How many times have you started work early at your Long Island or Stamford area small business — and the next thing you knew it was 4PM … and your instant reaction was: I haven’t made any progress today on my most important stuff?
If you’re like the rest of us (even this intrepid Long Island and Stamford accountant!): quite a few times — and maybe “most of the time”.
Well, a few weeks ago I put out some advice about handling phone calls, and other such interruptions during our work day as a business owner. Got some nice response — because I believe that we “know” this stuff … but oh, how easy it is to forget it.
You see, I’d like to be more than just a tax alleviation strategist for you. No, I’m not pitching you on consulting with Michael Kessler, or some such … but I do know that running a Long Island and Stamford business in a tax-advantaged way is only one part of a much bigger puzzle.
And with all of the changes coming (Obamacare, in particular), there will be much to discuss.
But if we don’t get the “time” thing handled, well, we’re all up a creek. So here are some more thoughts on this for you…
Stress Reduction For The Long Island and Stamford Small Business Owner Through Better Time Management
Any fool can see there’s a huge difference between activity and progress — just walk into a typical Burger King at lunchtime to see what I mean.
So consider this: How much time do you (and your staff) waste in meetings?
A recent survey of Fortune 500 CEOs showed they averaged only 28 MINUTES of actual
productive time during a day, primarily due to useless meetings.
You’re probably doing considerably better than that in your small business because of less
bureaucracy, but still … eye-opening, yes?
So I have three cautions for you — and inherent to each of them, I believe, you’ll see the kind of “opposite” behavior you need, to win the time-management game for business owners:
1) Unless you have an agenda and specific goal for every meeting, you’re probably wasting your time. Which leaves even less time that day for you to concentrate on the really important things.
Michael Kessler’s Advice: Create a (short) agenda for every meeting, and send to all participants. Include the time allocated for each item, and be ruthless about it.
2) Unless you have a time limit for each meeting, you are most certainly wasting your time. You already know this is true: the meeting will last as long as the
longest-winded person makes it, and this is independent of whether anything useful gets done or not.
Michael Kessler’s Advice: So again, mind the clock. It’s your job as a your business’ LEADER to lead even in these small ways. If you are worried about hurting the feelings of someone on your staff related to cutting them off from speaking, you need some deeper soul-searching related to that particular staff member, I’d say.
3) Unless you have an action plan or to-do list that comes out of every meeting, you’re definitely wasting your time. How many times have you gone into a meeting to discover the same junk you discussed last week is back on the table?
Michael Kessler’s Advice: Assign tasks, with deadlines — and apply a carrot or stick to each “large” item on the list. Do not allow repeat items to creep back in, unless there is significantly new information to bring to the larger group.
While all of this might be a behavior change for you and your staff, it’s easy to implement and your staff will quickly understand and accommodate you.
They’d better, right? There are big things brewing for the small business owner in today’s environment … and you can’t be saddled by poor habits if you are going to win.