All posts in Productivity


8D Chess: How to Use The 8 Disciplines for Problem Solving

8d

Hospitals have developed something of a reputation for being rife with bad processes. When processes aren’t adequate, the result is an abundance of “workarounds”.

For example, when equipment or supplies are missing, a nurse might waste time running around searching for what is needed, and once the item is found, return to their previous duties.

One study indicates that nurses spend 33 minutes of a 7.5-hour shift completing workarounds that are not part of their job description.

This may well “put out the fire” so-to-speak, but really it is just a hastily applied band-aid that does nothing to treat the root cause of the problem.

More time is wasted and more problems will arise in the future because nothing has been done to prevent the initial problem from happening again.

Individual nurses are not at fault here; workplace culture often values expertise in the form of those who “get the job done”, which tends to pull against the notion of spending time building good processes (time in which the job is perhaps not “getting done”).

So how to approach the problem of problem solving?

In a lean context, problem solving can be distilled into two simple questions:

  • What is the problem and how did it happen?
  • How can we make sure that it doesn’t happen again?

The 8D, or eight disciplines methodology, is a problem solving process – most likely one of the most widely used problem solving processes out there. It is used by many different countries, in many different industries, and many different organizations.

8D is designed to help you put out those fires, and make sure they don’t happen again.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 8D problem solving methodology and provide you with an outline of the basic process that you can hopefully apply in your own business, plus how you can enhance 8D with other tools and methodologies like Six Sigma, FMEA, and Process Street.

Here’s what I hope you’ll take away after reading:

Let’s begin with the origins of 8D – what is it, and where did it come from? Continue Reading

How to Be Productive: Use a Powerful Productivity System

how to be productive how to use a productivity system

This post is a collaboration between our Process Street Team and Corey Fradin, Founder of QuickBooost. Exploring topics like productivity, time management, and goal setting, QuickBooost helps you better utilize and take control of your time.

The pursuit of productivity is often simplified to a hero’s fable involving the conquest of willpower; the reality might be more about the systems we build around our work, and the clever things we do to make work easier.

You only have 24 hours in a day. You can reduce the problem of productivity to: How many tasks can I get done in that 24 hour period?

What you choose to do with your time – which tasks you prioritize, which you choose to delegate, which you choose to automate, all of these factors are directly the result of the productivity system you build around your work.

You already have a productivity system, you just might not realize. Even if you don’t feel productive, you can still look at what you’re currently doing and understand it in terms of some kind of system.

What that means is, you can break the situation into parts, like your goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics; how all of these things work together amounts to your productivity system.

Take for example David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology. The GTD method is basically the idea of achieving mental focus by writing down your main tasks, and figuring out how you can break them down into smaller, more immediately actionable tasks.

This is a type of productivity system.

So, in this article, we’ll be looking at:

In essence a productivity system is a lot like a straightforward process that helps you break down your workload into smaller, more manageable chunks, and ultimately do more work, more efficiently.

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Knowledge Management: How to Stop Making Mistakes and Losing Customers

knowledge management

Business is forever changing and evolving. The things you need to do to stay up to date can be daunting but the alternative is falling by the wayside.

Plus, when 78% of millennial customers won’t give you a second chance, your day-to-day interactions count more than ever.

That’s why you need a solid knowledge management system. It’s the only way to reliably manage the resources available to your team and make sure that everyone can perform to the best of their ability.

So, today on the Process Street blog we’ll be covering:

Enough dawdling – let’s get started!
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The KonMari Method Checklist: Marie Kondo’s Simple Cheat-Sheet to Spark Joy

KonMari Method Checklist

Marie Kondo has managed the impossible. She’s rallied a large chunk of the population into getting excited about tidying up.

That’s right. Tidying up.

And there are clear benefits to decluttering – from being able to donate to thrift stores more to having improved mental health, to having better financial management and even boosted rates of productivity.

But how did Marie Kondo revolutionize the act of tidying?

With a simple process called the “KonMari Method”.

In this post, you’ll find out who Marie Kondo is, the science behind the lauded KonMari Method, why the method is beneficial for everybody, and you’ll even get your hands on a (free) KonMari Method checklist!

Read through the following sections to get the complete rundown on Marie Kondo:

Now, let’s spark some joy.

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42 Productivity Hacks to Work Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

productivity hacks

Self-control is over-hyped, according to Kentaro Fujita, a psychologist who studies self-control at Ohio State University.

