Spotting Job Productivity Killers


Whenever you feel really frustrated by something that you’re spending your time on, it is just dragging down your productivity and it is a very inefficient type of process, you’ve got to say to yourself “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I was working for example with Sherwin Williams. They have given me permission to share this story. In Atlanta, the VP had hired me to come in. He was the district manager and had area managers. They manufacture, and distribute and sell paint as many of you probably know. And, he was explaining about their leadership asking for a weekly report that he had to send each week, what they called their WAR weekly activity report. Kind of catchy, right? And, he had to get the input from his five area managers in order to create the report with the very few things that he would then pass on to the leadership team via email.

Now the problem was that everybody in the room, the area managers and then some of the different team members, they were all providing that data to the VP in a completely different format. One was done in Excel, another would send a PDF, someone else would send an email, someone else would send a Word document. Are you seeing the problem here?

So, there is no one consistent way the fonts were different, the colors were different, the guy was having to cut and paste and compile this thing and it was taking an inordinate amount of time. So, we worked on the efficiency of that. What do you like best, what format is going to help more. What is everybody going to do to be consistent and that’s fine. But, then that begs the question, what? Why was he compiling the data for this report? Do you think there is someone in the organization who might be capable of compiling that for him and then giving it to him to review?

So, you have to think about not just how we’re working on a process and why is this inefficient, but, am I uniquely capable and qualified to do that. And that’s one of the biggest challenges I find with many business owners is that we can, we are capable of doing all sorts of things but it is a really bad use of our time and perhaps when it’s inefficient to boot. Any time your just feeling like, why am I doing this? This is such a waste of my time. That is a pretty good clue that you are in this category of doing the wrong thing wrong.