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How You Poop At Work Actually Affects Your Productivity

How You Poop At Work Actually Affects Your Productivity

Everybody poops, and sometimes it stinks.

Everybody works, too, and that stinks all the time.

Pooping at work, or in any public place, can be an overwhelming obstacle. Someday you’ll need to overcome the crippling awkwardness of the public plop.

Here are some effective techniques to combat social constipation, toilet paper tyranny, and the discomfort that accompanies the work poop.

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And let’s be honest. If you don’t poop at work, you won’t be comfortable, and if you’re uncomfortable, you’re not going to get s*** done. These tips will help you overcome stall schizophrenia to help boost your work productivity.

Remind yourself of the natural, biological state of poop

Every person you know does it. Your grandma poops. Your high end corporate boss poops, and even your mini dachshund Tootie drops a deuce probably once a day (and you probably have to pick that poop up). Poop may be mysterious, but it’s a natural part of a healthy life. Without getting too graphic, poop needs to happen lest your body retain all it’s waste and you become a bloated irritable mess. Ever been seriously constipated? It’ll only take one bout of that to appreciate every urge to go.

Re-calibrate your ‘colon clock’

Since at least the 1600’s, Americans have been caffeine guzzling machines. As a guy who loves coffee, I understand what my body needs to do almost every day after that first cup goes down the hatch. If this is you, simply change the pattern of your coffee (or tea) intake. Pour your first cup after the 8 am toilet troop has already gone, or drink your coffee during your commute so poop comes before other poopers down their dark roast at their desks.

Bring your Jukebox (iPoo’d) 

Take your mind to a special place when doing your dirty business. This can be even more crucial if you share a “communal” bathroom where stalls are snug. Queue up TNT by AC DC or Full Body Yawn by Walter Mitty & his Makeshift Orchestra (my preferred poop tunes) and let your poopy paranoia fade away. If music isn’t your thing, listen to a podcast or talk show. If you want to avoid things in your ears all together, put some toilet paper down on the seat to create the aversion of a crinkling sound.

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Secret, secret, I got a secret (poop place)

Aside from Caroline from OutKast’s Roses, everyone’s poop stinks (okay, her’s probably does too). You surely don’t like the idea of Ted from the fraud department knowing what your specific scent smells like. Do you work in a floored business facility? Use the bathroom a couple floors above or below you. Even if you’re stall to stall with someone else, chances are high that you don’t actually know them or interact on a daily basis. The cafeteria or cafe is completely empty a 10 AM? Sounds like a perfect excuse to head there, enjoy the tranquility of an empty bathroom, and grab a starchy ripe banana on your way out. Search around and experiment with a few different locations to find the specific places and times which are the least busy. Be sure to keep an eye out for single bathrooms, the sanctuary for defecation.

Break free from technology

This point may seem a bit contradictory to one listed above, but having a quick “drop-n-dart” is essential to overcoming the fear of public pooping. Part of the “drop-n-dart” is limiting distractions so you can focus on the poop at hand (not literally). Removing the use of time wasting apps, crosswords, flash games, and videos is crucial to a successful “drop-n-dart.”

Be weary of reading materials

Things like magazines, books, and newspapers can be dead give aways if you don’t work at a newsstand or a book store. As someone who loves to read while they poop (old school aesthetic), keep an eye out for pocket sized bathroom readers that are easily concealable.

Double check the lock 

It seems obvious, but I haven’t met anyone who wants their boss to accidentally disrupt their stall solitude.  If they walk in on you, expect uncomfortable cooler talk and to be the butt of every joke that week.

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Always bring a match

They’re free almost anywhere and, though some may know what you’re up to when they smell something slightly ashy, it’s preferable to something that smells like two week expired eggnog.

Utilize the No Look Flush

No, I’m not talking about a LeBron James breakway dunk. Sometimes people have a trouble with understanding how something so disgusting (poop) can come out of such a pristine and perfect creature (human). If this is your holdup, simply reach behind you, close your eyes if need be, a flush without giving it a second glance. Never saw it? Never happened.

Cover your tracks

At some point, everyone’s poo has streaked down the sides of the bowl like a soccer spectator hoping desperately for press coverage. There’s no reason to let the person who follows your toilet tirade see aftermath of that morning’s biscuits and gravy. If need be flush several times to leave a clear path for the next occupant, so be it.

Wash Your Hands…

You slob.

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Get over it and just poop already.

Your porcelain throne awaits, your majesty.

Pooping at work can be challenging, difficult, and scary, but everyone has to do it, and it will always stink. Unfortunately, the office or professional work environment is where you’ll spend the majority of your time, second only to your house or apartment. So feel powerful when you poop, get excited for excrement, be cool when you crap by using the steps outlined above.

Say goodbye to being defeated by your own defecation, and say hello to pressure release and productivity.

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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