New Year; new processes

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

'New Year, new me,' is a phrase often taken for granted--sometimes even laughed off.

Bringing in the New Year, however, can be a good time to get a fresh start in the work place and build momentum for the rest of the year.

Robert Wade, 47th Force Support Squadron manpower flight chief, said it's never a bad time to analyze processes in the workplace, and there are many different approaches to becoming more efficient.

"[People] need to understand that everything we do is a process," said Wade. "There is a definitive trigger to each process, and an end point. If we can understand that better, I think people would be more efficient."

In an article published by Forbes, they also recommend that workers don’t tackle too many tasks at once, and that people aren’t made to multi-task.

The publication goes on to say that less is more when it comes to the work day, so prioritizing and focusing on single tasks can help workers stay effective.

An article by Robin Sharma, professional advisor, also suggests that taking care of the biggest hurdles in the morning can be beneficial; saving small tasks like checking emails for the afternoon frees up peak energy hours of the morning to hone in on important tasks.

Another tip from Wade is to become better at root cause analysis, and to really understand why certain steps in each process are necessary.

“If people can get down to the root cause of a problem, they can make a solution that is in the end more effective,” said Wade. “Don’t be afraid to ask the ‘five why’s’, even if you’re the new guy, people need to get feedback like that.”

When faced with a problem, according to Wade, instead of scratching the surface with a basic solution, ask oneself “why” until the root problem can be resolved.

“Think of a car with a dead battery,” he said. “Sure, you could charge the battery and fix the problem for now, but if you’d asked ‘why’ the battery was dead, you would see the alternator failed, and the alternator failed because the manufacturer called for a replacement for that part. It’s one big chain reaction.”

Work productivity is similar to a dead car battery; it could either be a series of short-term solutions, or an efficient, long-lasting machine.

By setting goals and keeping up with longer lasting and more efficient workplace solutions will both help ensure one’s work is done properly and effectively but also may help one enjoy the job more in the new year.