One of the “pearls of wisdom” that has stuck with me throughout my career is this:
“Thinking, talking, planning count for nothing – doing counts for everything”
Ultimately, in business, the company that is best at executing and delivering products and services obtains a huge advantage over the competition. Effective marketing and selling can attract customers, but your employees must deliver on what your company promises to retain customers.
Proper management of your workforce ensures that your employees are executing the mission of your company and following your systems and procedures. You can plan and design systems to infinity, yet if your employees do not implement them properly the result will be failure.
Here are some factors that contribute to shaping up your business for maximum success through execution.
Most business owners and CEO’s have difficulty accomplishing everything that must be done in any given day. Two factors perpetuate and compound this problem.
- Trying to do everything yourself
- Trying to do many jobs at once
Both of these problems can be addressed and the personal execution of the work you really need to do greatly can be enhanced.
Trying to Do Everything Yourself
This first problem––trying to do everything yourself–– can be solved with relative ease. Just don’t do it. Get help. When you try to do everything on your own, you become a bottle neck to productivity and growth for your business. The only way for your company to grow is to expand your staff and outsource some elements of your business process. From your point of view that means delegating tasks which do not require your personal attention. Your time is worth money and when you examine your tasks, you may find that others are not only better suited than you to accomplish a task, but that less expensive people can be utilized resulting in lower costs for your company.
When you want to get something done, evaluate the task on whether or not it can be delegated. If it requires your specific knowledge, determine if you can divide the task into smaller segments which can be delegated while maintaining control of the main project. Perhaps you can train someone, or have them report to you for critical decisions. Examine all of your responsibilities with the goal of reducing your workload and ultimately the costs for your company.
Trying to Do Many Jobs at Once
Once you’ve solved the first problem, the second one––trying to do everything at once––is somewhat ameliorated. Delegating unnecessary tasks should have freed up your time for more productive leadership tasks which are critical to the growth of your company. Now, when addressing the remaining tasks, do not try to multi-task. The brain isn’t organized to productively manage tasks in this way and none of your tasks will be done really well or in the most efficient manner. Multi-tasking is the equivalent to taking longer to do many jobs poorly.
To minimize multi-tasking and increase your efficiency, focus on one thing at a time. Block time out to do one job and arrange to avoid interruptions. You cannot be answering phone calls, emails and have people knocking on your door and efficiently do anything else.
My preferred time-management technique is a simplified version of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” This technique involves managing your daily activities and tasks so that you accomplish as much as possible. David Allen’s approach emphasizes staying abreast of a heavy workload in a “relaxed manner.” For more information on his methods, you will find he has free articles and information on his website: http://www.davidco.com.
When you are able to focus on an activity without interruption you can accomplish far more than you can with constant interruptions. This concept works not only for you, but for your business. You should evaluate your business environment in terms of enabling your staff to focus. Do your work areas maximize concentration and minimize interruptions? If you have a 9-5 environment, can your employees start working at 9:00 and work in a concentrated fashion until 5:00 PM? Upon careful examination you may find that your business environment encourages interruptions and reduces productivity in your staff. Your employees may only have a few hours each day that they can actually focus on their work.
To design a more efficient work environment, you need to consider several factors. If you have office workers, do they have a very clear defined desk space where they are able to focus on getting work done? Are there lots of miscellaneous papers and files lying around? These items contribute to drawing attention away from the task at hand. They distract attention from the work. Ideally an absolutely clean desk with nothing on it other than a computer and any files necessary to accomplish a task is best. Everyone has their unique style for work, which should be accommodated whenever possible. By providing the appropriate tools and an uncluttered environment where your staff can focus will result in more work being done.
About the Author
“Murray Priestley has 25 years of commercial and asset management experience having served in board, CEO and senior executive positions with a number of global public and private companies.”