High Payoff Lessons From Luggage – Time to ‘Let Go’

by Linda Feinholz · 0 comments

By Linda Feinholz, “Your Success Catalyst”

Personal productivity is a topic that we all explore, sooner or later. Pick up any magazine or newspaper, tune in to your local radio, and you’ll receive a flood of material on work productivity. Get on an airline and the articles will be slanted to luggage productivity of the rich and famous. It all can weigh you down instead of lightening your load.

In my 20-plus years of consulting and coaching business owners and entrepreneurs, I’ve found that how we handle our physical luggage is practically the same as how we handle our travel luggage. And there’s a better way to handle our suitcases and our mental baggage.

If you’re anything like me, preparing for a vacation or business trip is a real test of how to pack. You know – you find yourself with your luggage out and more things to put in it than you really can use on your trip. The six extra tops, four extra pants, and fifth pair of shoes ‘just in case’ you go out to a nice restaurant.

The same thing holds for tools you use in growing your business. Nothing is more tiring than carrying obsolete, unusable and hindering stuff with you on your journey.

Your goal is to be efficient and nimble and so it’s worth your time to figure out what will serve you, and to limit yourself to the tools you actually need.

Just like those extra unnecessary items you’ll fold and leave behind, there’s an art to letting go of the ideas, assumptions and old decisions that are slowing you down.

Today I’m going to share with you four important tips to help you lighten your load and carry the High Payoff productivity tools you can really use.

Decide what you need next
Just like carrying a winter jacket to Europe in the Summer, old work processes in your company may be slowing you down. My promotional products client suspected that his division’s workflow wasn’t as efficient as it could be. We designed an intensive work session with all of his team to map out their Vision for what they should be accomplishing. I had them pinpoint each place where an old way of doing things was actually slower than one they could imagine, right there. We got those changes turned into projects and the 80% of the improved work processes were in place 60 days later.

Make sure what you’re using now fits
Can’t get the extra sweater or pair of gym shoes jammed into the bag? Once the work flow was posted on the wall, the entire team could see that it had worked when they were a start-up, but it was getting in the way now that they were doing millions of dollars of business. It wasn’t interpersonal issues that were holding things up, it was legacy systems that no one had taken a fresh look at. It was clearly time to test new ways of doing things!

Sort out what isn’t serving you any longer
left that third pair of shoes at home. Well, actually the fourth pair. That same client was able to identify nine different times where more than eight people had to sign off on decisions. That sure got in the way of decision-making and action by the people doing the work. You can bet that, once everyone saw it, a new decision-making process was agreed to by all hands in under fifteen minutes!

Plan where you’ll store what you’re not taking with you
Sometimes I’m tempted to store what needs to be tossed, and toss what needs to be stored. Just because I’m traveling off-season doesn’t mean that parka won’t be worth taking along on another journey. And the same goes for you and your business as it grows. My client decided that their innovative way of conducting meetings when the company was young, did not work for middle management’s project status meetings. But it’s perfect for their creative team that has to solve a unique problems on an ongoing basis.

My luggage stays light when I’m traveling and my clients baggage gets sorted out so that they can stay nimble as they face their business challenges.

Use these lessons from the road to lighten your load and ensure there’s a high payoff to carrying your experience, know how and skills into how you’re running your business.

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