As you take back control of your work day with a conscious effort to use your time more efficiently, it’s important to focus on your successes even if you didn’t accomplish everything you planned.
Running a business means unexpected variables may throw a monkey wrench in “best laid plans.” As long as you take those plans and balance them with a positive perspective that allows for unexpected daily challenges, you are on a better track towards more productive workdays than when you were “winging it”. It’s part of the reason that franchise owners get a jump in the larger picture, using a system for efficiency. You can give yourself mini-jumps in the smaller, day-to-day picture by creating a system all your own by initiating a plan and eliminate time wasters. Speaking of which:
An employee coaching firm reports that the average worker spends 52 minutes in pointless meetings to which they really do not contribute anything. It may seem obvious, but just like athletes pump themselves up before big games or fights, you need to pump yourself up about the ultimate reason you care about whether your time is being managed poorly or if you are in command of it. You do not need to put your attention equally on everything that crosses your path, so keep the to-do list modest so you do not become overwhelmed. It’s just like writing a strong essay. Your daily attention needs an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
Cheryl Armstrong is a fit manager of her own daily operations and sees that each day is well-composed by reaching back to her earliest mentors. She was trained by an efficient manager early in her career and adopted organizational skills that she imparts to her staff at Minuteman Press in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her clients gain all the benefits of their focus and her venture continues to grow. She explains how it’s done when the day gets challenging. When time closes in on people who count upon her and pressure is mounting to meet tough deadlines, Cheryl leads her team with a “step-by-step process” and works backwards from the customer’s due date to evaluate how much time they have to make sure the job is done well and on time. “I try not to let anyone get overwhelmed in this way with the scope of the job. By reviewing all the steps necessary to get to the final product, working backwards to create a viable timeline, we remain efficient and flexible as we know there will always be surprises from clients throughout the week that need to be handled properly to keep them happy.”
Chris Jutt is in full support of hardworking Minuteman Press franchise owners in the Northwest US where he is the Regional Vice President. He sees that those combining the franchise’s proven system with a clear focus, long and short term, have the greatest efficiency, of course. “For the people who want to be #1, both going into a new season and taking on each new day requires creating their own luck through planning. I do not believe in luck. I believe we create our victories and we create our failures too. So begin by laying out your long term goals and don’t just have a ‘to-do’ list. Instead, have a ‘team list’ which are goals to hit in which everyone will prosper once achieved. Continually review your monthly, yearly and daily lists and keep the dialogue flowing with your team regularly on all of them.” He follows that about managing employees for efficiency through motivation. “Proper planning by a strong leader increases the chance for peak performance by the whole team. Start by motivating your employees with praise in front of their peers and don’t scold them publically when there is an error.”
James Frost, owner of Minuteman Press in Redondo Beach, California, mirrors Chris Jutt’s words as he puts their proven system to work. “In a small business you rely 100% on a very small team of individuals for the business’ successful performance, so motivation is a key leadership attribute in such an environment. My approach is to try to use a combination of collaboration and inclusion, clear decision making, recognition and giving people accountability for what they do.”
Leaving the business day to chance is never wise. Much like franchise ownership is offers structure and a clearer path to professional wellness, so does examining potential time-wasters, like theme-less meetings. With a sound daily, monthly and long-term plan and reasonable flexibility for unforeseen demands, you can narrow your focus and become more efficient.
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