Do you have some slack capacity?
No person, system, or machine can run at 100% for an extended period of time. With that in mind, it’s important to operate in a manner incorporates some down time. For machines and systems, this is about maintenance as well as having the ability to do more from time to time. Machines need to be taken off-line from time to time for routine maintenance. Computer systems may need parts replaced or software upgrades. If your machines and systems are maxed out at their “base load” then there is no ability to perform the necessary maintenance. But that also means there is no ability to flex up in order to absorb the next new opportunity. This stifles growth.
For people, it’s even more important. In addition to the need to flex up in order to deal with temporary increases in workload, people also need to be able to pursue growth opportunities, to recharge and to enjoy life.
My Dad used to say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” I didn’t understand it at first (Dad had many sayings I didn’t understand until years later) but what he meant was that the first time you do something new, it is unlikely that you will do it well. You likely won’t be good at it and your efforts will be inefficient. The first time, it will take you more time and the result will be poorer than if someone who was already an expert completed the task. But over time, you’ll get better. The output will improve as will your efficiency. But you can’t take on something new if you don’t have the time to be inefficient at first and even to fail and later recover.
What value is there in a vacation if one comes back to so much work that they have to labor twice as hard for a week or more just to get caught back up? Sure, there’s always a last minute push before vacation and some catch up afterwards, but it should not be so extreme that the value of the trip dissipates the first day back. And whether it be a vacation or just a day, afternoon or even a few hours off to recharge, you can’t do any of that without some slack capacity.
To quote Hobbes (of Calvin and Hobbes) “Sometimes one should just look at things and think about things without DOING things.” I usually come up with my best thoughts and ideas when I’m getting ready to start my day, in my morning boot camp, or driving somewhere while not really focusing on anything in particular other than the road ahead. Creativity can’t be scheduled, and you need a bit of downtime to let your mind wander and come up with new ideas.
Since I’m sending this on February 28th and tomorrow is a ”Leap Day” which only comes around once every four years, hopefully you don’t have too much scheduled and can actually spend some time just thinking!
If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected]
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