Saturday, August 09, 2003

(no subject)

Hectic Days

Blogging has been sparse on this site the past couple of weeks. It is a very, very busy time for me and my writings have been slim. The usual seasonal busyness for a construction company, coupled with some neat opportunities make for a very full schedule.

Here are some random learnings in a hectic time as I sit in the cool of my basement at home on a Saturday morning.

  • Look for obvious constraints. The paradigm of finding the limiting factor in an operation remains valid. Time is at a premium. Helping others (and myself) apply their limited attention to the constraint is very useful.
  • Make simple calculations. When I find these constraints, a few simple numbers help clarify it. For example, my colleague Randy and I found a limiting factor related to some of our equipment. He was faced with the task of "fitting ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag." When we identified the constraint, we did some quick calculations about short-term rentals of additional equipment. The solution jumped out at us. Quickly.
  • Pay attention to people. When I get in a bind, I can forget those around me. Wrong. I'm trying to force myself to spend more, not less, of the precious time with the folks who make it happen. Listening. Noticing. Simply being there. It seems to help. I hope they think so too.
  • Openly acknowledge pain. Say "thanks". What to say, with people in a hectic time. Obvious, yeah. But often we forget.
  • It's OK to say "No". Not everything is important. This morning I pitched a reminder to order two new books recently recommended me by a friend. I love books and especially ordering new books. There was no way I was going to get to these. So, I threw away the reminders. Not a big thing. But, symbolically, very freeing in such a hectic time.
  • Find space for reflection. Constant activity is draining. Find some space. Somewhere. My basement is such a space. I hope you have some equivalent

Blogs will still continue to be sparse for the next couple of weeks, as the pace will still be severe. Yet I hope this is helpful.

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