Isaac Ludlow Series Part 1: Time Management
I just wanted to say congratulations on choosing the building industry. It’s a rewarding industry when it’s going well and it’s also a school of hard knocks. So, well done for choosing it, and well done for sticking at it.
Today I just wanted to chat a bit about a couple of very useful time management tools. As builders, you’ve got a constant list of things to do: You’ve got quoting, you’ve got project management, you’ve got a bundle of issues to resolve as they come up, people to manage, and issues that clients have
As the business owner, it’s really important that you are getting your head into the business owner’s role. That means focusing on growing your business and taking it in the direction that you have intended for your business. That’s a constant challenge, because there is a whirlwind of things going on around you that can distract you. It takes some grit and determination to get your head into the business owner’s space.
Let me explain what I mean by the business owner’s space: this is where you are doing the tasks or roles that return the most money or add the most value for the future of your business – like putting systems in place, or working on marketing and sales to bring in more clients.
As a coach my goal is to get you – the owner – spending your time doing the things that add the most value to your business and doing the things you enjoy the most.
As an example: some building company owners still do their own accounts even though it is a task they dread. You can probably pay someone about $20 per hour to do this, while you could be doing other activities worth $50 or more to your business. Obviously it takes a bit of work to train the new person and you’ll need to trust them, which can be hard to do when you first start out. Keep in mind that getting the right people in the right roles is going to expand your business.
Business tool #1
In the table above, have a think about which of the tasks you are currently doing that fit in the bottom left of the table with low enjoyment and low skill that give you a low return. Look for ways to delegate those tasks and spend more of your time as the business owner in the high enjoyment and high skill tasks that give you the best return.
Business tool #2
Here is another tool I’d like to share that many business owners have said improves their productivity by up to 30%:
You may find that you have days where you arrive at work, check your emails, then you end up spending the entire day resolving issues. It might feel like you’re chasing your tail.
This tool helps with that.
[Click on this link to access a template]
Here’s how to use it:
- Make a list at the end of each work day for what you need to get done tomorrow. There might be 10-15 things on there.
- Go through and rate them as high, medium or low priority and approximately how many hours it might take.
- Have a look and see which tasks you can delegate to your team if possible.
- Choose your high priority tasks and put them into your planner for the next day.
Once they have been planned in, tick the planned column. If there is any time left, look at your medium priorities and put them in too. You possibly won’t get to the low priority tasks and that is okay – The box in the top right is to write your top 6 priority tasks for the day, in order of importance, to help keep you focused.
The reason this works so well is that your next day is planned out. This means that, when you leave work, you can let go of those tasks running around in your head – because they are planned in. It also means that when you get to work the next day, there’s no wondering about what to do first, you can just get straight into it. Surveys, and my clients, have found that just by doing these simple steps you can be 30% more productive.
Unfortunately, no matter how well you’ve planned, there will still be days that will be crazy and things will go wrong.
The exceptions will happen, especially in the construction industry, but planning your day in advance and focusing your time on the areas that will grow your business, and that you enjoy the most, will give you a huge advantage.
Well done guys. Look forward to catching up again in RaveBuild’s next newsletter.
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