Have a Cool Hand Luke Mentality

In Uncategorized by kctaxexperts

One of the greatest movies ever, and this is not open for discussion, is Cool Hand Luke. Yes, a reference from a movie that opened in 1967 horribly dates me, but no, I did not see it in the theater. Rather I saw it on cable years and years and years and years after the fact. Yes, the movie had sound. It was even in color.
Anyway, I digress. The point is that the movie had this great scene where prisoners on a chain gang are sent out to work on resurfacing a road. Luke, who is one of the chain gang prisoners, realizes that this job is the only one the guards have lined out for the day because they assume the chain gang will need all day to get it done. So, instead of pacing themselves to make the job last all day to kill the time, Luke, being the natural born world shaker that he was, encourages his fellow inmates to hustle, work as hard as they can, and get the job done as quickly as possible. The result was that they got the job done with plenty of daylight left and the guards were confused, angry and at a loss of what to do the rest of the day. The prisoners received some seldom seen down time to relax and spend the rest of the day doing “nothin”.
How often in our jobs and businesses do we make the work expand to fill the time allotted in the day? Instead of getting the job done as quickly as possible and using the extra time for more rewarding things, we do a mental calculation of how long we have to get something done and then expand, delay, and procrastinate our time away to come in just under the deadline.
That was the genius behind the “summer hours” concept at my last corporate employer IF they would have executed it correctly. IF they followed and embraced the idea it would have encouraged and rewarded employees to get more done in less time, to be more efficient and productive in their jobs.
Shouldn’t that be the goal for all businesses? So embrace the Cool Hand Luke mentality and make your business as efficient and productive as possible. If your business can run smoothly, service your customers needs, and make the profit you require of it in 4 days instead of 5 (or even 1, 2 or 3 days), why wouldn’t you do that and enjoy the “extra” days to follow your other dreams? Take that time and write the great American novel, get your golf handicap to single digits, or whatever else has been a goal of yours that you will get to “someday”. Someday never comes for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Letting your work expand to fill the time allowed is definitely one of the primary things that gets in the way.