Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Planning for Chaos
Managing time, work and interruptions is a goal that so many people have and fight with throughout the day. It becomes a game of priorities – what is right in front of them, what are people asking for the most, what looks interesting and what is that thing that is constantly pushing to the back of my desk. What would be interesting would be learning how to manage chaos. As in, provide room in your schedule for a certain amount of uncertainty or chaos. If we looked at time the way we look at manufacturing, we would say that we have a laxed production schedule, which allows for anomalies in the production line. From another perspective, at times, we don’t leave room in our schedules for other things. Taking a thought from Project Management, if we determine at the beginning of the week what critical things must be done and by when (the critical path), we begin to see a clearer picture of what can be done. So we stop looking at how much gets done, and focus more on what IMPORTANT things get done, and ensure that they get done. Think about a UPS driver. Their sole goal is to deliver packages. That is all they have to do. However, they run into problems such as traffic, customers who aren’t where they are supposed to be, heavy loads and packages, damaged items, etc. Regardless of the interruption, once completed, they are clearly focused on their next goal. Now, taking that a step further, they have four sets of priority deliveries – the early morning priority, the before 12:00 priority, business deliveries (before 5:00) and residential deliveries (before 7:00). How likely is it that they will drop off a residential delivery before 8:00 am? What about dropping off a 12:00 delivery after 5:00? It’s more likely that a residential delivery will be a day late then their missing an 8:00 delivery. Why is that? Because they have an understanding of priorities. They know what has to be delivered to who, when. They also understand chaos, and build it into their schedule, and update that schedule as things change. Therefore, putting together that presentation, uninterrupted, would normally take two hours. However, with the realization that there are going to be unplanned events, maybe setting aside three hours to do the presentation is the best course of action to take. As an Extraordinary Leader, you’ve got to plan for the unexpected. At the same time, you’ve got to get things done. We don’t have options when it comes to expectations. If our clients expect us to be late, expect our product or service to be sub par, expect our customer service to be inattentive, how can they expect us to be extraordinary? Aepiphanni is a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor to those seeking forward-thinking operational and strategic solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. If you are ready to discuss how Aepiphanni can help you with business strategy, overcoming challenges to growth or any number of business solutions for your business, whether a small, growing or established company, contact us directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an Extraordinary company.