How 10 minutes = 7 weeks lost productivity

February 26th, 2011 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

You know the person…The one you can ALWAYS count on to be late for meetings to get started.  They always have a good excuse, right?  You get the obligatory “Sorry, I am late”:

But, do you know that being just 10 minutes late for a meeting can result in WEEKS of lost productivity per year for your team?

The math is very simple. 

  • You regularly arrive 10 minutes late for a meeting
  • You are in 5 meetings a week on average (250 meetings per year – we can talk about having too many meetings later!!!)
  • You have 7 people in each meeting on average

Do the math:  250*7*10 =17,500 minutes = 292 hours, 0r 7.3 weeks’ productivity!!! 

There it is…New Math  10 minutes = 7.3 weeks…LOST!  You cannot get that time back no matter how hard you work.

Being on time for meetings is productive.  It is also more respectful of the people you are working with each day.

Do you have a picture of this person?  Is this person always late for meetings YOU?  Next time someone is late for a meeting, show them the math.

6 tips to get 4 hours of work done…in 2 hours

February 1st, 2011 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

The most productive time I have each week happens on Monday mornings at my home office.  I feel like I am able to get about 4 hours of work done in 2 hours’ time. 

There are certain disciplines I need to get completed on a weekly basis.    When completed, I really do feel that I have gotten about 4 hours of work done in a short period of time.  How am I able to do this?  There are 6 things that must be done:

1) Schedule the time – Put it on your calendar.  If you don’t plan your time, someone else will.

2) Have a standard agenda – What are the things that must be done in that 2 hour period?  Create a checklist.  My checklist currently has 7 items on it that I need to complete on a weekly basis.  This list changed periodically based upon my needs.

3) Learn to say “NO” – Too often, others will ask to have things done during your time.  You know how it happens: “John, do you have a minute?” Generally, that minute turns into 5 or 10 or even 30 minutes.  You have got to learn to say No.  Or, at a minimum, “Not now, but can we meet at 11:00?”

4) Remove all the distractions – Turn off your social media, your email system, and all the other distractions(if you work out of a home office lime me, you will need to set boundaries with your family as well!).  It has to be focused time.

5) Start and end ON TIME  – a 2-hour block of time is about as long as any meeting can last to be effective.  (Even a meeting with yourself!).  If you don’t get all the work done in 2 hours, schedule another block of time later in the day to complete the tasks.  If you find yourself always running longer than 2 hours, you may need to re-evaluate your list! 

6) Reward yourself – If you are able to complete steps 1 through 5 successfully, reward yourself.  Maybe it’s a good cup of coffee or something that you enjoy. 

Now, if I can just figure out how to do this with the REST of my week!

What is your most productive time?  What tips can you share that help to make it productive? Please share by commenting below.

Book Review – Decision Points

January 15th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I completed Decision Points.  What a fantastic read. 

Whether or not you were a George Bush supporter (which I was), I believe this book will be on best-seller lists for a long time.  I didn’t necessarily always agree with the decisions that President Bush made, but after reading the book I now have a better appreciation of the process he used to make important decisions.  Each chapter is based upon a major decision or series of decisions the president had to make.

His process was clear and consistent.  There were 3 distinct processes he used in making these decisions:

1) He studied history – He read many books of past decision makers

2) He seeked insight from subject matter experts and/or his inner circle – Whether it was a family member, a relationship he had build in his life, or his staff, he asked others for their input

3) He prayed –   He prayed for wisdom, strength, and courage in making tough decisions.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “After the nightmare of September 11, America went seven and a half years without another successful terrorist attack on our soil.  If I had to summarize my most meaningful accomplishments as president in one sentence, that would be it.”
  • I had forgotten a horrible quote Senator Harry Reid made in April 2007 when he declared, “The war is lost, the surge is not accomplishing anything.” The majority leader of the Senate had used his platform to tell 145,000 of our troops they were fighting a lost cause.  Great motivation , Harry, and one of the reasons his legacy will be ‘lost’ in American history for me.
  • When President Bush first got what he felt was his reassuring call he should run for president during a sermon .  His mother was with him  prior to church and told him, “get over it (his struggle with the decision).  Make up your mind, and move on.” I just love the direct encouragement of mothers!!  And, after the sermon when God calls Moses to action, his mother leans over to him and whispers, “he is talking to you.”  For me, those are moments where I get chills!

The book was 481 pages in length.  My ‘dogear measurement’ probably doesn’t work for biographies and autobiographies.  I did find in his book an interesting ‘challenge’ he had with Karl Rove on who read the most.  Rather than only measure books read, they competed in pages and lateral area.  So, I will track this during the year.  Total lateral area for the book = 481 pages x 31.5 sq in per page = 15,151.5 sq in read!  You will enjoy every sq inch of this book.  I am sure if you read it, you will have a new found appreciation for the decisions a President must make.

Has anyone else read the book?  Let me know what you think. What other biography work do you suggest for good reading? 

You are responsible for customer service…NOT your computer!

