Posts Tagged ‘time management’
We all have busy schedules and need to squeeze as much out of a day as we can so we need to think of ways to maximize the productivity from what little time we have. I am practicing good time management by writing this blog while waiting for an oil change. That, in and of itself is a good idea but I also purchased the synthetic oil so I can travel at least 6,000 miles before I need another oil change. By going twice as far between oil changes, it obviously means I save time by getting my oil changed half as often. I also purchased a multi-pack of oil changes in advance at a quantity discount and my price paid is actually less than most regular oil changes. By purchasing 5 synthetic oil changes for $275.00 my price is only $55.00 per change. If your local quick oil change place does not have a deal like this, Wal Mart’s synthetic oil change is normally about $55. By driving twice as far between using synthetic oil it reduces the equivalent cost to $27.50 per change. In addition, synthetic oil is better for the engine and I get about 1 mile per gallon better fuel economy as an added bonus. According to research, using synthetic oil also reduces exhaust emissions by about 20%.
This may not seem like a big deal to you but my wife and I drive about 16,000 miles each year and that means I would have to get 10 oil changes per year using conventional oil. Now, I only have to get 5 which conservatively saves me about 5 hours assuming it takes an hour from start to finish for each oil change. I also timed my 5 pack purchase to when both cars needed an oil change so I am only prepaying for 3 which calculates as follows: 4 months before I need two more and another 4 months after that to use the remaining one I prepaid. $165.00 (3 prepaid at $55.00 each) for 4 months and $55.00 ( the final oil change) for another 4 months does not add up to much lost interest in this zero interest rate environment. My 5 hours of saved time far outweighs the interest I could have earned.
The next time you are getting your oil changed, perhaps you can think about using the synthetic oil strategy to save you time. You win, your car wins and the environment wins. It actually pays when you Turn things on end to achieve results!
Have a great week, doing more with the free time you gained by using your time wisely.
In order to work most effectively, you must be efficient in what you do. Unfortunately, there is a lot of time wasted due to behavioral problems in the workplace. I am specifically talking about aggressiveness or passive-aggressive behavior. These types of behaviors lead to all sorts of unproductive activities such as misunderstandings, dealing with hurt feelings, bullying and emotional outbursts.
Aggressive behavior is a “my way or the highway approach” or a “me-win you lose” philosophy. Passive aggressive behavior is saying yes but sabotaging through inaction or uncooperativeness due to the inability to share true feelings. In the end, this is not a way to run a business or your personal life.
Assertive behavior on the other hand looks for a win-win approach. It is standing up for your beliefs or opinions while not disrespecting the other viewpoint in a non emotional manner. Assertive behavior looks for solutions to problems and is not about keeping score of the winners and losers. It cuts to the chase to negotiate the best result for all parties. In my blog posted on February 7, 2011 I was using songs to describe my life and one the songs I chose was People Are Strange. I think passive-aggressive, aggressive and other dysfunctional behaviors are what I had in mind when talking about dealing with irrational and illogical people. Why can’t people be assertive without hidden agendas so we can get to the business of Turning Things On End To Achieve Results?
There is good news. If you act in an assertive manner you alone can diffuse the aggressive person and calm him or her down and get them working towards a win-win. In the same way, you can also take the person who is shy and unwilling to express their feelings and assure them through your non-confrontational approach that you will respect their opinion which will make them more likely to contribute to the solution.
This week, let’s all work on being assertive and focus on a win-win solution.
Two weeks ago I wrote about customer service in Back to the basics. This week I want to write about weeding out bad customers. In this weak economy it may seem odd to suggest getting rid of customers but you need to know what those sales are costing you. What is your margin on your worst client? Are you even making money with them? If not, you can add to the bottom line by subtracting them from your customer list. Below are few warning signs of a bad client:
- Higher than usual complaints about your product or service
- Slow payments
- Increasing focus on price
- Numerous requests for special handling
- Unreasonable demands
- Unethical behavior
If you can immediately identify your bad customer or you have a customer that fits many of the above traits, it might be time to fire your bad customer to devote time on a more profitable relationship.
What would you do if you could stop serving that customer and not lose one dollar on the bottom line? What would you do - daydream, go home early, work on getting more from existing “good” customers, find new customers? Perhaps now is the time for Turning Things On End To Achieve Results!
Good luck this week taking an honest look at your bad customers.
Today we will re-visit a topic I spoke briefly about in my October 26, 2009 post Managing Your Time Better.
Drop in visitors are one of the 20 time wasters that Alec Mackenzie wrote about in his book The Time Trap. Click on the link below to see a flow chart for how to deal with people who drop in your office for “just a minute” and then derail your productivity for much longer than a minute.
If you are not good with flow charts, you might prefer to see the 4 responses to drop in visitors in writing:
- 1. Handle their question – if truly brief or a legitimate emergency.
- 2. Schedule time to meet with them later.
- 3. Refer them to another resource or person.
- 4. Encourage them to develop their own solution (are you their crutch?)
Some tactics (dirty tricks?) to try to deal with the drop in visitor:
- Stand up immediately as if you were walking out and go anywhere and led them out of your office. This will give you a natural opportunity to reschedule. Then go back to your office as soon as it is “safe”.
- Cut yourself short after a couple of minutes by saying “oh I just remembered I have to do…” or “I can see this is going to take a little more time than I can spare” then reschedule when it works for you or suggest someone else to ask or for them to try to do it on their own.
- Postpone and reschedule for a short time later at their office. That way you are in more in control and can leave when your ready if it becomes too lengthy. It is much easier leaving their office than trying to tactfully get someone out of your office.
- Set a time limit at the very beginning and stick to it.
- Help bring the discussion to a close by using a foreshadowing phrase such as “one more thing before we are done…”
- If all else fails, hide. Find an empty office or an out-of-the-way place in the office and work there. This also helps to establish a planning time and takes care of the phone and E-mail as well.
- Some of the suggestions don’t effectively deal with the problem but at least will minimize it. The best approach is to plan your day with blocks of planning time for your top priority work and schedule to respond to interruptions like Phone, E-mail and drop in visitors at times that are convenient for you throughout the day.
Have a good, productive week free of drop in visitors.