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Goodbye Fire Fighting

Fighting fires often becomes a daily past time for most business owners. 

“The client is on the line for you – they are not happy!”

“This project is way behind and over budget… what should we do?”

“Our vendor has just increased their prices again; can you call them!”

“John did not show up to work today, this is the 2nd time.  What do you want to do?”

I’m sure these are very familiar to you.  There are so many different fires, large and small that need to be dealt with.  I have seen this in businesses that are struggling to grow and those that are struggling with their growth. It seems to happen and often reoccur to businesses at all stages. 

But why do they so often escalate to the business owner? What happens along the way?   If this is happening to you –it's happening for you. It’s highlighting something you need to do something about.  But what? Here is a 4-day challenge that will focus you in on finding a long-term solution that will put out the fires and at the same time take your business to a whole new level.

As part of this Blog series I will be throwing out one challenge each week for the next 4 weeks.  

First Challenge

Time Management.  This might the one thing that is keeping you and your team from truly succeeding. 

Time is one of those precious things in life. Once it is gone, stolen, wasted, or taken away from you – you can’t get it back. Being wise with our time is an essential skill for all of us in this age of texting, IM’s, huge amounts of email, meetings, initiatives, and the list goes on.

On this very topic I challenged a manager who was struggling with time management and not getting to important initiatives (not urgent, but very important) by saying.

“What if you could get back 5 hours a week to work on these initiatives?” “Not possible” he said, “I am maximizing everything!”

“All I want you to do is conduct this simple survey on your time...”

The Review

I explained that all he had to do was for 2-3 days list all the tasks he did and give them a $ value. He could write them down as he went along during the day or in 10 minutes at the end of the day. Then he was to go through them and give them a $ per hour ranking:

·       High - high $ an hour tasks only he can do because of the value he brings

·       Medium – medium $ tasks in terms of $ value he brings

·       Low – low $ an hour tasks in terms of the value he brings

A few days later I asked him some simple questions:

·       Should you be doing the low $ tasks?

·       Could you delegate the higher $ tasks to someone who is better at this than you or wants to learn them?

·       Is there any habit or thing you can stop doing to save time?

This was an eye-opening experience for him. I think he saved over 4 hours a week during that first month. He realized that it had become easy to let fire-fighting and others control his time.

Do you allow distractions to rob you of time on a regular basis? Getting our life back starts with managing our time, setting up great systems and processes to ensure that we get the high value tasks done and continue to help everything around us.

If you are interested in a simple time management system that I have used for years reach out to me and I will send it out to you.  This system helps you plan each week in advance, make sure each day is productive and keep track of the things that need to get done. 

Time to work ON the business

As you get your time under control and manage those time bandits you can spend the time you get back on the strategic initiatives that will make a foundational difference to the business.  The Game Changers.  The Missing Links.  The Major Rocks.  These are key facets of the Advanced Business System that builds the muscle you and your organization need to continue to grow. 

Let’s talk!  Click here for a free consultation:


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