January 8th, 2011 by Gallagher John No Comments
  • Papa John’s has really good pizza.

Every once in a while, I realize I may have a customer experience that is not satisfactory. You know the experienceI am taking about.  It’s the experience that leaves you yelling out in frustration at an innocent family member!  I had one of those experiences recently.

Our family really likes Papa John’s Pizza.  Good quality…decent prices…  I am even willing to drive to pick it up since they do not deliver to my house.  But, my recent experience was one of the more frustrating experiences I’ve had for a long time.

Upon landing in Roanoke after a long week out of town, I call my family to see what they want to have for Friday dinner and they want…pizza.  Not just pizza, though, but Papa John’s Pizza.   I phone in my order and learn that ALL Large Pizzas are $10.  All my son wants is a Double Pepperoni pizza.  When trying to order his pizza I hear the following:

  • I am sorry sir. We can no longer do double pepperoni.  Our computer won’t let us do it.”
  • “We just got a NEW computer system and it won’t let us put anything in double.”
  • If you order online, you CAN get double toppings, but I cannot do that here at the store.
  • That would be confusing and we are very busy.”
  • “If you want to make a complaint, you can go online.”

Well, their invitation to file a complaint online has been fulfilled.  So, what should we all learn about customer service from this:

1)  Customers have options: – The phone number for Bellacino’s pizza in Roanoke is 540-989-2009.  They will do double pepperoni adn their computer allows it!

2) Leaders should train their team to SOLVE PROBLEMS The pizza @ Papa John’s is very good and a good value.  I don’t blame the employees for the fact that they didn’t have creative options to solve my desire for a double pepperoni pizza.  This is a Leadership issue.  Leaders need to train their employees according to company GUIDELINES, but give them authority to SOLVE SIMPLE PROBLEMS.

3) Computers are important, but don’t think they will solve all problems – Computers are rarely the ‘silver bullet’.  In this case, the Dinosaur (the computer) is driving the car (the business), and the dinosaur WILL ultimately crush the relationships you have with your customers. 

“Studies show that people will tell six times as many people about a negative customer experience campared with a positive experience.”   

When have computers failed you in your relationship building?

2011 blogging goal – Not just ‘more’, but ‘more value’

January 2nd, 2011 by Gallagher John 4 Comments

Above is a Wordle, which generates a view of the ‘Theme’ for my 2010 blog posts.  I don’t believe there were any surprises.  I hope that you have found my posts valuable.

For 2011, I don’t want to get caught up in the urge to blog ‘more’.  For my blog in 2011:

  • I don’t want a goal to do more blog posts, I want to add more value to the posts I have
  • I don’t want a goal to gather more followers, I want to add more value to the followers I have
  • I don’t want a goal to get more comments, I want the comments to add more value to those who read.

So, for 2011, I want to add more value to you, the reader.  If I am doing that, I believe the result will be more followers, more comments, more posts that are born from your comments and questions.

So, how can I add more value for you in 2011 through this blog?

2010 – That was not easy – but easier…

December 31st, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Don’t you wish we had one of these buttons for ‘life’?  Hard to believe that 2010 has come and gone.  In the Gallagher household, it was another year of growth for us as a family.  Somewhere I heard that the 3 most stressful things in life to do are: 1) get married, 2) start a new job, and 3) move. 

Well, thanks to my very understanding and beautiful wife, Chris, I won’t have to complete number 1 any time in the near future, but we did go through 2 and 3 this year, aside from all the other fun stuff!!

In April, I started a new chapter in my career with Simpler, Inc as a Senior Consultant.  I have found this new opportunity to be challenging and rewarding.  Then, in June, we sold our home to a nice family and moved down the street into a home that we had been building for nearly 2 years.  The real estate market, to say the least, has posed MANY challenges  over the past few years, not just 2010.

To say that it was an EASY year would be a lie.  However, I know that it was EASIER as a result of having my own written Life Plan to provide a filter for some of the decisions that I needed to make in 2010.  Many tough choices were made in our family this year.  Choices that have us all looking forward into 2011.  There are too many people to list that I need to thank for pouring into our lives this year. 

Thanks for reading my posts this past year.  It is my wish that they add value to your life. 

So, was your 2010 easy?  Let me know how it went by commenting below!!

“The stairs are my friend” – Right?

December 7th, 2010 by Gallagher John 1 Comment

One of the disciplines in my Fitness ‘account’ that I work hard on is to have 225 total minutes of cardio and weight training per week.  When traveling, I don’t have a gym membership.  The hotel fitness center is nice, but the treadmill can get boring real fast!  So, my friend and fitness coach, Che Torry,  of Lifewise Fitness encouraged me to become friends with the hotel stairs and designed a cardio workout for me.  Click the video below to see:

If you are having trouble seeing this video in your browser, CLICK HERE

I would love to say it was ‘fun’, but at least it’s not the treadmill!!!  I have to keep saying to myself…the stairs are my friend!

When you travel, what are some creative workouts you do to stay with your fitness disciplines?