Stop Kneading the Dough in Your Business
Lack of time is not the problem – although you might think it is.
In my years of coaching and training, I have found that not having enough time is not the root of problems for small business owners, entrepreneurs and business professionals. Most often it is the lack of clarity and systemized organization.
Two examples to illustrate what I mean:
One from my own experience:
I recently took space and have an office outside my home. Immediately I discovered how much time I had given over – or wasted – by meeting people here and there. It wasn’t the travel time, although that was huge, it was the “set up time.” To meet someone, I had to
- gather documents and materials
- pack up my computer
- make sure I had a notepad and paper
- include any reference or resource materials I wanted to share.
And that takes time. We would meet and then I would go back to my home office and have to unpack and put it all away (or live in a constant state of chaos and piles). And that takes time. So a simple 45 minute meeting would actually eat up at least two hours – longer depending on travel time.
Is it that I didn’t have enough hours in the day? No, it was that I was not using my time efficiently.
The second example has to do with a project a client was working on.
The project was a new program that entailed multiple steps in several layers. It was very detailed and complex. There were also several linear aspect in which one action had to be taken prior to the next. And it was overwhelming my client.
After looking at his process, I understood why. He was kneading it, just like the baker punching down the bread dough and kneading it to let it rise multiple times. Massage and roll it in. Massage and roll it in. Over and over. Good for bread, not good for business.
He did not clearly have the process outlined or a list and timeline. He knew that this task and that task needed to be completed, so he’d do them. Then when he had time, he’d go back and have to review where he was and what else needed to be done. Then he’d do a task. Later he’d review it all and once again, find one or two more tasks to complete. He was exhausted and disappointed and even bored with it. He decided there was too much and he didn’t have the time needed to complete the project – which would be a money-maker for him.
You can see that not being clear and planning in the beginning – and then having to constantly review and pore over the entire project every time he thought about it – was the root problem. It wasn’t that he didn’t have time, he was not using the time he had efficiently.
Clarity and planning would have simplified the project. He could have had a checklist to mark off tasks or given him the opportunity to delegate part of the process. He would not have to review every step every time he thought about it.
He created his own churning feeling of being overwhelmed.
If you think you don’t have enough time to get everything done, take pause and notice if you are eating it away by your habits.
Being a business professional, you have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to make change that improves productivity and profitability. This could be a big one!
To Your Success!
B3 – Be Bold, Brilliant and Boundless!