Uncertain times make it very difficult to work in the business, as well as on it. As they say, it’s difficult to think long term while you’re knee-deep in alligators. No offense to the alligators. The market redistribution and economic uncertainty continues for many in the printing industry. Your customer mix, products and volume are all changing. For example, some are achieving their revenue growth targets, but due to the change in the business mix, the value-added revenue isn’t where it needs to be which is affecting profitability. Making the time to work on the business, and to be your best self, is extremely important during these transitional times.
What are you uniquely qualified to do? What are the things that only you can do for the business? When you look back at your calendar, what percentage of your time is spent on those areas? This isn’t a question of working harder, or longer hours. It’s about focusing on the areas that you could have the biggest impact on. One area to consider is how can you amplify the time that you have? By that I mean, how can you push decisions to the lowest level so that you can focus on only the decisions that need to be made by you? Work to help your direct reports to be both capable and enabled to solve problems and make decisions.
All Things Can Be Important
While all things can be important, some are much more important than others. The importance of a task or initiative can be measured by a matrix of impact on the organization, and the amount of time and effort spent to complete the task. You may often find that the small things take the same amount of time as the big things. It’s important for you to help your team to understand and discern the difference between the two.
Manage Your Time or Others Will Do It for You
I talk to business leaders all the time that say that they’re so busy, but don’t feel they’ve accomplished as much as they like. Look at your calendar, what have you scheduled? Who are you meeting with, what are you listening to and reading, and how are you preparing to think about your business? Often, we can find time by reviewing a calendar and eliminating the noise. As many have said, if you don’t manage your time, others will do it for you, and you’ll be left with the receipts. There is a French saying, “Donner du temps au temps,” or “Give time for time.” Our time is finite, and our ability to use it most effectively is an option all of us have.
There has been much written about time management, and how to effectively use the time you are given. We read in amazement how CEOs of mega corporations have time to vacation, read extensively, and participate in many of their other interests. The truth is their day resets every 24 hours just like ours. It’s what we do with our 24 hours that counts. The good news? You’re in control and you can decide, but you need to decide.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Printing Impressions.