Do you know what’s the best way to hack your life to achieve more?
Nope, it isn’t multitasking.
By now, you would have heard experts telling us that task switching leads to lower levels of concentration, flow, and efficiency. The time needed for us to “restart” each time we switch from activity A to activity B is actually counterproductive.
Creators of new products in environments of extreme uncertainty, startups face enormous risks.
In the US, about 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. Insufficient capital, over investment, and low sales are just some of the reasons leading to this sobering statistic.
As a startup owner, what can you do to “growth hack” your business and improve your chances of success?
Oh the woes of the SME retail sector in Singapore. I’m sure you’ve read or heard about them.
Demanding consumers. Price competition. Sky high rentals. Relentless staff turnover (up to 300% a year in extreme cases). Difficulty in hiring. Competition from big chains. Rising utility costs. Increasing costs of goods. Growing transportation costs.
The list of problems faced by SME retailers is seemingly endless.
You need the right tool for the job (Swiss Army knife courtesy of Victorinox)
Productivity is one of the main prerogatives for Singapore’s service-based and export-driven economy.
Unfortunately, it is also one of the toughest challenges to surmount.
As I’ve blogged previously, addressing our productivity challenge entails understanding what it means. This involves studying how man, method, machine, material and other means are combined to generate wealth for the enterprise in the most effective and efficient manner. Through the careful analysis and diagnosis of problem areas, organisational productivity issues can be resolved.
Din Tai Fung is a paragon of productivity (courtesy of Aroma Cookery)
Business as usual can no longer work in Singapore. We desperately need to change.
While we’ve enjoyed modest economic growth of 1.3% in 2012, and are estimated to experience 1% to 3% GDP growth this year, labour productivity declined by 2.6% last year. This wiped out productivity gains of 1.3% the year before, with the impact felt across manufacturing, construction and services sectors. Only the Info Comm sector experienced growth.
Teamy the Bee (courtesy of Singapore Visual Archive)
Teamy the Bee should be worried.
Labour productivity in Singapore has dropped by 1.9% in the last quarter, making it the 3rd quarter by quarter decline. With the manufacturing sector showing a 3% growth in productivity, it is clear that the service sector is the main culprit for productivity drops.
Unfortunately, most of us do not have 8 arms (Source of image)
In “Productivity Secrets of a Very Busy Man“, Bob Posen, a senior lecturer at Harvard and executive chairman of a major investment firm, offers some great tips. Other than holding down two jobs, Posen sits on a few boards and manages to write a couple of articles a year.
Do you know how you can increase your productivity?
Do you know how you can do more with less (time)?
Courtesy of Learning By Doing
To heed the country’s latest call to increase productivity, help entrepreneurs and managers everywhere, and satisfy my own need for intellectual stimulation, I wonder if its useful to start an online forum to discuss ideas to increase productivity.
This could be a way for all of us to contribute our share of ideas, innovations, and suggestions towards the national cause. Such a forum could also be used to clarify misconceptions on productivity (for example that we should all work 18 hours a day), or to build upon each other’s plans in a (hopefully) constructive manner.
Teamy the Bee at NHB’s Love Me Love Me Not Exhibition (Courtesy of Youth.sg)
Anybody who has been around long enough would have heard that old anthem for productivity helmed by the mascot “Teamy” the Bee . Perpetuated by the National Productivity Board in the 1980s (now SPRING Singapore), it goes something like this…
“Good better best,