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Better Productivity is all About Getting your Head Straight
by Bryan Beckstead

Is your Head Straight?

Did you ever see the movie Cool Hand Luke, the one with Paul Newman? There are a number of scenes where the Sheriff tells Paul Newman, the prisoner who keeps escaping, that he has to get his head straight, so he will stop escaping. I made this connection, as tenuous as it may be, with almost all of my clients. I don't have any that continually try to escape from jail, that I know, but the connection is there nonetheless.

In every seminar that I have ever given, this topic of getting people's heads straight comes up. It's central to getting better at whatever you do, not only increasing your Production, but in any endeavor you choose. Let's see if I can articulate it a little better.

Two People- Two Different Perspectives.

Two people look at someone's web site; one person only pays attention to the design, the other person only looks at the coding. Simple, one person is a web designer; the other person is a web programmer. We look at things from our own personal perspective. This is a simple form of getting your head straight. If you want to increase your production, your ability to do more, you have to get your head straight; you have to start to look at what you do, from that specific perspective. Stop looking at doing a job from the end result perspective. Start looking at what you do and how you do it and start asking yourself some simple basic questions.

· Have I given this task the respect it deserves by properly preparing myself to do it?

· Are all the tools, supplies, materials, resources and connecting activities in place to enable me to complete this task?

· Are the people, including myself, properly trained to perform this task?

· Are there systems, policies and procedures in place to guide me in doing this task?

· Am I following the correct procedure/procedures to perform this task?

These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself when you are attempting to increase your production. If you are asking these questions, and more like them, you are starting to head your head straight.

It's Everywhere

What's everywhere? Ways to improve and increase your effectiveness. I was in a client's warehouse and we were talking about something, I can't even remember what it was, and I noticed one of his employees walk all the way from the back of the warehouse to the front, get a label and a staple gun, walk all the way to the back, staple the label on a box, then walk all the way to the front to put back the staple gun. The whole process, back and forth and then back and forth took about 5 minutes. I asked my client how times a day this employee did that routine; he said 7 or 8 times. I then said, why didn't he, at the start of the shift, when he was walking to his workstation, bring the staple gun and enough labels for the whole day, saving about 30 to 40 minutes of wasted walking each day? Never thought of it was the answer. You see his head was not straight about paying attention to production issues.

This is a very simple example but one that points out that ways to increase your effectiveness and productivity are everywhere. Every time you start to do something, anything, this act gives you an opportunity to do whatever you are doing, better, faster, and more efficiently, all components of increasing your productivity. This process only works if you are looking for these situations and your have the proper head set. Proper head set is another way of saying, "you have your head straight".


It's not as new direction, just another way to reinforce what I have been already saying here. Unless you add productivity issues and concerns to your radar screen and focus in on them, there is no reason you will see any improvement in this area. It sounds very basic and mundane but after dealing with these issues for about 35 years, you learn that unless you work on the basics, the big issues never are properly dealt with either.

Copyright (c) 2009 Bryan Beckstead

Bryan Beckstead is the creator and developer of the Power Time System and the Power Productivity Maximizer and has been involved in the Self Improvement and Self Empowerment industries for almost 35 years. His aggressive, in-your-face approach has earned him a reputation as someone who will give you the facts without the usual sugar coating. If you are really serious about improving your quality of life, visit him at



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