Productivity – Plenty of Room for Improvement!

“The journey IS the destination.”

Thank GOD that’s true.

As I venture through my coaching experience, there are areas that both excite me for the “simplicity” of what really needs to be done. There are also areas that could easily overwhelm me if I didn’t keep that quote from my friend Brian of the Daily Audio Bible in front of me on a regular basis. While life is full of deadlines, to-do lists, and hectic months of business transitions, babies, and coaching homework, it’s good to remember that this is not all just about “fixing” tomorrow. It is about realizing my potential for LIFE, both for my own fulfillment, and even more than that, what I can offer to others and glorify my Creator with.

Today I took a survey and came up with goals related to Productivity. As I ventured through this section, it pointed out many areas of my weekly habits that are quite lacking, and also pointed out WHY they are so. It’s not so much that I don’t know what I should be focusing on, it’s often that I let things get in the way that shouldn’t, or don’t make priorities “must do’s.” Instead, they become “should do’s,” and the urgent things that pop up each day somehow take precedence until the end of the day when I look back and say, “I didn’t do what I set out to do.”

So here are some thoughts from my journey through the Productivity section of my coaching experience:

DEFINITION OF PRODUCTIVITY:

Define what it means for you to personally be “productive” in your job. What is it essentially that you get paid for?

Just what is it i do to earn my keep? I definitely provide the go-to solutions for servers, databases, and software development. I also help design solutions for many other areas that my company supports. I do almost anything, and am able to turn parts of it over to others after establishing what needs to be done. But do I ever let go from the get-go of some responsibilities? Is there anything I’ve completely “relinquished” to the point that I may supervise, but not manage and head up? For instance, when it comes to support and hardware, areas I should and can delegate out, I am still on the front lines to determien what “needs to be done” and pick up / order anything we need to get it done. I do the bookkeeping. I do the sales. I find new clients and come up with new ideas and opportunities. I am the one in meetings. I know well the addage: “a man of many hats.” Is this good? Is it productive?

Wher is my greatest contributionb to C2IT Consulting? Where do I find the best return on investment for the time I spend working for the business? The more I think of it, it is in two areas: planning / growing the business and working with special technologies such as servers, database, and development. Just what does that mean? Why do I do everything (or at least initiate everything) when I specialize and provide the most value in specific areas? Sure, part of it is because I’m a 3 person (well, kinda… really just 2 at the moment) business. Are these things I need to let go? How would I do so? What steps do I need to take to do so?

So my definition of productivity… Doing what I am made to do. Doing what I am uniquely assigned with. It involves identifying those areas of my job that I should focus on and finding ways to either let go of other responsibilities, limit my involvement in them, or delegate them to those that work for and with me. As the business owner and president, I need to decide what I want to (and can) entrust to employees, what I must do myself, and what I can do in-house or farm out.

I believe productivity also involves setting asside specific times for tasks and responsibilities, especially those that are not in my realm of expertice, responsibility, or that bring value to the company. Things like bookkeeping, prospecting, and returning emails/phone calls… while these are necessary, key to growth, and even part of my day to day life, I find them often dictating my schedule and priorities each day. I cannot let them dominate or take over my days.

GOAL CATEGORIES FOR PRODUCTIVITY

After taking a survey looking at areas that I am involved in and whether or not those areas are, are not, or should be in my realm of responsibility, I came up with some categories for setting goals to grow and improve myself and the business:

  • FOCUS on areas of the business where I bring unique value to our clients and our company.
  • LIMIT my involvement and time in areas of the business that, while I am responsible for and must accomplish, do not bring as much value to the company.
  • REDUCE OR REMOVE my involvement in areas of the business that draw me from my responsibilities.
  • DEVELOP GOALS (specific, attainable, positive, etc.) for tracking what is needed to bring in an appropriate and growing client base.
  • Recognize my importance as the FACE OF THE COMPANY in sales, networking, and solution providing.
  • Compare C2IT’s offerings with local and non-local competition or comparable companies to DISCOVER VALUE AND ADJUST FOR WEAKNESSES.
  • Limit my time “at work” so that it does not dominate my personal life.

PRODUCTIVITY GOALS

CATEORY GOAL PRIORITY
Focus where I bring value Set aside a MINIMUM amount of time each day (will vary by day based on schedule / location) to work on business planning, proposal and presentation preparation, opportunity exploring, and custom development (as needed). Also examine “spec” projects and decide the amount of time to give them each week. Only go below this minimum if specific criteria is met (define that criteria). 2
Limit time spent on other responsibilities Set aside a MAXIMUM amount of time each day (varies by day) to work on regular responsibilities such as support, bookkeeping, phone calls and email, prospecting, and sales calls. Only go above this maximum if specific criteria or emergencies arise, and if they do, compensate elsewhere. 1
Reduce or Remove time spent on areas that draw me from my focus Create job descriptions for all positions, even if multiple job descriptions are held by a single person. 4
Develop goals and baselines for bringing in clients to maintain and grow company Implement the “4 point” sales system to maintain steady work on sales-related tasks, and record information so as to track information about suspects, prospects, and turning them into clients. Develop goals for revenue from new clients, how many clients / how much work is needed to meet that revenue, and determine the work necessary to attain that. 3
Increase my value as the face of the company Write a monthly newsletter to key clients, vendors, and decision makers with information about C2IT happenings, usability tips, IT happenings, specials, new opportunities, new clients, etc. 5
Compare to competition to find value and fix problems Find 3 comparable local businesses and one non-local and compare their offerings and pricing via their websites or phone calls. Local: one smaller, one similar, and one relatively bigger. See how we compare, what we offer that is unique, and where we might improve. 6
Limit time “at work” Develop an “on call” schedule and routine for handing emergencies. Work this into job descriptions. 4

FINAL THOUGHTS

My exploration of productivity shows me several things. One that really shows up is something that I think leads to some dissatisfaction with days when I work hard but “accomplish” little, or when I just can’t decide what it is I need to work on that day. I don’t fully know what I should be doing, don’t have it planned until the moment hits, and don’t see how it fits into the bigger picture… not just of “growing the business,” but meeting my personal and professional goals so that I can attain the dreams that TRULY motivate me. I need to get specific about how these goals and time spent working on them fits into those bigger pictures, and then keep that motivating information in front of me on a daily basis so as to consistently be reminded that what I am doing each moment matters.

Leave a Reply