In the typical automotive shop, you will find that the owner has red hair and the nickname of ‘MOCK TWO’. This is because he is going Mach Two with his hair on fire.
A good observer would notice that a high percentage of the time, while appearing to be in rapid motion, he is really on a treadmill, trying to do 12 things at the same time.
Most shops grow to a level of volume just above the level of confusion that the shop owner can handle. Once the shop has reached this level, it quits growing because the owner lacks management and organizational skills. The shop will tend to stay at this level for years unable to burst through to the next level. It never seems to get better, only worse, because gradually the owner takes home less and less money.
MOCK TWO is suffering from lack of focus and lack of a simple game plan. The shop owner comes to work with the intention to make things better but it never seems to happen. He then wonders why he is unhappy and why he doesn’t have a sense of accomplishment.
The problem is focus. He is trying to do too many things at once. When he hits the door of the shop, all of the problems seem to come directly to him and stick to him. He tries to handle them all and usually doesn’t get any of them done.
Most shops didn’t get to this level of confusion overnight. The shop owners have worked for years to get to this level of overwhelm. Unfortunately, MOCK TWO never seems to have enough time to start fixing the problem.
The key thing here is that it is never going to get better unless MOCK TWO decides to fix it permanently. While in a coping condition, he (and you) MUST start organizing or it is only going to get worse.
The solution to the problem is to sit down after work and list some of the things that you need to accomplish that will make you more money. Decide which one you can do with the least amount of effort (and/or money). You want to choose the project that will give you the best results and get it done first. Do not focus on any other projects until you have this one done. It might take you three weeks to finish it, but it doesn’t matter. You have taken the first step of getting rid of overwhelm and confusion.
We call this KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE BALL. Focus every day on the one thing that you are trying to get done. Keep your focus on it. You should try to do the project you can accomplish the quickest and with the least amount of effort. When you finally finish the project, you will feel good about yourself and have a little more time for other projects. This will allow you to pick up the next thing on your list and focus on it. The things that needed to be done in the shop will start to get done and gradually you will improve your whole operation.
Eventually, you will be renamed MOCK ONE and hopefully even renamed SANE in a very short period of time.