Work never ends

If you are overloaded with work, the quieter period you can see coming in the future is a mirage. It never gets any closer. The only reason it looks like there is less work in the future is because you can’t see it yet.

We never get on top of the workload by working harder, by slogging through, by knuckling down. At its worst, this is management gaslighting. At its best, it is delusional.


There are only two options if you are overloaded: improve how you work or burn out.


If you don’t create headroom – make time now for improvement – the situation will only get worse. People get fatigued, your best people drop out, and systems start to collapse under the strain.


You’re already running late. What does it matter if you run a little later? Throttling demand is the only possible first step to create time to look at reducing constraints and waste, increasing skills, changing processes and so on. Until you reduce the volume of WIP, you can’t improve anything else.


Maxim: It is more important to improve work than to do work.