As a leader in the foodservice industry, your productivity is dependent upon setting and reaching clear and definable goals and objectives for you and the people you lead. At the same time, the kitchen can often feel like Grand Central Station which is part of the allure and nature of the business, but it can also make you more vulnerable to distractions and demands that may hinder your best efforts to get things done.
Here are some easy and effective tips to help you better focus and prioritize, which in turn will get productivity humming along for you and your team.
At the end of each day make a list of your goals, objectives and things to-do for the upcoming day. A good rule of thumb, remember the acronym G.O.T. where:
Goals reflect the big picture, like lowering food costs or increasing revenue;
Objectives are the things you do to reach your goals, such as implementing inventory controls; and
To-do’s are generally more administrative and organizational like conducting worker evaluations or brainstorming menus.
Prioritize your lists.
In each case, prioritize your lists, narrowing them by determining the top three to five things you feel are the most effective. Create new, reprioritized lists daily, including or excluding any unfinished items from your most recent lists. Your goals will remain fairly constant while your objectives and to-do’s will change and evolve more often. Setting clear and measurable goals and objectives is crucial to being more productive. Sharing these with your team ensures that everyone is similarly focused and on the same page.
A handy tool for setting priorities is a decision-making matrix. It’s something easy you can scratch out on a sheet of paper whereby you determine priorities by assigning “urgency” and “impact” values to items on your G.O.T. lists. Items you rank highest are then quickly recognized and prioritized for you.
Example of a rating system for urgency and impact values.
Adopt the two-minute rule.
Multitasking is not an effective nor efficient way to get things done. In fact, what you’re actually doing is better described as task-switching and every time you do that a host of things can happen that effectively make you even less productive. The most obvious is a loss of focus. We’ve all found ourselves wondering, “Now where was I?” Among other pitfalls, not staying on task from start to finish also makes you more prone to making mistakes.
Addressing one thing at a time is the best way to go, saving you time and effort in the long run. If you feel you must take on something new while in the midst of another task, utilize the two-minute rule, which says to limit any spur of the moment new tasks to those you can finish in less than two minutes. Don’t hesitate, complete these tasks immediately. Otherwise, they’re a no-go and should be saved for a later time.
Emails, phone calls and meetings.
Returning emails and phone calls can be a sure-fire way to get sidetracked and find yourself back in the maze of task-switching. Similarly, meetings can bring about a host of new challenges and tasks as well.
View each as a task within themselves with strict time limits This will help you stay focused and give you a chance to prioritize and schedule times to most effectively address these new challenges independently.
Remember to take breaks.
Whether you’re creating an event menu, placing a huge food order or preparing a P&L, give yourself a five-minute break every half-hour or so, where your mind is detached from your task. Sit down if you’ve been standing or hop-up and move around if you’ve been sitting. Just change it up for five minutes before diving back into things.
Take time to work alone without distractions.
Set aside time to work alone, uninterrupted. It’s the best and most effective way to avoid distractions and get things done. Staying focused, without interruptions, will result in a marked increase in your productivity. Plus, you deserve the time.
There is no “I” in “Team.”
Your position and capabilities speak for themselves, so show confidence in yourself and your decisions. However, remember, there’s no “I” in “Team.” For your kitchen to run smoothly, it takes a team of hardworking staff and powerful kitchen equipment. Work hand in hand with your team toward the same goals and bring on tools, like high-speed ovens and commercial dishwashing equipment, to help you do more with less. Because, after all, the power of the team is always greater than the individual.
At Ovention, we believe that by working together as a team, we can utilize our collective strengths and tools to achieve even greater success and be more productive as we move forward together. To learn more about how our innovative, operator-friendly ovens can help you and your team be more productive, visit oventionovens.com today!
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