Productivity Tips from the Assembly Line – Part Four!

The fourth installment in a movie franchise is rarely good.  Unless it’s Star Wars.  Or Rocky.  Did you know that Dolph Lundren has a master’s in chemical engineering??? 


I digress.


The fourth time is also the charm on my most recent visit to the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.  They were brilliant, engaged participants who joyfully spent eight hours with me.  Maybe I’m digressing again…


But, it was a wonderful day, and I am, as always, happy to share tips from these #ProductivitySuperheroes:

  • Be aware of the standards of your job. ~Tut
  • Use Outlook Tasks to meet your milestones. ~Michael
  • Make a daily task list with no more than five items. ~Dwayne
  • Prioritize what’s important by date. ~LaTorro
  • Automation is worth the up-front time it requires. ~Lee
  • Maintain a running task list. ~Tim
  • Prioritize your task list. ~Minh
  • Establish standards and document your processes. ~Manolo
  • Focus on the end goal and set deadlines to complete it. ~David
  • Make lists and keep them front and center. ~Marisol
  • Do the hardest thing first thing in the morning and THEN check email. ~Lanelle
  • Do not let others mandate your priority list for the day. ~Jennifer
  • Prioritize by asking the question: What will get my boss’s boss in trouble? ~Dave
  • Make lists: my working list, a delegated items list, a problem list, and upcoming issues.  ~Bill
  • If it takes five minutes or less, do it now. ~Jill



I am always pleased to hear about people who value the benefit of automation, standardization, and process documentation.  Yes, this is an automotive assembly plant, but it is also a corporate environment.  Standard Operating Procedures should be everywhere!


I gathered these tips before the seminar began, and by the end, the participants had a lot more to add to the list above.  We discussed time-based prioritization, project management, rituals, and meetings.  It was a day packed with information.


Make sure you also read parts one, two, and three of this series!


I salute these #ProductivitySuperheroes and look forward to my next visit to the plant.



This article is a part of my #ProductivitySuperheroes series where I profile people who are exceptional at managing their time, tasks, information and/or life in general. If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone you admire, please email


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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