For the past year, maybe longer, I have followed the blog at JamesClear.com and find the insights on habit-forming and success very useful and applicable in the recycling business. I thought I would take a few moments this week to share a particular insight with our subscribers that can work wonders in one’s personal and professional life.
James Clear’s blog this Tuesday, March 31, 2015, was titled, “Do More of What Already Works.” In his post, he describes a simple practice utilized by Michigan hospitals named the Keystone ICU Project. This project was surprisingly simple but the results have been staggering. It merely involved implementing a checklist for doctors when they put a line in ICU patients. After its implementation, it was found that at least 1,500 lives had been saved simply by not skipping steps.
In our recycling operations, sticking to fundamentals and consistently doing what works can make a huge difference. For example, following the same pressure readout and weight for completed bales can help us avoid freight chargebacks, dressing bales and consistently monitoring contamination can help us avoid load rejections, safety checklists can help us avoid injury to our workers and paperwork checklists can help us insure accurate reporting.
So whatever the procedure, making checklists and training our workers to utilize them will help our operations run more smoothly and will take the guess work out of the equation. We sometimes get bogged down searching for new and exciting solutions, but doing what we know works more consistently can yield measurable results. We may not be dealing with life-threatening injuries or infectious diseases, but we can improve worker safety, material quality, and ultimately our bottom lines by becoming as consistent as possible and sticking to the fundamentals of our business.