Article Date: 11/1/2013


My Run-ins With Efficiency

The only efficiency that matters is the efficiency that fits your operations.



Chances are, every business journalist will write about efficiency at some point in their career. And chances are, while we may have some understanding of the topic, we are not efficiency experts. So we interview and cite the experts when we report on those ideas that cut waste and streamline operations.

How anyone can do more

Some 20 years ago, I found myself at one such expert’s presentation. Forty minutes into the usual business cliches' (“do more with less,” “work smarter, not harder” and “prioritize, prioritize, prioritize,” among others), he shared this personal revelation:

“If you want to complete an hour’s more worth of work each day,” he said, “the secret is to go to sleep one hour later. Or, you could wake up one hour earlier. You could even go to sleep one-half hour later and get up one-half hour earlier. Then, use that extra waking time to accomplish more.”

Well, you can’t argue with his math. You might even point out that any combination of minutes works, as long as x + y = 60, where x equals minutes past usual sleep time and y equals minutes prior to usual wake up time. And his logic appeared sound, unless of course, you were someone who slept for a living, or were sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation.

Changing our work (or sleep) habits might bring some easily gained productivity or efficiency, but after we eliminate the low-hanging waste in our current operations, what comes next? In this issue of Optometric Management, we offer pages of solutions.

Finding the balance

Our quest for more efficient practices requires a certain balance. For example, Drs. Scot Morris and Walter Choate note in their article, “It’s the Right Time for Exams,” (page 20), that a significant reduction in exam times can compromise the patient’s shopping experience in the optical, and ultimately lead to decreased revenues. This balance extends to all operations that bring value to the practice, from face-to-face communications to investments that require capital expenditures, as our authors note throughout this issue of OM.

We also invite you to share your efficient ideas with other readers of OM by e-mailing them to me at james.thomas@pentavisionmedia. com. (And I’ll offer you a special “thank you” if you show me how to read and reply to my e-mails more efficiently.) OM

Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: November 2013, page(s): 4