Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More Time Off=Better Production

by Bill Cates
Referral Coach International

Our December 30 issue of The Referral Minute received more feedback than any previous issue - and it wasn't even about referrals!

It was about the concept that time off to rejuvenate yourself should not be our reward for good, hard, creative work - but that it is the prerequisite for good, hard, creative work.

One of our readers asked me to elaborate on some of the things I do to increase my production while taking more time off.

While I'm clearly not the master of this yet, I do have a few ideas that might get you thinking. Then, you can turn the thinking into acting.

Here a short list of things that one can do to try to take more time off - without creating backlogs of work and/or holding up people from their own work. It's up to you to sincerely evaluate each item. Most of us discount our options and what we can achieve in this area.

We are run by our own limiting beliefs that dictate our actions. Sometimes it takes someone else to look at our personal situation and help us examine our beliefs about our time, etc. Here are a few things you might take a look at:

  • Delegation - Can you delegate more than you do now? Why not? Is there just no person to delegate to or do you not trust the people you have in place? If the latter, maybe you need to change your staff or help them get more training.

    You can beging by talking to your staff about your goal to create more rejuvination time and discuss why that's good for the practice and what their role can be in helping you accomplish that goal.

  • Focus - This is a big one. Most people don't take the time to get clear on their priorities and goals. They seem to take every good idea that comes along and try to accomplish it. Or, they don't want to miss an opportunity. One option is to create a mission statement for each year. For instance, for me, 2009 is all about selling more of our new video training program. We'll continue to do other things, of course, but this is our top priority. One thing I need to do to fulfill this mission is to hire a salesperson. I also have some sub-goals for the year as well. Every idea, project, etc., that comes my way gets evaluated with the statement "Will this help us achieve our goals or distract us from our goals?" Sometimes the answer is quite easy. Yield not into temptation.

  • Train Others to Be More Self Sufficient - You know the old saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This same statement applies to our staff and others whom we support. We often do too much to help them, when they could be figuring out the answers themselves. Pay attention to when you are doing something that - if you took a little bit of time to educate them - they could do more on their own and need you less in the future.

  • Start Small - You don't, all of a sudden, have to start taking every Friday off as I've done in the past (and trying to get back to). Maybe you can take a half day every Friday afternoon. I block every Friday off for the entire year. My staff knows not to schedule anything for me on those days without talking to me first. Sometimes I work on these days, but usually only a half day. Sometimes I actually take the day off. Two of my staff members work four 10-hour days and almost never work on Friday. They love it.


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