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The Maintenance Management Blog

September 17, 2014

8 Efficiency Quotes to Keep You On Track

Efficiency Quotes to Keep You On Track

The reliability industry is all about efficiency, squeezing every ounce of productivity, product, or service out of the minutes available to you. With all of the things a maintenance manager has to keep on top of and all of the issues that can arise throughout the course of the day, it can be difficult to keep motivated. Inside this engaging blog post, we are going to discuss eight efficiency quotes to help keep you and your crew on track and running at full steam.

Everyone has favorite quotes or motivational posters they keep to remind themselves of some inspirational idea: Maybe it is about how to be successful or even how much you (and the sad cat on your poster) hate Mondays. Whatever the case, there is a reason why the words of historical figures such as Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Hulk Hogan ("Take your vitamins, brother!") have been passed down from generation to generation.

Our first quote may seem counter-intuitive to typical efficiency tips, but there is a hidden gem to be found. Robert A. Heinlein, the renowned author, once said: "Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something."

If you have ever looked at a task that seemed impossible in scope to tackle, you may have found yourself thinking, "there must be an easier way." Odds are good that you were right. By being "lazy," you put your brain to work and created some innovative way to tackle the task at hand. When looking at an insurmountable task, always stop and think of a way to make the job easier!

Denis Healey once quoted one of his own "laws" when he stated: "Healey"s First Law of Holes: When in one, stop digging." This quirky, sound piece of advice can benefit every maintenance manager. If you find yourself in a problematic situation, don't make it any worse. If what you are trying isn't working from the start, learn to recognize it and pursue a different avenue. Don't be your own enemy!

A writer, philosopher, and business management consultant by the name of Peter Drucker once famously quipped: "Nothing is less productive than to make efficient what should not be done at all." That one pretty much explains itself: Don't put effort into something that doesn't have a good return on your investment.

One of my favorite quotes about efficiency has to be from J. Paul Getty: "I"d rather have one percent of the efforts of 100 people than 100 percent of my own efforts." This quote is all about delegation. As a manager, your job is to focus on the big picture and improving your system, a task you cannot do if you are busying yourself with menial tasks or less-important tasks that other team members can conquer. Delegate!

H. Ross Perot, the quirky businessman, and would-be president is often straightforward in his advice, such as when he uttered this great efficiency advice: "If you see a snake, just kill it. Don't appoint a committee on snakes." If there is something obviously bad about your process or system, nip it in the bud. Don't hold long meetings about it or delay it; you are only wasting your time and efforts.

Speaking of presidential efficiency experts, laid-back peanut farmer and former president of the United States Jimmy Carter spoke one of the simplest quotes of all time: "Put on a sweater." Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution. If you are cold, just put on a sweater. Problem solved.

Financial guru Charles Schwab is famous for saying: "Kindness is more powerful than compulsion." Keeping level-headed and taking a step back from an out-of-control situation is often the right move. Treat employees with kindness, and don't lash out when the urge is upon you. You get farther, and your employees respect you more when you are in control and you treat them fairly.

Along the same lines as the above quote, Mary Kay Ash once advised: "Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it secret." There are many motivations in the workspace, and the happier the employee, the more productive they are. Outside of monetary motivations, employees also need to feel appreciated. So if your crew does a good job, let them know: Don't just keep it to yourself!


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: efficiency advice, reliability industry — Lisa Richards on September 17, 2014