The Theory of Constraints – How to Remove Your Obstacles and Self-Limiting Factors

You may have never heard of the theory of constraints, but it has probably had a great influence on your achievements (or lack of achievements) until now. In fact, the theory of constraints may explain your difficulties at this very moment, because it sheds some important light on why so many people are held back from achieving their most important goals.

The theory of constraints simply states that there is some limiting factor (or constraint) that determines the speed at which you travel towards your ultimate destination. Most of us have driven down a highway at one point or another during a traffic jam. Even though the highway may have three or four lanes, a car accident has eliminated two or three of them so that the flow of traffic has to go slowly through one lane. This is an example of a constraint or bottleneck which slows the entire process down.

Let's take another example. Let's say that you own a business that has multiple departments, and each department has a specific responsibility towards meeting your sales objectives. The sales team may speak with and persuade customers to purchase the product. The shipping department is responsible for delivering those products, and the customer service team follows up with a customer to ensure satisfaction. Let's say that each of these departments is working quite efficiently, and everyone is really proud of the work.

However, something seems to be holding everything else back. In our example, we will say that the bottleneck, or constraint, is the manufacturing department. The people responsible for putting the product together are simply taking too long. Everyone else, including the sales personnel and shipping department are waiting for the assembly line to catch up. Your entire business starts to slow down and you find yourself falling behind because this one department is slowing everything down.

Your responsibility in this case is to determine what is causing the manufacturing department to slow down. You have identified the main constraint in your company, but now you must understand what actually is happening. Are the employees acting irresponsibly and taking too many breaks during the workday? Sometimes they are missing key components and are not able to assemble the products quickly enough. Maybe there are too many errors in production because some other department has been putting in incorrect requests. Whatever the problem, you must identify it so you can tackle it immediately. It's important to understand exactly what is wrong, because each of these scenarios we just mentioned would require a different solution.

Using these examples, you can understand how easily one area of ​​your life could be holding you back from achieving your goals. Ask yourself right now what your main constraints are. Are your physical habits and appetites draining your energy so you are not able to be as productive at work? Perhaps you have become irresponsible in your spending, and this in turn creates intense stress so you end up mistreating your spouse and failing to achieve your relationship goals.

Whatever your constraints, start working on them right away. Removing these roadblocks can have a huge positive effect on your productivity, goal achievement, and extremely your happiness.

Source by Joshua Rodriguez

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