Based on a true story…
Monday, 1:00 PM: I notice a leak in my upstairs toilet around the water valve. I proceed to place towels on said, leak, and notice some paint deterioration, possible surface mold (yes, the “m” word) on the baseboard. I start to freak out.
Tuesday, 1:15 PM: I call a plumber who has worked for me in the past to diagnose and fix the problem. Despite the symptoms and noticeable damage, he states he cannot make it until the following day. I concede and we set an appointment for 1:00 PM on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 1:00 PM: Plumber, no-show. Water, more-show. Homeowner anxiety Intensifies–“Could there be a puddle inside my floor or quite possibly mold growing up inside my wall?” I’m now on my second towel. “How serious is this?” I wonder. And “Where the $#@* is the plumber?”
Tuesday, 1:15 PM: I call the plumber who proceeds to tell me he forgot about the appointment because he never wrote it down and now he’s at another appointment for a commercial client who’s a priority. He agrees to stop what he’s doing and make a special service visit. I have few alternatives and agree to this.
Tuesday, 2:30 PM: Plumber shows up, diagnoses the problem and replaces the water valve. Surface mold is remediated and total problem is averted.
Tuesday, 3:00 PM: I sign a check for $85 to pay for the service visit and the plumber is sent on his way back to his commercial client. Add lost time to my workday and stress suffered, and the expense was much higher than the $85.
What is most wrong with this picture? You guessed it. A service professional, paid for their attention to servicing clients’ needs, missed an appointment, simply because he forgot. How can anyone who gets paid for providing a service (translation: no service means they don’t get paid) not keep an appointment for this reason? Now, I understand mistakes happen and scheduling conflicts can arise but I thought it was necessary to focus in on time management this week as something went array with this professional’s organization skills. His cost was the risk of losing a loyal customer and lifetime value.
How to Improve Time Management and Organization
Improving time management and organization skills can lead to more productivity and efficiencies as well as more billable hours for service professionals. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your time and organization to do exactly that:
- Commit appointments to paper or an electronic calendar. Whatever your weapon be sure to keep one calendar where all your appointments are. This will avoid conflict and keep you on track with what, when and where.
- Schedule your time realistically. Don’t try to do too much in a short amount of time. You risk getting further behind and having projects pile up which may lead to dissatisfaction among customers and/or poor quality work from you.
- Prioritize. Understand which projects and clients have greater value to you and the business. Be more responsive and attentive to those.
- Be able to say no. One of the biggest challenges is saying no to a client for whatever reason. What you don’t realize is that by saying yes, a more hazardous consequence is created. Know when and how to say no. Practice it often.
- Do not take unnecessary meetings. You will know which ones are. If you find yourself in one, have a clear exit strategy. Your time is money. Don’t waste it. Enough said.
- Take on shorter, more efficient meetings. Keep chatter to a minimum. Be concise and focus on the project at hand. Increased efficiency equals more available billable hours.
- Remove all distractions. Do not take emails, text messages or unnecessary calls during projects. Furthermore, do not surf the web on your computer, phone or other device. Work is work. If you decide to escape with a blast of Facebook, web surfing or (pick your distraction here), schedule that into your day for yourself as just that; time for yourself.
- Do not multitask. Instead, do one thing at a time and do it well. Doing too many things at once can lead to unfinished projects and poor quality output. Focus on one thing at a time and do it well. Then, move onto the next one.
- Finish projects. Having several unfinished projects leads to workload pileup and frustration.
- Delegate or outsource functions to stay on track. Do not be afraid to delegate aspects of a project or even outsource functions to an assistant to manage your appointments and administrative duties while you focus on completing projects.
Your Time is Money
Don’t waste it. Optimize it. Then, improve it again. If you do this you will see an impact on your business in terms of increased productivity and output, revenues, and profitability.
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Florida and New York since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and teaches Marketing at New York University where he has for over six years. He has been quoted and/or featured in USA Today, Mobile Marketer magazine, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Marketing magazine, BNET TV and Business Currents magazine, to name a few. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com, call him at 239.963.9396 and follow him on Twitter @angbiasi.