Fix Core Culture, Structural, Technology Or Personnel Problems To Avert Down-Time And Lowered Morale

As Jason Fried notes, your focus for complex tasks, like sleep, is cumulative, meaning, if you are interrupted 20 minutes into a 2-hour process, you don’t pick up right at that 20 minute marker.

Well there is an ebb and flow to productivity: work doesn’t proceed at the same pace, at all times.

Imagine you’re trying to walk across the country – in sandals. You are perpetually getting stones in your sandals, and have to stop to remove the ‘hitch-hiker’. You can’t go off-route to a shoe store to buy some boots – because you’ll lose time.

So, every day, you walk your feet raw, stopping continually to remove stones.

A lot of workplaces don’t realize they have this going on at their workplace. They have a bad apple, or nepotism, or gossips – that slow productivity and reduce morale. They keep their Human Resources department busy ‘fixing’ these problems, but they’re really more integrated or built-in.

Don’t do that. Fix the problem, and identify the factors that enabled it in the first place and fix those. And don’t stop there. Come up with a declarative, positive, assertive, iteration of what exactly it is you’re trying to do with your company – a vision – and document that. Develop it, and implement it. That will be a health model. It will take some tuning – you might not know how a healthy workplace really works, because chances are you’ve never had one. But whatever you roll out will be infinitely better than what you have.

Here’s a hint: your workplace will function like a happy family, or tribe. People will feel empowered and respected. It will be horizontally structured with methodological discretion conferred to your workers: they may not get to pick the goals, but get to choose how they go about realizing the goals.

You’re not going to advance if you’re constantly fixing what’s wrong, rather than building it properly – from the ground up.

So, why do so many American companies function this way?

Honestly, because we’re brainwashed and treated like consumers. And a ‘fix’ is a new product, a remedy for the ‘problem’ of the sub-par products that often caused the initial problem.

As it regards health: Americans are idle – on average, we watch TV and play video games too much; we eat food products until we are obese and our heart stops; until we can’t get an erection. Our lifestyles make us sick, and then we go to the doctor and say, “Fix me.”

Well, a wellness model is prophylactic. It’s exercise, diet and sleep to avoid the congestive heart failure, or coronary thrombosis, which then have to be fixed. Sleep loss. Obesity. Fatigue. Stress and a host of other health issues that are pandemic in our country.

You can drive yourself nuts trying to mitigate losses through constant fixes. A wellness model helps you get the gains from reduced down-time, and higher morale.

Zackery West is a marketing and business consultant, and CEO of FlashPointLabs, and author of upcoming books (2019) The Paleo Workplace and Dopamine Marketing. email:, Twitter: @PaleoEngineer.

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