Not so long ago, my wife and I went out to dinner. A triple digit dinner $$$.¢¢ at a somewhat popular local restaurant. At the end of the delicious meal, we had some leftovers which were nicely packed in a doggie bag. OK, it was a plain brown paper bag.
When we got home we noticed there was something missing. Now don’t get me wrong, the leftovers were all there. What was missing was a brief note that could have read, “Thanks for dining in with us and thank you for taking us home with you. However, we want you to come back for dining in or carry out and here is a 10% off code for your next visit. Thank you.”
They could have put all that on note or used a rubber stamp on the side of the bag. Along with the name of the restaurant, phone number and hey who knows maybe even dropped a copy of the paper menu they gave us when they sat us at our table.
Instead, is all we got was a plain old paper bag.
Folks, this is clearly a missed opportunity. The world is opening back up and competition will soon start up again and if you want to stand out from the crowd, especially, when you are one those triple digit restaurants then you had better start seizing the opportunities.
Seriously, the next time you look at a plain old brown paper bag, look at all the untouched landscape.
When it comes everything, not just marketing, when you see a chance take it or your competition will. I guarantee that.
In the previous blog entry, I talked about how it was important to find the time. How everyone has the same twenty-fours and such. Now, I want to share with you about how to make that time. How to extract the time you need to expand on what is important while minimizing downtime. The next set of questions is where to extract the time from? What to do with that time? Then how install the coming change that implementing the new found time will most bring.
Making time and how to make that time is not an easy task. It is by no means anywhere close to being easy. Well, I exaggerate (a little). It is easy to make time if all you do day in; day out is waste time. If all you have in your life is time to goof around, play on the PS4, or go party with your friends, then yes making the time is easy. However, it becomes a difficult task when we are already doing the important work. The kind of work we do when we are in school, putting in the hours from 9 to 5, and those awesome side hustles. All that and then we feel like we are still spinning our wheels? Well, no need for the anxiety to set in. Taking a few common-sense approaches will help identify the time, adjusting the time, and implementing the time changes. Let’s get started:
AUDIT YOUR DAY, WEEK, MONTH, YEAR
Auditing your day may take some time to complete. As some days look the same as the previous day, I guarantee you every day is not the same but you know this. While you are auditing your day remember to note everything you from when you start working, what is the first thing you work on, when you take a break, what time you take lunch and so on.
Once you collect your data, next comes determining what works, what does not work, and what you want to start working on, among other things specific to you. Additionally, the audit data collected will also show you things you may not want to see or believe. Good or Bad, it is all a learning experience. A learning experience in that taking a step back will show us who we really are because in a day-to-day setting we are knee deep in the muck that we don’t see all that we really do because it is just the norm.
IDENTIFY WHAT CAN BE CHANGED THEN CHANGE IT
After collecting, sorting and dissecting the data there is a bit more work to do. Now the raw data is going to reveal the truth. The whole, good and bad, truth. The honest truth of what you have and have not been doing will be revealed. It is now the time to get to work.
Now is the time to identify what can be change. To do this, you will have to (honestly) determine what are you spending too much time on and not getting return on that time investment. Next, extract from the collected data what are you spending not enough time on but need to give more time to increase the return on the expanded time investment.
The final step in the identification process is to identify and create the CHANGE you feel (from your gut) you need to make. Having determined the time to be moved, shuffled, re-organized, re-prioritized, and re-distributed you are ready. Next, comes implementation and putting to work the impending change(s).
WORK THE PLAN
When it comes to implementing change in your life there are three trains of thought when it comes to implementing and working on the change(s): all at once, one thing at a time, or clustering the changes. The latter two are more apt to take root in that anything that does not appear right or appropriate can be worked on, modified, adjusted. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that does not accompany the “all at once” option.
Take that knowledge for what it is worth, acting on the change “one thing at a time” is my preferred method to deliver and act on change. It will certainly increase the level of buy-in and acceptance. Sometimes, the want to change is not enough. Whereas, through slow and deliberate actions in the way the plan is implemented and worked will increase success.
Once the first change is implemented then another can safely be brought in and implemented. By taking those slow, deliberate steps you are on the path to integrating the next change. The plan is to make the change an easy implementation of the changes to you, your life, your mission, and goals.
Throughout the entire process or working the plan you have another set of tasks to do. Those tasks are being constant and consistent when working on the fit that working the plan will make. Be careful for once you stop being constantly consistent is when you revert back to your old ways. You will be negating everything you have done up to this point.
The goal was to make the time to work on those things that will make a return on the time investment you make. The goal is also to minimize the continued action of those things that are not generating the kind of return you seek. Thus, it falls on you to stay the course, always. Staying the course of progress and change will most certainly ensure you are making the time. Isn’t that what success is all about?
Being a leader involves a different type of commitment and dedication. The difference comes from being a a committed and dedicated leader 24/7/365. That’s non-negotiable.
Being a leader is your other full time job. It is going to take up that much time. That is one reason most people feel they are ready to do what it takes to be a leader until it is time to step up and be the leader.
It is nothing against who they are as individuals, nor is it a strike against their knowledge, skills, wisdom and character. Far from it. Those that recognize that at this moment they are not ready to lead are great leaders in the making.
Once underway, there are people that know they cannot hack the toll leadership takes on the individual. Yet, there are those that decide to fake it and never make it are not even worthy of qualifying as a bad manager. The individuals that would rather continue faking it soon become “micro-managers” thus fail to give respect to those they are supposed to be leading. They will soon find themselves without true and genuine followers. Then what good are they?
What does finding the time have to do with knowing when to play your hand or when to fold’em? Everything. If the individual is not prepared to find the time to work on her skillset or his soft-skills will amount nothing more than a hill of beans.
But there are only 24 hours in a day and eight of them are already spent sleeping!
True, but what about the other 16 hours? Eight of those sixteen are for working and working with the people you leading. That leaves eight hours for personal matters. Matters such as spending time with the family, hobbies, and personal development. All that and dinner, too?
You have to. You have no choice.
One thing to remember you and I and all us one thing in common. We all have the same 24 hours. Believe it or not every Doctor, Lawyer, Computer Engineer, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Janitor, Teacher, Bus Driver, and Student, all have those same 24 hours.
What does all that mean?
It means that while we are all unique individuals were are all, also the same. We have that same amount of time. Yet, there are plenty of people finding the time within those 24 hours to work on the commitment, dedication needed to become a better leader.
As you can see, it will be difficult but you have to find the time to be better. You have to use that time to grow both personally and professionally. In upcoming blog posts I will take a deeper dive into how to properly use your new found time.
As always if you have any comments, questions, remarks or concerns please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org