Archive for the ‘Continuous Improvement’ Category

SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE CHAT – THE PRODUCTIVITY OF A KEY-CHAIN CARD

January 20th, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments

It’s Sunday morning.  Before heading off to church, its time for a good cup of coffee, watching last night’s DVR’d Saturday Night Live because I am too old to stay up that late, John Hagee yelling at me a bit AND, a facebook chat with my little’ brother Michael Gallagher.  Often, we chat over a cup of coffee and try to solve the world’s problems(or hopefully, at least 1 or 2 of our own!)… Today, I pinged him for a blog topic.  AND, he gave me a thought on our key-chain cards.

kroger card on keychainWe love these cards.  It only takes a few minutes at the register to sign up and there are all kinds of benefits to receive.  Why can’t we use these cards for some of the other challenges in our lives, though…?

  • Why can our grocery store keep count of my purchases on a key-chain card which then affords us the opportunity to save up to $1.00 per gallon of gas, yet my federal government can’t provide us an easier way to do our taxes?!
  • Why can our pharmacy use a key-chain card to send us an update of when our prescriptions may need to be refilled, yet our doctor’s office can’t keep track of when our last tetanus shot was????
  • Why can our fitness membership card (and the fitness place is owned by the Health System!) allow us to scan our key-chain card when going to work out, yet when we go the same doctor’s office owned by the same group they make us fill out the same stinking paperwork every time we go in and they STILL have the wrong address!!!?

There has to be easier ways, right?  We need another cup of coffee…

What’s your “key-chain card” that you couldn’t do without?  AND, what problem do you wish could be solved with a key-chain card?  You can comment by clicking on the Comment tab at the top of the post.

3 UNPLANNED BENEFITS OF SHAKING UP THE ROUTINE

September 24th, 2012 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Well, this week, my iPod gave me challenges.  On Saturday morning, I usually am out doing a long run and one of the important tools I have is the iPod, which has some playlists and podcasts that make the run a little more enjoyable.  This past Saturday, the iPod locked up on me…I was distraught…How would I do my run without one of my most important tools?

It was either wait around for the battery to die and reset the iPd, or venture out without it and ‘endure’ the silence.  Well, I dragged myself out to run, and much to my surprise and delight, it was refreshing.  I was able to generate 3 benefits without the ‘noise’ of the music in my ears:

1) Be ‘Other’ focused – There are many other people out on the trail.  I found myself engaging more with others.  A simple “good morning” to each runner or walker was generally met with a smile.  I also found myself wondering about ‘their story’.  Were they battling some of the same challenges I was?  What concerns did they have?

2) Thinking time – My mind was able to ‘hear’ more about what was going on inside!  I was able to reflect on the previous week and think about conversations I needed to have with others

3) Prayer time – I found myself wanting to fill the time with conversation.  Since I was running ‘by myself’, I found it easier to have a silent conversation with God and ask him for some big stuff!  Pretty cool.  I made sure not to converse out loud, though.

So, sometimes, changing up your routine can have some unintended, positive consequences.

When was the last time you shook things up, and were rewarded for that change? 

 

COUCH TO 10K — THE MOST IMPORTANT ‘EQUIPMENT’

September 3rd, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

Last week, I posted about the 7 most important tools on my running journey.  A few of you approached me and told me that I was missing a very important tool!

Webster defines a tool as “a device that aids in accomplishing a task”.   There is also equipment or “the fixed assets other than land or buildings used to accomplish a task.”  For runners, I have found that the most important equipment is the shoes. Do you remember this from 20 years ago?

If you are having trouble viewing the video in your browser, CLICK HERE

I think Mars Blackmon was right!

I am on my 3rd pair of shoes.  When I first got started, I bought a cheap pair of shoes.  If you have thoughts of being even a somewhat serious runner, you need to invest in a good pair of shoes.  There will be less aches and pains, and you will also minimize the risk of injury.  My current shoe is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12.

