4 Things You Have No Time For (But Should!)

If your business is like the great majority of my client’s organizations, you’re not dying during the pandemic; actually, you’re killing it.

Most businesses I know are posting monster month after monster month.  I should add that I don’t do any work in travel and tourism.  But even restaurants (if you don’t have an urban dine-in business model) are doing pretty well.  In some cases, better than ever before.

I find that most teams are dealing with work/life balance, burnout, finding good people, and managing stress.

If your organization is growing more than 20%/year, it’s hard to keep the wheels on the train, let alone think about new initiatives.  And many of my clients are exceeding that growth rate, in some cases by a lot.

It’s important to remember that you can success yourself right into failure if you’re not careful.

So here are 4 things you don’t have time for, but should.

Mental health breaks in the gaps

You really have no time for thinking about your mental health at the moment.  It’s just too busy.  Work is frantic, and home life has lots of demands too.  But there are ‘gaps’ that each of us has during the day that you can use for recharge.  Here are some strategies that come to mind:

  • Going for a walk alone during lunch
  • Scheduling a ‘walking meeting’ rather than a sit down in a boardroom meeting
  • Using breaks to sit in your car in silence, or listen to music, or read
  • Carving out morning time when the house is quiet
  • Using your first moments home to decompress, run, walk, clean, or whatever it is that recharges you

For most of us, we need quiet to recharge.  Take advantage of those stolen moments to trickle charge your batteries.

Communicating with your team

This quickly goes by the board when we’re busy.  But keeping your communication rhythms going will reduce your stress, keep your team together, and help you be much more efficient.  I recommend a daily, short, refocusing huddle.  This is a 10 minute team update time.  The point of it is to refocus, synergize, stay in touch, and stay coordinated.  Push back on the pushback – we’re asking for the same time as a 10 minute bathroom break here.

Read more about how to hold a great team huddle here:


Making a ‘stop doing’ list

You have enough on your to-do list to last a lifetime.  Why not gather your team together and make a ‘stop doing’ list.

Go through the activities you do through a normal day and ask what would happen if you just cut them out?  Why not just stop doing dumb stuff rather than adding more stuff to the list that you know you’ll never get to?  Wouldn’t it be nice to see your task list shrink rather than expand?

Here’s how to decide if something makes your stop doing list:

  1. Is a customer willing to pay for it? If they knew this part of our process was going on, would they be happy to see it on their bill? If the customer won’t pay for it, it’s waste.  Cut it out.
  2. Ask yourself, ‘what would be the consequence if we didn’t do this anymore?’ If the consequence is minimal, just stop doing it.
  3. Does it align with your company values? If not, consider eliminating it
  4. Does it feel like a waste of time to you? Maybe that’s a clue that it is.

Celebrating your wins

Whenever I do planning with a group, I always begin with listing all the bright spots that have happened since we last met.  I do that because teams are wired to only look at problems.  Every day there’s a new problem staring you in the face.

Rarely do you look backwards and say, “Look at all we’ve accomplished!”

So, gather your team, make an accomplishment list, and have a good look at it.  Order in food.  Have a mini-celebration.  Pat yourselves on the back and get gas in the tank to keep on going.

Busy times don’t last forever, and when things are slow, you wish they were back because now you’re worried about job security!

Make time for things that are important, and have a great week!

pic hero trevor

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com https://www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com/

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068

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