Monday, July 09, 2018

Air Conditioner Shortage...and Time to Think.

I am keenly aware of the weather.  I garden (not as much as I should though - my garden at the office got away from me).  I also do walking meeting and on days when I have no walking meetings, I usually walk outside.

Danby Appliances has a window and portable air conditioning business.  I know - not really appliances but they have compressors just like fridges and freezers so we sell them. 

The air conditioning business is boom or bust.  In a hot, humid year like this one, we sell out and everyone is upset we do not have more to sell.  In a cool year, we end up taking them back from retailers and incurring huge freight and storage charges. 

The seasonality is hard on the business.  It stresses everything from shipping capacity, service, and customer service.  One principle of successful business is 100% utilization of resources.  Seasonal business makes that more difficult.

I read an awesome book by Dan Pontefract called "Open to Think; Slow down, Think Better and Make Better Decisions". 

I think the reason it resonates with me is I know at some level, I lead too busy of a life.  I also know this impacts my ability to think long term.

We have become a Twitter world.  Our attention span is 140 characters.  We need the adrenaline of another email or text notification.  Technology has reduced our attention spans.  I have noticed even I read many less books than I once did - because a book is long unlike a quick hit article.

I realize my biggest issue is time.  And the best thing I can do to gain more slow time or thinking time is to say NO more.  I am not yet good at that.

To become slower or build in more space, I need to do less things.  There is a concept a good friend shared called plug-unplug.  Your capacity is limited like a power bar.  There are only so many outlets to plug into.  Take on a new project - figure out what you need to unplug.

There is a good section on critical thinking that is scary.  In the world of social media, fake news travels fast.  And people read only the headlines - not the story.  They are so fast, they hit the share button without even understanding the issue.  This lack of critical thinking has impacted the news and media that has impacted politics.  Having "space" or time to think can help with critical thinking.

As a CEO, this book is impactful.  I realize my biggest impact comes by thinking long term.  And most of the urgent items I deal with on an hourly basis are short term.  What I took away from this book was I need to clear my schedule a bit and build in some time to think. 

I suffer from guilt when I do not feel I am 100% productive.  But I know I have substituted busyness for productivity so I feel like I am doing something.

So - looking forward to leading a slower, more thoughtful life.

Worried the grandkids are too busy and not taking time to think...


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