Shapeth Up and Get Thine Act Together


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 includes 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 37 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.  One thing technology taught me in particular 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.

Author: Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.

He can be contacted at:  [email protected]

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