Bottleneck

Summary – The only way to be more efficient

Are you familiar with the term “Bottleneck“. Basically, the word comes from the actual bottleneck. Referring to the image above, the bottom part of a bottle is always bigger than the bottleneck. In short, if I flip the bottle upside down, the water flow coming out will be controlled by the bottleneck. The smaller the bottleneck, the slower it will be for the bottle to be emptied.

Debottlenecking is one of the basic process of engineering. For example, imagine a road with three lanes. Somehow it is noticed that there is always a traffic jam when the three lanes merge into two lanes. The merging point now will be the bottleneck. And if the engineers ever want to solve the traffic jam problem, this is where they should tackle first.

Now apply debottlenecking process in our life.

Example 1 : You are having problems with debt. You are paying monthly, but with your credit card at hand, the debt is still increasing. In this specific case, credit card is the bottleneck. Not only it is slowing your debt reduction program, it is actually making the debt grow. So once you have identified the bottleneck, you can eliminate it by maybe cutting the card into two and stop using it altogether.

Example 2 : Try debottlenecking in studying. Figure out what is slowing the process. Maybe studying in front of a computer with the internet on is taking most of your time. Then you should know what to do to make the studying process more efficient. You must disconnect.

Conclusion – One very important rule about debottlenecking a process is that you must only handle one bottleneck at a time. Studying for example has a lot of problems. You may be distracted by the internet, or maybe you have a family problem stuck in your mind. Even if there is hundred of problems, just choose one that is affecting you the most. Tackle that first and you will see the improvement. I guarantee that.

I’m not sure about you, but I find that by imagining the problem I’m having as a bottleneck motivates me to settle it. When I know that something I did is affecting the efficiency of the whole process, I just imagine it as the bottleneck. Immediately I just want to eliminate it because I know there’s no other way to empty a bottle faster.

– I wonder –
What is the bottleneck in your life?

Photo credit – Etwood

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This post has 5 comments.


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  1. 12 Jul 08 4:05 pm

    I would say that the credit issue is quite a bottle neck
    for me, just imagine, my credit is nearly 42 percent
    of my monthly income and i dont own a car or a house.
    waaahhh!!!

    but am in my process of cutting them now.
    simply by paying minimum amount to other card
    and concentrating on one card with big amount.
    will end by october .. huh!!

    and of course… no more swiping for me :)

  2. banji
    12 Jul 08 4:28 pm

    DaPocket – That snowballing strategy is a very effective method to eliminate debt. Provided after you have finished that one card, you straight away use the amount allocated to pay off other cards

    All the best with your debottlenecking :)

  3. dave
    01 Feb 10 10:12 am

    It’s not so much my personal bottleneck that concerns me, it’s the collective one:

    http://www.energybulletin.net/51368

  4. 14 Feb 10 3:14 pm

    Dave – Thank you for sharing.

  5. 21 Oct 10 7:10 pm

    This great one… It gives a lot of inspiration to my blog. Thanks for sharing.

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