Sorry I’m late…

We’re all unavoidably late for many things – but if you find that you are always late for everything, maybe you need to be looking into it. If other people tend to delay events for you or they just start turning up late too, then maybe you need to seriously look into it.

Time magazine says that your problem could be “rooted in something psychological, like a fear of downtime”. It has nine descriptions of how punctual people manage to be punctual and thereby live happy, fulfilling lives as paragons of virtue, spit.

But the descriptions aren’t of good ideas, such as my favourite one that says punctual folk are “immune to ‘just one more’ thing syndrome”:

You’ll rarely hear a time-conscious person say they need to squeeze in “one more thing” before they leave. That impulse can lead you off track, and suddenly it’s not just one more email—it’s an entire 15 minutes worth of emails.

“Train yourself to recognize that impulse when it happens,” Morgenstern says. “Resist the impulse to do one more thing and just leave.”

9 Habits of People Who Are Always on Time – Samantha Zabell, Time (12 January 2015)

Read the full feature for the rest.

Productivity detective work – solving mysterious delays

I love this as just a riveting little story but it is also terribly absorbing about productivity and our perception of that too. A New York restaurant has been getting bad reviews that centre on how service there is slow. The owners can’t see what could be causing these – so they looked into it.

We decided to hire a firm to help us solve this mystery, and naturally the first thing they blamed it on was that the employees need more training and that maybe the kitchen staff is just not up to the task of serving that many customers.

Like most restaurants in NYC we have a surveillance system, and unlike today where it’s a digital system, 10 years ago we still used special high capacity tapes to record all activity. At any given time we had 4 special Sony systems recording multiple cameras. We would store the footage for 90 days just in case we need it for something.

The firm we hired suggested we locate some of the older tapes and analyze how the staff behaved 10 years ago versus how they behave now. We went down to our storage room but we couldn’t find any tapes at all.

We did find the recording devices, and luckily for us, each device has 1 tape in it that we simply never removed when we upgraded to the new digital system.

The date stamp on the old footage was Thursday July 1 2004, the restaurant was real busy that day. We loaded up the footage on a large size monitor, and next to it on a separate monitor loaded up the footage of Thursday July 3 2014, the amount of customers where only a bit more than 10 years prior.

Busy NYC Restaurant Solves Major Mystery by Reviewing Old Surveillance – Dineability (undated, probably 12 July 2014)

You will love what they found and what it means. Now, I’d like to direct you to the original post, an entry on Craigslist, but that’s vanished. This article on Dineability includes the full text plus a little stream of comments afterwards, some of which make you hope aliens never learn how thick we really are.