It can get super busy running a successful business. There are appointments to keep, meetings to attend, work to review and a million little admin tasks to deal with very day. And it all takes up a large amount of your precious time.
Working in the business equals a giant whirlwind of responsibilities.
This whirlwind of activity is a constant presence in your day, leaving little time to sit back, step outside the everyday workings and consider other highly important areas of the business.
So, how do you tame the whirlwind and channel all that kinetic energy into a more productive kind of activity?
These are our top tips for finding the calm at the eye of the storm.
Know your whirlwind times
To get on top of your time issues, it’s important to know and understand when the business has ‘whirlwind times’ and when there are non-whirlwind times that you can exploit to their full.
If you can predict the busy times, and focus your team’s efforts on dealing with these upsurges in activity, you can deal with the whirlwind far more effectively.
Part of being a great manager is knowing how to keep your team focused on the right tasks. An unfocused team can create real problems – and that’s only going to add to your whirlwind issues.
If you don’t give your team a clear overview of their targets and priorities, they will work on what they want to work on – and that leads to hours of time per month being spent on projects or customers that aren’t the current priority for the business.
Make your priorities clear and ensure the team concentrate on these tasks.
Use your time effectively and prioritize
The key to escaping the whirlwind is good time management combined with excellent execution of your projects.
And to achieve this perfect storm it’s vital that you have a system in place that gives real structure to your processes, tasks and project work. To quote a well-worn phrase ‘A goal without a plan is just a dream’, and nowhere is this more true than in the management of a business.
Every element of your delivery needs a clear plan behind it. And everyone on the team needs to understand that plan and be on board with it. Daily or weekly team meetings can be a great way to communicate the current priorities for the business and ensure that every single person on the team is working on these priorities. This is “alignment” – everyone working together for a common goal.
Make the most of software tools
Having your company and personal priorities clearly defined and communicated is the starting point for evading the clutches of the whirlwind. But one important way to improve alignment and execution of these priorities is to let software do some of the heavy lifting.
The flagship application for execution is Align Today (www.aligntoday.com). Fully 86% of small to medium-sized businesses never achieve their goals. We humans are great at planning, but challenged by the “doing”. Align takes the mystery out of running a business well.
For those of you familiar with Gazelles and Rockefeller Habits (of which Steve is a certified coach), Align is built around the famous One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) successfully used by tens of thousands of businesses. Align is home base for all of your team to live your core values, know your purpose and goals, and a beautiful system to record and track progress toward achievement of company priorities, tasks, and personal priorities – analysing and displaying progress in real time using an ingenious red-yellow-green color identification system. The stoplight color system clearly indicates to everyone when priorities are on track or behind – alignment and accountability. Beautiful!
Another cloud solution that we think does a great job (and that we use along side of Align and will soon have a link between the two) is Asana – a workflow and project management tool that can go a long way to helping you reduce your whirlwind issues and creating some peace and tranquillity in your work environment.
Asana streamlines your workflow processes and task management, and puts all the information you need in one place, accessible at any time.
- Track your team’s projects and tasks
- Have conversations within the team and see the results happening
- Ensure that everyone on the team knows they should be doing – and when!
Having this system at the heart of your project management is a real boost to efficiency. You can pull up a project in Asana and sit the whole project team down to work through the to-do list. And that helps everyone to work smarter rather than harder.
These tools are a great way to get the team involved in the decision-making process and, by doing so, get them truly engaged by their work. You have the team all working together and pulling together on the company’s priorities – and when everyone is aligned and working together the whole team achieves more and does far more good for the company.
Alignment. Accountability. Engagement. Beautiful.
Improve your focus on effective execution
If you’re looking to find the calm at the centre of the whirlwind, the best place to start is by reviewing the quality of your execution.
Intentions and aspirations don’t actually get things done.
It’s a clear view of your priorities, a detailed plan of action and a means to communicate and measure your tasks and workflow that really get the job completed.
Download our free ‘Execution checklist’ and find out where you need to focus your team’s attention to find those non-whirlwind times.
Want to know more? Contact your nearest Holden Moss office to get the lowdown on how we can help you get more from your business.