Friday, 23 January 2015

Quick Tip to Save Precious Time Every Day

A build-up of paper, forms and documents on your desk or around the house can be a draining and unproductive distraction.

Handle each piece of paper only once if possible. If it’s of no real use, throw it away. If it needs to be filed, file it right away. If it needs action, put it in a pending file or bin and write it down. But make a decision.

Don't just set it aside in a pile and then have to deal with it again later.
Simplify and eliminate. Make sure that the routine tasks you are doing still need to be done and haven't simply become a habit. Ask frequently: Is there an easier or more efficient way to do this, and does it still need to be done? Can I get someone else to do it?

How to Save Time on Every Phone Call

1. Before making the call, plan what you want to say and what information you need. This will prevent you forgetting something important and having to call back.

2. Instead of beginning with, "Hello Mary, how are you? How was your weekend?" say, "Hello Mary! I have a quick question for you." Using this phraseology will get you to the meat of your call much faster.

3. If you have to call a client you know is talkative, place your call just before lunch or late in the day when the person will be more likely to keep the conversation short.

4. If you have to answer a client's or prospect's question or problem, and you find yourself talking to their voice mail system or answering machine, leave your entire message instead of a request for a call back. Technologies like email and voice mail are perfect for situations like these, where you can solve a client's problem with a quick and easy phone message.

Set Deadlines

Always have a goal in mind for every task or project. Most people work faster when they have a deadline, even if it is self-imposed.

Be specific when you set a deadline. Don't say, I want to finish this project by the end of the week. Instead say, I'm going to finish this project by Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Be realistic, but challenge yourself a little. Reward yourself when you reach your goal (something simple like a can of diet Pepsi will do the trick).

By the same token, don't assign deadlines to low priority items, or you will take the fun out of the process.

Don't Take On More Than You Can Handle

If you take on too many jobs, you won't be able to do any of them well. Know your limitations. Rehearse courteous, honest ways to say no to your co-workers, such as, How nice of you to ask me but I have a prior commitment.

Six Common Causes of Wasted Time

1. Not setting deadlines. You must set deadlines realistic deadlines then be firm. Stick to the deadlines. Use some discipline.

2. Lack of priorities. You must list your priorities every day, thus enabling you to focus on the most important and productive areas every day.

3. Putting off the difficult or unpleasant tasks. There are plenty of these in Carpet Cleaning. I find that by scheduling the unpleasant jobs first, the rest of the day is easy. Make those tough calls first thing, and get those tough projects out of the way.

4. Unrealistic time estimates. Set your own deadlines, but be realistic. Unrealistic deadlines lead to frustration, destroy self-discipline, and have you running around like the proverbial headless chicken.

5. Being unable to say no. Don't try to be a nice guy. Learn how to say no tactfully, but firmly.

6. Procrastination. This is, I believe, the biggest disease in our industry and most others. Carpet Cleaning work presents tremendous opportunities for keeping busy doing unimportant details. You must discipline yourself to focus on the most important tasks at hand. Reward yourself with a small treat when you get through the toughest tasks.

To sum it all up, your systems should help you to:
1. List your priorities every day.
2. Stick to your plan.
3. Force yourself to stick to your plan.
4. No matter how much you want to go off your plan, stick to your plan.
5. Don't do anything else except your plan.
6. Just do it!

By Kevin Goodwin, Direct Cleaners Ltd, 020 86871 1711 

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