In my last blog, I covered how I handle balancing family and business, and in this blog, I want to focus on balancing my business hours.
We have all experienced someone coming to us and asking, “Do you have a minute?” We all know that a minute can turn into multiple minutes that eat into our carefully planned out day and break our concentration on whatever needs our undivided attention. We don’t want to be rude to the person asking, but sometimes those little interruptions really take away time to get things accomplished.
The little “got a minute” lines, as I call them, have to be controlled to keep scheduling under control.
Here at Frontline, unless there is an emergency, my team knows they need to come to me between 11:00 and 11:20 in the morning. This means they need to be prepared in what they ask me; they need to tell me in 20 seconds or so what the issue is and what they need from me. If it is something that needs a longer answer, they schedule a time to meet with me. They all have access to my calendar so they can check and see what times are available.
Next, they send me a calendar invite, telling me what the meeting will be about and the length of time to schedule our meeting for, whether it’s 15 minutes, 30 minutes or longer. Most of the time, I will meet with them because it’s a time I have open, but if the meeting is to be lengthy, I ask that they provide me with an agenda before the meeting. This agenda will include what the issue might be, the basic parameters and what they might hope the final outcome will be from me. Most of the time it involves a decision by me and an agenda keeps it very simple. This gives me some semblance of control so that I’m not constantly bombarded with the unexpected. The rest of my day is blocked out in a similar manner and this form of scheduling is something I learned from my mentors.
However, there is no such thing as a perfectly scheduled day – I wish there was.
The contracting business is affected by just about everything and that includes the weather. Safety takes precedence over every phase of our operations and the high winds today were causing unsafe conditions with some machinery. I want everyone to go home safely, every single work day, and when it’s necessary, we work on something that puts safety first, or we completely stop work and call it a day, dependent on the situation.
If you want more information on my scheduling techniques, you can contact me and I will get back to you quickly.