Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Project: Time Management for The Speed Skaters of Life

Is everyone going too slow, or is that you are just going too fast?

When others are dependent on you and your business is dependent on others for revenue, your option for a pause button, for a step back and a week or two off is just not a convenience you can afford.

You are passionate about your business, your people, your product.

You want success, but you also want to protect your sanity and keep the company inline with a healthy and constructive direction – one that benefits from the head employee, down.

You want structure, and you want to guarantee satisfaction. You want to manage your company efficiently. You want more hours in the day. We all do. However, we all get 24, and we all need sleep and there is only so much coffee can do, so for those of us that speed skate through life, what are our options?’

Here are ten business tips that will help curb those 18-hour days down to 12 hours and maybe, someday, even just one day here or there, down to 10 or 8 hours!

1.    Make a List and Check it Twice
Writing down your tasks is essential. Even if your cognitive and memory skills are sharp and superior have your day-to-day tasks written out is important for your entire staff and team, specifically you. And nothing is more satisfying than crossing it off once completing. Then crossing it off again. Done. 

2.    Delegate
Does it really need to be done by you? Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you have to. Delegating is a great opportunity to build the next generation of the management team. This will help ease your burden when overloaded, as they will have gained experience to make executive decisions in your absence or do the tasks when you cannot. Delegate. Say it with me, delegate.

3.    Develop a Routine
Embrace the mundane and rename it if you have to as tradition. Creating a sense of routine within your company culture will help establish a sense of calming reassurance and reliability. If everyone knows where they should be when, what time things need doing and how things need to look and feel, the representation of your company will always be cohesive, and time will be utilized more constructively and efficiently.

4.    Sync Your Schedule
Google calendar, iCal – whatever system you use, using an OS platform, program or app that allows you to have remote and on-the-go access will enable you to stay ahead of your game, especially if you can grant different levels of authorization and calendars to other associates and employees. Being in the know is important when you are on-the-go or just need to know where to go and when and why.

5.    Have a 15-Minute Recap and Reboot Session
Begin your day right. Gather with your staff for a recap of the progress from the previous day or week and reboot in the morning with a project review for what needs done that day or week.

6.    Block Out Mental Productive Blocks
A little social media, here, just a quick question, a brief conflict resolution with the stuck ink cartridge. These seconds add up, and the sum is equivalent to an hour, maybe even two. Sometimes the My door is always open for you mentality needs to have a sabbatical. Just an hour a day where you can clear your inbox, rest your head on your folded arms on your desk for 10 seconds of that hour.

7.    Don’t Bring Your Home to Work, and Don’t Take Your Work Home
It is worse than mixing work with pleasure – sure go golfing. Do get some business clients – but never shall the two (home + work) mix. Mixing the stress of those two lives is a huge time management drainer. When you leave the house, try to leave your dirty dishes at home. When you leave work, try to leave the overflowing inbox there.

8.    Say Yes to The No Word
Does it really need doing? Does it need done by you? Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should, or have to.

9.    Provide Undivided Attention
Focusing 100% on the things right in front of you: We talk a lot about not multi-tasking. About the importance of seeking your purpose and dedicating your life to that cause and how that single decision can alter the significance to our rate of success. All profoundly and astoundingly true but sometimes we forget that focusing on the one person in front of us is equally important. Whether it is the person on the phone, the subject of our email or face to face physical person staring at us waiting for direction or just a, Hello, how are you this morning? Undivided attention is never a waste of time.

10.    Don’t Ask. Start Tracking
“I cannot believe it is already August. I cannot believe school has already resumed, the summer is gone, and I have barely vacationed. Where has the time gone?”  Don’t ask, where has the time gone? Start tracking it! No, no, no. Let us not get carried away and use those “clock in” time machines. But between syncing your calendar and utilizing time management systems like FunctionFox, you’ll see where your time has gone, and where it has not gone. That is always the more interesting answer, is it not?

Now, take a breath and pick one of the above and begin enjoying your managed time.

-The Green Couch

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