Research suggests that the popular idea of self-control as the ability to resist temptation with willpower is fundamentally flawed.

“Our prototypical model of self-control is angel on one side and devil on the other, and they battle it out. We tend to think of people with strong willpower as people who are able to fight this battle effectively. Actually, the people who are really good at self-control never have these battles in the first place.” – Kentaro Fujita, psychologist at Ohio State University

How does this tie in with productivity? If you ask anyone what is the biggest challenge they face in trying to be productive, a likely response will involve something about a “lack of willpower”, or perhaps a difficulty staying focused.

These kinds of responses represent the popular understanding of what it means to exercise self-control.

The most productive people don’t necessarily have the best self-control, they just know how to work smart.

They’ve also most likely built up a lot of good work habits for saving time and effort, allowing them to alleviate some of the stress or discomfort that is one of the root causes of unproductivity.

In this article, I’ll outline 42 productivity hacks to help you understand how to work smarter, improve the quality of your work life, and build habits that will save you time, energy, and mental strain in the long-term.

Here’s the complete list of productivity hacks:

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The 11 Efficiency Killers in Your Workplace That You Should Know About

efficiency-killers

The following is a guest post by Eric Lawton. Eric has been part of the Human Resources sector for most of his career. During this period, he has learnt how to create and tweak hiring strategies to choose specific industries and companies. These days, he prefers to share his experience and knowledge with other people in the business.

The main goal of any workplace is to be as efficient as possible. The more efficient employees are, the more productive they become. This, in the end, leads to greater profits.

Therefore, it stands to reason that you should eliminate any obstacles hindering this process. If you feel that this is easier said than done, though, you are not alone. Most employers have a tough time identifying what the real productivity killers are.

Fortunately, there is quite a lot of research conducted on this topic. As a result, this article contains the relevant statistics and details you need to be aware of. This will make it a lot easier for you to make some real changes in your own workplace.

So, without further ado, here are the efficiency destroyers that you must watch out for:

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How Having A To-Do List Can Potentially Sabotage Your Productivity (And Ways To Do It Right)

to-do-list-tips

The following is a guest post by Jay Lieu who runs Great Big Minds. In his blog, he shares life-changing inspirational content with the world. He lives to empower, inspire and motivate others to live life great and go after their passion. You can connect and learn more about him here.

We live in a hyper-connected digital world that glorifies multitasking – it’s the only way to get everything done when there are so many things to tick off our seemingly endless to-do-list. Keeping ourselves busy means we are being productive, right?

In many cases, the answer is a big, fat no.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but keeping a to-do-list and focusing your sole effort in knocking as many items off that list can actually hold yourself back from achieving your bigger, more meaningful goals.

How so?

Let’s dig a little bit deeper, and provide you with some to-do list tips that will get you on the right track.

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Content Creation: What I’ve Learned From Writing 157 Articles This Year

Content Creation

We’ve all been baited into those lists of recycled tips where the author lists 10,000 excruciating content creation tips, all of which you’ve heard over and over again.

I’m pretty sick of it, so thought I’d compile something from my personal experience from a year of writing.

This is stuff I’ve had to learn pretty quick since I ‘fell into’ control of the Process Street blog. I think it’s time to give the marketing community something new that they can use and ditch the typical list post content we’ve all seen trotted out over and over.

Whichever part of the content creation process you’re at, there’s a nugget of wisdom for you here.

Let’s get started.

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How to Set your Favorite Webmail as a Default Mail Client

Set Default Mail Client

You click the ‘Contact Us’ page. Nothing happens. First, confusion, then familiar frustration. It was a mailto link. Your computer slows to a grinding halt as a huge, archaic desktop mail app rises from the depths of your hard drive. Checking that the date on your computer isn’t 15 years out, you wonder why mail integration isn’t standard… and what year is it exactly?

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How Playing Multiplayer Video Games Helped me Develop a Growth Mindset

can video games make you smarter

I read an interesting post the other day by Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy about how he has been training his son to have a “growth­ mindset”.

Here is a quote from the post:

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.

What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.

However, not everyone realizes this. Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure. Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning. People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes. As you can imagine, this correlated with the latter group more actively pushing themselves and growing intellectually.

In short someone with a growth mindset will embrace challenges and be willing to fail multiple times before reaching their goal, whereas someone with a fixed mindset will not even try.

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