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.
Taking Time | Extraordinary Business
A minister once said to me, “You can’t MAKE time to do something. There is no “extra” time you can run down to the corner and pick up. You have to TAKE time.” Interesting, one of the heroes of the Bible, King David, prayed for the ability to “guard his time so that he might grow in wisdom,” or use his time wisely…so the concept of “too much to do, too little time” is nothing new…something people have struggled with even before our technology-driven culture.
Many, if not all of my clients tell me that they experience the same “phenomenon” – the idea that they cannot get everything done. Well, it seems that there is no upside to this idea. Think it through:
- I have a bunch of tasks that I need to do – stress
- I need to get them done at this particular time – stress
- Because I deal with people – customers and employees, there are things that are going to happen throughout my day that I cannot plan for – stress
- Because of the things I cannot plan for, I cannot complete the tasks I have scheduled – stress.
And on and on. The negative effects that stress has on our minds and bodies also impacts everyone around us – including customers, vendors, employees, our families and friends. Can we afford not to do something about this? If there was a very simple solution that required a relatively short time investment that led to a long-term solution, would you consider it for the sake of your family, friends, business and YOURSELF?
While working on an MA in Organizational Development, we began to touch on the idea of chaos, and working in an environment that was completely unpredictable. What comes to mind of something that works in the world of chaos is – a bowling alley. Think about the idea that the machine:
- Never knows when the ball is coming,
- Never knows which pins will get hit,
- Never knows where the pins are going,
- Returns the ball to the thrower in less than a minute, while straightening the pins and recording the score.
Think about it…how does this happen? Processes and systems are set in place to handle all of this chaos, efficiently. Processes are created so that when certain things happen, other things will happen automatically. Systems are a bunch of processes working together. Think of it like your computer system. There are disk drives, memory, the monitor, etc that make up the computer system. A process, in this example, would be the act of putting a CD or DVD in the disk drive. Something will happen as a result – the disk will begin to spin, an LED will come on at the front of the drive, and a program will tell the computer that it has to do something, like ask you what to do, play a DVD or a CD.
What would happen if you designed processes and systems for your business – a certain set of steps that you do each day, week or month of things that you can do, and a specific set of steps that have to be taken when different things happen within your business. For example, when a potential client approaches you, the process you probably already have in place kicks into gear. Creating a process can be as simple as documenting the things that you already do. Writing it down will give you a chance to think it through, and maybe update or make adjustments to the process, constantly improving or updating it. But you can’t make time to create these, can you? That’s right…you have to take time to work these out, but the investment is well worth it.
Take the time. Be extraordinary. Run your business extraordinarily.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].