Productivity Tips from the Assembly Line

protection-helmet-1427431I recently facilitated a seminar at an automobile assembly plant with a diverse group of participants.  They were an almost perfect cross-section of departments at the plant.  I quickly found that I was surrounded by #ProductivitySuperheroes who were willing and eager to offer tips on how to be more effective at work.

In no particular order, here are some productivity tips from my new friends…

  • Set your priorities. ~Aline
  • Be on time. ~Scott
  • Knock out the tasks that take less than five minutes immediately. ~Adam
  • Stay focused. ~Michael
  • Be a good communicator. ~Richard
  • Provide clear direction. ~Isaac
  • Learn how to delegate. ~Chris
  • Work only your responsibilities. ~Chad
  • Write things down. ~Jaron
  • Do the worst task first. ~Elaine
  • Be proactive. ~Jamie
  • Do your research. ~Chris
  • Be prepared for your meetings. ~Valentin
  • Focus on the end goal. ~Stefanie
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. ~Kelly
  • When the problems speed up, slow down. ~John
  • Don’t do busywork. ~David
  • Be a good listener. ~Jamie
  • Stick to the agenda and keep the meeting short. ~Gee
  • Have a plan. ~Rachel
  • During meetings, keep your cell phone in your bag. ~Elaine
  • Cut waste.  ~Jill
  • Never set up a meeting without an agenda. ~Brateek
  • Prioritize your day. ~Morgan


I love the list above and agree with everything on it.  Notice that several folks asserted that communication skills are a key element of productivity.  It is easy for me (and maybe you, too) to get focused on the tactical aspect of work and under-prioritize good communication.  Clear communication and listening prevent time-consuming snafus before they happen.


The other theme I find on the list is the importance of prioritization.  We spent a good chunk of the seminar discussing how to prioritize tasks.  In my mind, automotive assembly lines are the epitome of efficiency.  It is so nice to see that prioritization and systemization are valued on the line and off.


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.



  1. Jamie

    Great Blog! Come back for another seminar!

    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      Thanks for your tips, Jamie!

  2. Michael

    Awesome!!! seminar. I would love to take another course from you. Hope you come back soon.

    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      Appreciate it, Michael. I’ll be back in the fall to do the Productivity Seminar again. Tell your colleagues to keep an eye out!

  3. Kelly

    This was one of the best courses I have ever taken. I am working on implementing your ideas in my daily work. Thank you and hope you come back for more informative seminars!

    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      Thanks for your kind words, Kelly. I *love* hearing that my friends are implementing what they learned. That’s the whole point, right?

  4. Sandra Patterson

    Thank you for your comment about good communication helping to solve problems before they begin. My sister’s business that she is running is going to have a large assembly line. I will be sure to send this to her, maybe that will help her be able to make that efficient.


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