Friday, January 22, 2021 | In part three of Granger’s Productivity Series, Molly Verla, Granger Project Engineer, offers advice to maintain focus and improve productivity at work.

Molly Verla - Productivity
Granger Project Engineer, Molly Verla, offers advice to maintain focus and improve productivity at work.

When getting started for the day, my advice is to get up early and think about what you need to accomplish before you leave the house. Make sure you put everything you need to take with you in one place, so you aren’t running around.

I keep a task list each day with prioritization labels like ‘have to do,’ ‘ought to do,’ ‘want to do’ and spaces for notes. This is very helpful and an important part of my routine. It’s also helpful for me to flag emails so I can have that list of what I need to respond to. Maybe you aren’t feeling up to doing the hard challenges, but completing easy tasks shortens your list so it can seem less overwhelming.

I also incorporate Lean into how I organize my tasks. The way Granger has really embraced Lean practices on jobsites has helped me learn how to manage projects. It’s also taught me the importance of everyone having access to subcontractors and architects on the job. This is key to preventing bottlenecks.

Granger’s core values also definitely make it easier to be the best worker I can. Everyone has a great work ethic on-site, and nobody wants you to fail. This makes reaching out simple. You never worry your question will be considered ‘stupid’. So people are more willing to ask and try to learn.

There’s never a wrong way or time to learn new skills, even if you don’t think it’s specific to what you’re doing. When someone is willing to show you, it’s a special thing, so take advantage of it — this means they see potential in you. It may be cliché to say you should think of challenges as opportunities, but it’s really true. Doing difficult things and overcoming challenges is part of becoming a better professional.

When something is new, I just dive right in and get as familiar with it as I can, with all of the players and the situation. I start with a lot of listening and learning, then try to get my stride. The best advice is to just try. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Molly Verla, Project Engineer, shares how she prioritizes her tasks.

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