What’s in your way?

Otto Wanders
4 min readNov 5, 2021


Weekly Report CW43

Today I want to focus with you on productivity with a simple question:

What’s in your way to be a better ___________ ?

You name it. But for this example, let’s take a baker in a bakery named John. He took three minutes to write down a few challenges he was facing. After doing this, he orders the challenges by priority and comes back to them every week to optimize his workflow. The key here is to do it with relentless discipline so that the obstacles on the business are faced.

Workarounds are the devil.

They are only great if they don’t become the standard. A workaround should stay a workaround. Or you work around what’s necessary, and this is optimization.

The exciting thing is what this can make for one person for a whole year. Or even when having a team, how this drastically results in higher profits.

Imagine getting out four extra hours per day in productivity from an eight hours workday. It may sound like a lot at first, but with the wrong systems and processes in place, it’s even possible to help people get 10x more efficient as they are in a bad environment.

But let’s stay at 1.5x, so four extra hours and $50 spent per contractor, here in the example with two contractors.

What you waste:

Just fictional numbers

Do you see how valuable this question above can be? When you ask 1A-Players this question, they will give you the answer. For John, the baker, it might be a giant oven to make more bread at once. Or more minor things such as a change in the order he cashes in from customers. When you can optimize productivity by getting rid of workarounds, you do yourself a favor.

Because I like to play with numbers, let’s see what happens if a team of 5 contractors is on an 80% workload and an hourly rate of 50$. The leader asks them, week after week, “What stands in your way to being a much better department?”

They create a list, and the leader leads them to solve their challenges. After one year, their productivity quadrupled, and they have processes and systems like a tuned machine. Let’s see what happens now:

Just fictional numbers

“But we’ve always done it like this”—costs millions

This excuse to keep something as it always was is okay if it’s excellent. But if this “always like this” is a flawed process and just an excuse because change is uncomfortable, it costs you a ton of money.

Listening carefully to the people who do the work at hand is key to helping them achieve more. They know what stands in their way of being more productive and a better department. Especially on working with computers, it’s so easy to create small, simple tools to help.

Reactive work costs around 2 hours per day

If you can implement a method to keep people working pro-active, you directly save two hours per contractor per day, as Chet Holmes describes in his book “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Time Management is the first chapter he is all about. Good time management shouldn’t take a lot of time to do.

By setting up a process to avoid distractions from contractors, and implementing a fluid, proactive workflow, let’s see what you waste if you don’t do it with the same numbers from the example above:

Just fictional numbers

Isn’t this crazy? You implement a small optimization to focus their time better, get two extra hours out for them in productivity, and boom, you don’t waste 96k every year.

I’m aware that these calculations are very vague, but you can see the point. On a small team or one-person company, this might show almost no effect. But it’s still the same principle. On a more extended period, it adds up.

I feel tired and end this weekly report with these thoughts above to catch them up next week.

The Five Friday Questions (CW44)

I end every week with a Friday Report and five questions, as we implemented it at OnSaPa GmbH to keep a consistent feedback relation.

What was good?

  • I’ve met a friend on my way home today, after ten years no see
  • I created new visuals that I’m happy to add as NFTs to MakersPlace
  • WOP is at almost 50% for the crowdfunding campaign
  • I started in a new company
  • Four weeks / 1 month going up at 5 am unbroken
  • Learned to apply Vitamine B myself 💉
  • Six pro-active tasks in 6 hours, this time management works like a charm
  • The performance rhythm rocks! 🚀
  • I got a new freelance project this week for January

What to look at in the future?

  • Take some time for yourself and just for yourself.

What was shitty?

  • Nothing.

What should stay as it is?

  • The flow.

What was neglected?

  • I couldn’t help ACT enough.