I stole this from the carpenters; "measure twice, cut once". Thanks guys. The longer I work on a project; there is always something that comes to the top to make my understanding and grasp of the subject better and better. This section is one of those improvements.

Before And After

If you are going to take think twice/act once philosophy literally and only limit your self to thinking twice, then it's once before you act and once after. The reason I said literally is that I do not want to be the one that may limit your thought processes about anything to just two. Look at the suggestion of two as that; a suggestion; a start point, not the end all and be all. The point that I keep driving at is that improvements in productivity and production are not realized through the actual act of doing the tasks; it’s realized in the actions that you take before and what you do after to prepare for the next round. Increasing production is a thinking person’s game.

Lets look at the before side of this equation. Do not confuse the Time Management activities you do to set up the WHAT and the WHEN, that has nothing directly to do with getting more of that task done. I did say directly, it’s important to understand the role Time Management plays in increasing your production. For this discussion, Time Management is not our concern. During the Time Management phase, when you are finished with setting up the WHAT and the WHEN, you switch hats from being the Time Management person to being the Production person. This switch is important because know you are examining the HOW of the task.

The time you invest here has a massive positive impact on your results. This small segment of time probably has the greatest maximizing effect on your results then any other time frame associated with your tasks. I wish I could get more people to zero in on this time frame, its gold in the bank to those that utilize its full potential. Why is this time slot more powerful than any other spot? Easy, here is why.

Reason One

Your time here will be more focused and you will be able to think clearer away from the actual activity being done. You will be doing this thinking and strategizing before the rubber meets the road and will have a separation away from the action. This separation and detachment will allow you to review this specific job either as a new project or a review of an old repeat project. Either way, you have a perspective you would not have at any other time in the process. When was the last time you spent uninterrupted time analyzing, dissecting and reviewing work that you did or had done for you, with an eye on improving the production functions involved in doing it. That long eh? (Remember, I am Canadian). I think we can all see the value of this time frame.

Reason Two

Anytime you spend one unit of time that will be utilized at least twice, you are cutting your costs by 50% and hopefully increasing your output by 100%. Half of that statement is absolutely correct; the other half is open for debate. The part that is 100% correct is the fact of being able to utilize one unit of time, over and over again is extremely powerful. I have brought this up in previous chapters, and will continue to bring this point up; you want to find as many circumstances where this maximizing benefit can be found. Not only do you want to find these circumstance, you want to CREATE them as often as you can.

Let’s now examine the after side of the equation. It’s the end of a long frustrating day; things went wrong, more wrong than right. You want to just get home and have a cool one, forget the nightmare and watch the ball game on TV. Unfortunately, now is the best time to review what went wrong and to look for ways to make sure the same mistakes are not made the next time. The fresher the events are, the better the chances are you will get a handle on the causes and the effects. Depending upon the magnitude of what you accomplished, or should I saw did not accomplish, your postmortem will be in proportion to the significance of the task. Sometimes just a mental review in your mind on the way home is sufficient, other times, you need a full blown sit down session with yourself and the "powers that be" to work out what went wrong and the corrective steps for the next time.

Remember, thinking always costs less than actions and thinking is always a renewable resource.

Author's Bio: 

Bryan Beckstead is the creator of the Power Empowerment Group and has been involved in the Time Management and Productivity industries for almost 35 years. If you are really serious about improving your quality of life, visit him at http://www.powerempowerment.com

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