An In-Depth Look at The First Pillar of Productivity

I hope to clarify some of the points made in our previous article: The First Pillar of Productivity: Energy. Mainly because properly conveying everything I am saying is important. It’s important because having energy, is the cornerstone of work. So, to elaborate, let me point out what energy isn’t, at least in our context.

  • Energy isn’t some metaphysical force
  • Energy isn’t some spiritual power
  • Energy isn’t intangible

Energy is literally the physical energy you or your employees have. If you are exhausted, you’re out of energy. If you are tired, you are out of energy, and here at Paradigm, we consider Energy to be the Cornerstone of Productivity.

Energy: The Cornerstone of Productivity

Why is energy the cornerstone of productivity? To do anything, you need to have enough energy required to do something. Without energy, every other Pillar of Productivity cannot stand.

For example, when someone suffers from burnout, it means all of their energy has been burnt up. They didn’t take the time to replenish their energy, and their productivity takes a nose dive.

Then, as a business owner, not only is your energy important but the energy of every one of your employees is important. At scale, the energy of each employee makes an impact on your businesses top line revenue. Your company’s overall productivity is the sum of every employee’s energy.

While there isn’t much you can do to make employees more energetic, you can make them more efficient with their “energy output”.

Energy Efficiency

How can you possibly make someone else’s “energy output” more efficient, i.e. how can you make them “energy efficient”? Simple, by changing how they use their energy. For instance, the Diesel Engine has a better “fuel efficiency” than a Gasoline Engine because it has a higher compression ratio. In your business, energy efficiency results in an increase of tasks completed every hour.

Here are a few ways to improve “energy efficiency:”

  1. Automate the redundant processes that your office completes
  2. Re-engineer how processes are done
  3. Improve Focus

1. Automate the redundant processes that your office completes

Technology solutions such as Robotic Process Automation(RPA), Cognitive Automation, Macros, and API integrations reduce the amount of work that has to be done per task. To explain what we mean by “the amount of work performed per task”, consider the amount of work performed as “Operations per task.” To define what we mean by “operations per task” we simply mean, any Input that a User/Human gives to the computer, like, clicking a link, opening an app, copying, pasting, closing, an app and so on. Many types of tasks may have an upward of 10,000 operations, i.e. 3,000 mouse clicks, and 7,000 keyboard presses(someone typing information into the computer).

But with today’s technology a lot of those operations, sometimes all of them, could be automated. So those 10,000 mouse clicks are no longer taking up an employee’s energy. That employee can then focus on a separate task.

This empowers your staff to often perform several tasks at once, or even better, those tasks can be made independent from the staff, while a “Robotic Processing Staff” handles the automated tasks.

The result? Rather than just maintaining your company, employee energy can focus on performing tasks that add value.

2. Re-engineer how processes are done

Maybe your processes are organized incorrectly. By Applying the 80/20 rule, aka the Pareto Principle, to your processes, it may help optimize processes that waste energy.

What exactly does that mean? Evaluate 20% of the processes that have 80% of the impact on your teams energy. Then see what you can do to optimize how those processes are performed, so they have less impact.

Learn More about the Pareto Principle Here…

Re-engineering processes may also be as simple as implementing clear rules, steps, or workflows that need to be followed towards completing “redundant” tasks that your team have to perform every day.

We have created a few processing re-engineering ideas in the following articles:

3. Focus

Multi-tasking stinks. Multi-tasking sucks up the energy that you could be putting into one singular task.

How can you help your team focus?

Some members of your team may be natural multi-taskers while others can’t walk and chew gum. Really it comes down to you getting to know each person at your company, so you can learn what helps them focus as an individual.

We will go over Focus more here in the near future, so be sure to subscribe if you want to learn more.

Measuring Return on Investment

Prior to implementing any of this, of course, you should determine if doing it will result in a decent ROI. It might not. But if you are either trying to grow your company or your company is already pretty large even a 20% implementation should have direct, and indirect returns.

A good rule of thumb, if you are frustrated because your office isn’t productive, you can expect a decent ROI.

Aaron McKeehan

Founder of Paradigm. Passionate about simplifying business processes so businesses can become more productive, and save time.