Want to achieve more? Learn how to maintain production capability!
Today we would like to introduce you to the concept of P/PC: production / production capability. By finding the right balance between reaping the rewards and spending effort in maintaining your assets, you can reduce the urgency in your life. This concept was made popular by the book “7 habits of highly effective people” by S. Covey.
Let’s say that both Joe and Sarah just bought the same car.
The first year, Joe doesn’t do any maintenance work on his car because he says the car doesn’t need it and he doesn’t have the time anyway.
Sarah, on the other hand, washes the car fairly regularly and goes to the mechanic whenever something doesn’t seem quite right.
If you’d ask Joe, he’d tell you that what Sarah is doing is unnecessary.
5 years later, Sarah has kept her habit of maintaining the car regularly. She had to fix a few things but far less than Joe. Nevertheless, they both end up spending the same amount of effort on their asset:
You can see where this story is heading. 10 years later, Joe has had a lot of issues with his car and he had to resolve them when he was least available.
In the meanwhile, Sarah is still enjoying a functional car and already making an appointment for the next technical inspection.
This story tells the same morale as the golden goose fable: short-term thinking that focuses on eggs and neglects production capability will cause you to damage or even lose your assets; effectiveness depends both on the golden eggs (results) and the goose (maintaining production capability).
How to keep the golden goose happy and healthy
Many popular time management and productivity tools can be blamed for our tendency to neglect asset preservation. The more tasks you tick and the more eggs you get from the goose, the more productive you are, right? Well, this is far from the truth.
The time management vision that Week Plan promotes is different. The idea is to become effective, not productive, by focusing on important things.
All tasks you have to complete each day fall under 4 different categories:
Quadrant II is the place where you want to spend more time and where maintaining production capability is included. By giving priority to important tasks, you’ll avoid crisis, dealing with tight deadlines every day, and needing to solve pressing problems on a regular basis. Prevention plays a vital role within Quadrant II, and, in order to become more effective, you’ll need to allocate more time to activities aimed at preserving assets.
Here are the kinds of assets you need to maintain in order to enjoy a high production capability and not break down like Joe’s car:
Physical and mental health
What to do:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Sleep 8 hours every night
- Exercise regularly
- Spend time outdoors
- Relax and reduce stress
- Engage in pleasant activities like hobbies
- Spend time on things that make you feel uplifted and inspired
What to do:
- Spend quality time with your family
- Don’t neglect your friends
- Socialize often
- Invest in personal relationships by being helpful and engaging in empathic listening
Work and productivity
What to do:
- Learn how to delegate tasks
- Invest in training your staff
- Make meetings shorter and more focused
- Use time management tools such as the Pomodoro technique
- Limit the amount of time you spend checking email and social media accounts
All these activities require extensive planning, structure, and even changing your lifestyle. If you keep following the old paradigm of focusing on urgent tasks, you’ll find it impossible to squeeze a workout session three times a week in your busy and unpredictable schedule or to call your old friends regularly. When the car is broken, thinking how to maintain it properly is out of the question and all you can think of is how to make it run another mile.
But, when you take care to maintain production capability, the car never breaks and you enjoy a steady, safe journey, where you also have time to admire the landscape and relax. What things will look like for you?