Letigio: Breaking barriers to efficiency, growth

My dearest readers, I know my columns have become an extension of my mentor’s personal teaching space, but I believe that these lessons must not be stored in a single person’s head.

For this week, I offer you another set of lessons that may be a solution to the lack of focus that some professionals aged 30 and below may tend to experience in their chosen career or path.

My mentor, who just turned 33 last week without my knowledge because he is so secretive about his age, has been managing his family’s businesses since in his 20s.

He said that there are three barriers to work efficiency and growth that any individual, whether it may be for a career or personal endeavor, must be aware of.

The first barrier is the self. Everyone who aims for growth has a set of habits formed over the years that may affect efficiency. These habits must be unrelated to the work at hand, like constantly checking the fridge, going to the restroom, checking social media or constantly talking with people in the workplace.

Though these habits take only a few minutes, when these minutes add up, they turn into hours wasted on a weekly and monthly basis. Being aware of one’s habits can help us control these habits and enforce a personal system to improve efficiency.

As for growth, personal barriers also include one’s experience and training. When you’re starting a career or shifting to a new career, the learning curve can be frustrating. Yet, this can only be resolved through time by experiencing and going through successes and failures. As long as you are determined, you will be able to break this barrier.

The second barrier is your superiors. In a corporate setting, upper and top management will constantly interrupt your workflow.

We must be able to deal with our superiors or influential partners and create boundaries so that even when they try to interrupt us, our workflow will remain intact.

Lastly, the final barrier are other projects. When we are working on various projects, these oftentimes overlap. When we are constantly being interrupted on the task at hand, it takes at least 15 minutes to refocus. This causes a major efficiency problem in the long run. So instead of trying to multitask, simply focus on the task at hand and complete it before moving to another task to avoid a pile of unfinished work.

Knowing how to handle the three barriers may transform our productivity, so it’s worth the try.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach in addressing these barriers. The solution can be different for every situation. What is important is that we constantly try to improve ourselves so that we have more time for what is important, may it be our family, partners or personal goals.

I feel absolutely lucky that I have a mentor who spends valuable time teaching me about concepts and ideas that I need in my career path. My mentor, who remains to be an enigma to me, is one of the best things that happened to me this year. To my mentor, belated Happy Birthday, Sir M.G.!