Most of us have had good times playing with a cat when we shine a laser on the floor, the walls and different objects of furniture, quickly moving from one place to the next, making the poor animal borderline crazy as it pounces from place to place. Unfortunately, all too often, contractors spend their time just like a cat chasing a laser.
We’ve all heard certain phrases regarding how time is spent and most of us use them ourselves all too often. You know the clichés: “Time flies,” “There just aren’t enough hours in the day” and “Wow, where did the time go?” Even worse, I have people tell me all the time that they “don’t have time” to train their team members. Let me assure you, the most successful contractors in the world maketime for training.
As progressive contractors, we have a limited resource when it comes to time, right? Absolutely wrong! That is a limiting belief you hold that is keeping you from your full potential. Sure, we all only have 24 hrs. in a day but we all have the same 24 hrs. and the exactsame amount of time. The bigger question becomes, “What am I doing with my time?”
Since time is the only resource we all share in 100% equality, we better begin assessing how we’re spending our time and what kind of return on our investment of time we are receiving. I’m sure you can’t work any harder. I’m sure you can’t work a lot more hours in the day. However, I’m certain you can create more time to focus on the things that really drive the business.
The myth of time managment
In our weekly Mastermind Coaching group we’ve been discussing this topic lately and it’s worth looking at for you. My friend Joe Calloway’s latest book is called, “Be the Best at What Matters Most.” Calloway is a productivity and business culture expert. You won’t find anything too earth-shattering that you haven’t already heard in this book, but you will hear some things you need to focus on to create more freedom in your schedule.
As business leaders, we need to focus on the top three things that will drive the most growth and profitability every single week. Focus on those three activities and delegate the rest. There are two major challenges when it comes to time management. The first one is learning what to focus on that will make the biggest impact for you. The second is actually executing your time to get those biggest things accomplished.
Time management is a myth anyway. There is no such thing as time management! You might be thinking I’ve totally gone off the deep end now, but stay with me for just a couple more minutes here. There is no such thing as time management, only people management. You can’t manage time. You can only manage yourself when it comes to how you spend your time.
So, what are you doing with your training time? Are you maximizing the time invested when it comes to your training? Are you having consistent training meetings? If so, what are you doing for dynamic content to keep it fresh and drive behavior changes? Training time is an investment and I know you want to get a good return on your investment, just as if you were to invest in a stock, you want it to grow and create good ROI.
At The Blue Collar Success Group, we have the good fortune of working with progressive contractors all over the world and we get to witness firsthand what the most successful people do that makes the biggest difference in their success. We all know people succeed and fail in the exact same markets attempting to do the same things.
Investment in training
One of the biggest things we see that makes the most difference is the levels of dedication and commitment when it comes to investing time in training. In our own private Mastermind Coaching group, we have clients who vary in time spent training from one hour a week to five hours a week or more. I’m not saying more is always better, but it’s important to have a schedule and a plan when it comes to your weekly, biweekly or even daily meetings, depending on how you choose to structure your training time.
One of the keys is to make sure you’re investing training time in resources that will drive behavior changes for better results. As I’ve often said, just because you’re having meetings doesn’t necessarily mean you’re executing effective training. Training time needs to have a specific agenda, desired result and plan for execution. Many company meetings end up being nothing more than housekeeping updates and complaining sessions.
Your team deserves better than that and as the leader of the organization, it is part of your responsibility to have a person dedicated to and held accountable for quality training sessions. I won’t even go onsite for contractor clients who don’t have dedicating training plans for following up after my visit. Sure, when I’m onsite we get a big pop in energy, excitement and results, but the real change happens in the follow-up training that must be consistent to keep moving forward.
The same is true for you and your team. Don’t be simply reactive when it comes to training and don’t just bounce aimlessly from one topic to the next week after week. You must take control of your training time and begin to manage it effectively. Exercise your “time management skills” and create well-thought-out, consistent training schedules.
Time management is truly managing your own choice regarding what you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to during the day. If there is one word that will set you free and put you back in control of your schedule, it’s the word “no.”
You need to say “no” to certain things that don’t drive the business. You need to stop attempting to reinvent the wheel and start implementing a proven system. Our personal egos get in the way of peak performance because we unconsciously overcomplicate things in order to have problems to solve. If you’re running around putting out fires all day long (like most contractors), you must stop and ask yourself the very clear question, “Who is the arsonist in this business?”
Most of the time, the biggest arsonist in the company is the leader! Stop the chaos, plan your time and choose to focus on what will get you the best results. It’s time to stop running around from one thing to the next just like a cat chasing a laser. When your time is structured correctly, you will be amazed to actually find the time for the important things that really make a difference, such as strategic training and creating more time to grow your business and enjoy your increased success.