When I was younger, I worked in my parent's pizza shop, Papa Aldo's Take & Bake Pizza, which was a franchise that later became Papa Murphy's. At 10 years old, I thought frozen yogurt was perfectly acceptable payment for a few hours of work. By the time I was a teenager, and actually earning money, there was nothing I didn't know how to do in that place. (The photo above is me and my friend and co-worker, Julie, goofing off, as usual!)
My siblings and I grew up slinging pizzas behind the front counter and believe it or not, it really did teach me how to be more efficient. My Dad deemed me the short cut queen, not because I half assed things, but because if there was a faster, more efficient way to do something, I would figure it out.
For example, there was almost always a lull between the dinner crowd and people rushing to grab a pizza before we closed for the night. I learned to take advantage of that slow time to get as much done as possible before that last mini rush came through. We would close as much as we possibly could while still remaining 100% open for customers. We'd even thoroughly clean "the line," which is the counter where pizzas are made, and then line the countertop with our huge plastic wrap to keep it clean when we pushed the last few pizzas of the night through.
Mopping the entire place every night? No problem! I was a high school student with a job and no time to exercise, so mopping was my workout. I was as fast and thorough as I could possibly be to get the most value from the task that no one liked doing.
I could go on and on about the little ways I found short cuts that got things done and got me and my fellow closer out the door sooner to go spend time at the local Burgerville. High school priorities - it sure wasn't homework! 🙂
How to Be More Efficient
I'm older and wiser now but the short cut queen is still alive and well. I'm constantly looking for ways to make things more efficient or to get more value out of tasks.
How do you be more efficient? You identify the problem or issue you want to improve, and then find a solution. It's not rocket science. It's just action.
There are enough lists of things we can all do to be more efficient but it really comes down to the specifics of your business. You know where the lulls are in your business. You know what the snags are and what could be more valuable if it were just tweaked a little.
Sometimes you just have to take a step back and look at an issue with your problem solver hat on.
I'm a firm believer that every problem has a solution. They key is just taking the time to figure it out and then of course, apply the solution. If your first solution doesn't work as planned, try something else. I can tell you it took a lot of trial and error to figure out what we could safely close early and what needed to remain available until the very last minute.
I'm currently working on a way to be more efficient onboarding new website projects. I have a system down that works fine, but it's not the most efficient it could be. With a little tweaking, it will be a much better experience for Type B clients, and it will take less time too. Yay!
How about you? I'd love to hear from you! Share a comment below describing something about your business that you want to make more efficient or valuable!