The most valuable people in any organization are those who are extremely productive.
There are many entrepreneurs who complain about their meager pay despite “the long hours they are putting in.” This common complaint among business operators is proof that it’s not how many hours you put in, but what you put into those hours that counts the most.
Here are four tips for achieving maximum productivity.
Tip 1: Intense Fascination with Work
When I say intense fascination, I’m not talking about a casual interest that keeps a person showing up for a paycheck—I mean in love with the industry. Most people don’t realize how powerful motivation is as a factor in accelerating productivity. It also comes as no surprise that those who are extremely productive are keenly interested in the happenings of their restaurant, bar or nightclub, their competitors, the industry as a whole, and any information that can impact their plans.
I know some bar operators who I swear you’d have to put a stethoscope to their chest to see if they still have a pulse. They’re so bored by the industry, and the quality of their work shows it. They’re not in love with their chosen profession, they’re just passing time. For these people, it’s impossible to be extremely productive because their fundamental attitude toward work is flawed.
Those who are productive are intensely interested in the industry, they love to think about it, improve upon what they do, and are constantly in a state of searching for an edge. Intense interest in the industry is a must for maximum productivity.
Tip 2: Focused Attention
Highly productive people can get tasks done in a shorter time than others simply because they concentrate heavily on their tasks without being distracted. Productive people know that being in a constant state of distraction is the same thing as not working.
In the hyper-connected world in which we live, the following message must be heeded: There’s a time to be available, and there’s a time to unplug. There’s a time to focus 100 percent on certain tasks and be unavailable to others.
Those small bursts of 100-percent-focused time are what allow major breakthroughs to be made. Those are the moments where an owner works on their business rather than in their business. And it’s in those moments where an operator knocks things off their perpetual to-do list and true progress is achieved. Long bursts aren’t always required—short, consistent bursts of 100 percent focus can make a huge difference in getting everything done consistently.
Tip 3: The Right People
A team consisting of the right people will help an owner or operator get much more done with fewer headaches and keep work enjoyable. There are many people who employ workers of lesser competence and motivation. When I ask operators why they haven’t fired such employees, it’s typically because they value the relationship more on a personal level than on a business level. This might sound ridiculous, but it’s actually quite common in the hospitality industry. Those who watch Bar Rescue see it all the time.
Quite often, bars have problems originating from an unqualified, ineffective employee the owner used to date or went to school with who’s in a management position. Their draining presence is like a cancer, eating away at the very soul of the business. If it weren’t for a personal relationship with the owner, they wouldn’t even have the job.
On the other hand, the right people save time, solve problems on the owner’s behalf, and make everyone’ life better. This is really the only type of employee, contractor or stakeholder with whom any owner should work. They free owners so they can focus on higher-value tasks like deal making, planning and marketing. Successful operators are well aware that surrounding themselves with the right people is essential for maximum productivity.
Tip 4: Body Control, State Control
Focusing more on the management of physical health is a way to better control state of mind. There are many operators I know who live in a constant state of sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and negativity in their personal relationships. They are never, therefore, working in a peak state of mind. Little do they know that if they just slept a solid 8 hours in a peaceful home, started their day early, ate their vegetables and read something positive each morning, they’d be much more productive at work.
Of course, this is much easier said than done, particularly when you factor in the lifestyle inherent to the hospitality industry. Many of my peers still stay up until 4:00 a.m. regularly because of nightclub operations, eat heavy food at their restaurant twice a day, smoke cigarettes, and drink excess amounts of alcohol regularly.
These activities wear on a person’s body when sustained for years at a time which is why many owners often spend so much time finding younger people to manage their late-night operations and then transition to working daytime hours. This allows the body to get into a rhythm where proper sleep, good nutrition, and an overall better sense of well-being can be achieved. When the body is in a healthy routine, the mind functions at a higher level, and this accelerates productivity.
About the Author
Kevin is an operations consultant with over a decade of experience working directly with bar, restaurant and nightclub owners on all points of the spectrum: from family-owned single bar operations to large companies with locations on an international scale. Kevin works with them all and understands the unique challenges each kind of company faces.
He is the author of a book entitled Night Club Marketing Systems – How to Get Customers for Your Bar. He is also a regular writer for Nightclub & Bar, providing information high-level operators seek to get the extra edge in their marketing, sales and operations.
He continues to write today, providing specialized information directly to nightclub, bar and restaurant owners from his workshops, newsletters and magazine articles. He is also active in the field, operating an inventory auditing practice with Sculpture Hospitality.