My friends at a local running store helped me to choose this shoe for my flat arch and running style (Not to mention the fact that my first pair wasn’t even the correct size!).  If you don’t have a local store, you can also use the Runner’s World Shoe Guide (CLICK HERE).

So, while there are many important tools in running, the most important equipment you can invest in is the shoes.  Just ask Mars Blackmon.

What other running tools or equipment am I missing?

7 must-have running tools for my journey from couch to 10K

August 24th, 2012 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Over the past 14 or 15 months, running has become a regular habit for me.  I have completed five 5K races and just recently completed my first 10K.  Now, every carpenter needs tools in their tool-belt to do their work.  Runners need tools, also to help them measure, improve, and stay motivated.  Here are 7 tools that go with me on each run that I do:

1) iPod – I am still using the iPod classic that was given to me more than 6 years ago by a friend.  It holds my playlists for different lengths runs, different podcasts that I subscribe to, and I have even listened to 2 books while running.  This helps to keep my mind growing during the time I spend running.  (Does anyone still buy an iPod classic?)

2) Sony earbuds – I tried a few types of earbuds when I started running.  These Sony earbuds are the most comfortable, sound pretty good, and were reasonably priced ($15) (AND, they stay in my ears!)

3) iPod armband (with velcro strap) – When i started doing a little bit longer runs in my training, it was not convenient to hold the iPod, so I needed the armband.  ($15)

4) Garmin nuvi 210 watch – This watch has been GREAT.  It has GPS so I can track and upload my runs to the computer and see where I have run.  I have even used it when playing basketball with the boys, or recently when we walked in Colonial Williamsburg.  ($249)

5) Heart rate monitor – An absolute MUST for me to ensure I am not overdoing it.  This was included with the watch, but I listed it separately as an important tool.

6) Garmin foot pod – This little gadget helps in a couple ways.  It monitors and records my cadence when I run (I am coached to run around 180, but 160 average has been normal for me).  Also, when I run inside, the foot pod keeps track of distance I have done on the treadmill so I can still record my training distances. ($45)

7) Running visor – This seems like a simple tool, but those who know me personally know that I have trouble finding hats that fit me.  This fit AND it provides some side benefits.  It helps to shade my eyes when sun is out, and the built in headband keeps the sweat from running into my eyes. ($19)

So, if you see me out running, I am all wired up.  Not everyone needs this equipment, but because I am process driven and looking to improve, they are necessary for me.  Do you have any suggestions on what’s missing from my toolbox?  What other ‘power tools’ should I consider? 

 

MAKE YOUR RUN MORE PRODUCTIVE WITH PODCASTS

March 8th, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

My story of becoming a bit of a runner this year has been challenging, fun, and is really still in development.  I have learned to appreciate and enjoy running more than I thought I would.  On my iPod, I create playlists with music that last about the time I need to complete my runs.  However, sometimes, the music gets ‘old’ for me.  I needed something different. 

Enter the Podcast!

The Podcast is a great way to have ‘entertainment’ while exercising AND get professional development at the same time.  Here is the list of Podcasts that I currently have on my iPod:

  • The Herd with Colin Cowherd – This gets me my daily injection of sports and Colin Cowherd delivers it in a funny, pull no punches kinda way!
  • In the Loop with Andy Andrews – NYT Best Selling Author shares some really good insights about his writings and other topics
  • North Point Community Church with Andy Stanley – This podcast gives me some spiritual challenges in my daily life.  Andy Stanley delivers it in a way that I can relate to, which means he simplifies the Word.  I refer to it as putting it on the lower shelf so it is easy to reach.
  • This is Your Life  with Michael Hyatt – Leadership development, personal productivity, living on purpose.  This new podcast will be full of nuggets.  I look forward to this one each week.
  • Podcast Answer Man with Cliff Ravenscraft – I started listening to this one at a suggestion of Michael Hyatt.  I am considering starting my own podcast.  Need to let that idea simmer a while.

These podcasts give me a good mix of personal and leadership development, spiritual growth, and sports. 

Do you have any other podcasts you listen to that you would suggest?

What do you listen to on your iPod when you are working out?