shifts into an entirely different direction.

    It sometimes gets a bit confusing but I manage to handle it OK. Time for the most part is not critical as some airplanes require several month to complete, longer if I have haunt work in the middle.

    I might find hydraulic cylinder on my table and a note saying “figure out how we can use this in the Haunt, and I think they break things just to see if they can find something I can not repair.

    My college did not qualify me for this. LOL.. But I love it. I also get to teach kids how to do things they would not learn in school,,,(how to change a light switch or wall plug, or how to hang an antique chandelier in the Living Room of the Haunt. Or maybe even be asked for advice on how to cope with a broken heart. The kids that come to work the barn are the normal kind of kids, few of them are organized either, and I have the ones that are show the other how to get there. The all know by now that to get anywhere in this world you have to produce and they come to me to learn that. Ethics, honesty and Integrity are high point on my agenda to teach them and a major lesson is to lean how to take responsibility for their own actions. My rewards come when I hear the kids in one of the rooms of the Haunt say Mr Blake taught me how to do that, you want to learn it too, or listen to one of them tell the other some wee bit of wisdom I have passed on to them.

    Being organized is good, I just ain’t tuned for it. And I know is is really bad, I like it that way. I can find most anything within an hour and that is ok I have the time.. Too long a post, I know you are busy.

    As you say,,Keep the faith,,,A truer saying than most folks realize”

    Like

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