Efficiency, Productivity, and Ducks
Years ago, my boss at the time shared an interesting metaphor with me: his business was a duck. Seen from above water, it appeared to float gracefully toward its destination. However, a view from under the water revealed the duck’s awkwardly flapping feet, which writhed wildly in all directions. The lesson was simple: he wanted his customers to only see the view above water – that is, everything should appear to run smoothly, even if my peers and I were scrambling to make it happen.
You have probably heard this metaphor used before. While I appreciate its meaning, I refrain from using it in this context. Should we not strive to be smooth both above and under the water? Who says that the duck’s feet are not also graceful, calculated, and efficient?
I began to wonder, what sets apart a streamlined office from the chaotic “duck’s feet?” Here are a few tips that can help you and your employees run your business at its maximum potential.
- Dual monitors. The convenience and efficiency that come with using a second monitor will make you wonder how you ever survived without it. But it’s not just for pleasure – with the increased productivity, a second monitor quickly pays for itself.
- No more droning meetings. People have been griping about meetings as long as meetings have existed. It is common to feel as if “this doesn’t pertain to me,” and as a result many people lose focus. If you must draw your employees away from their work, make sure you have a clear goal planned for your meeting that you address concisely.
- Organize. While it may seem obvious that organization will make you more efficient, we forget to occasionally take a step back to assess our workspace. Do you know what all of those things on your desk are? How frequently do you use them? If you use them daily, leave them on or in your desk. If you use them once a week or less, you can put them in a nearby drawer or file.
- Stand up. Nothing good comes out of sitting still for 40 hours per week. Numerous studies have shown that standing at a waist-high desk not only will make you more productive, but it can also help you lose weight, strengthen your back, and even improve your disposition.
If you have any other tips on how you have made your office more efficient, feel free to share them in the comments below!