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Constantly Running Against The Clock?
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Constantly Running Against The Clock?

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Do you feel like you're constantly running against the clock?

Here is a simple and trusted tool in time management that is not only useful for Directors and their own personal time management but also for your staff in the office or on-site.

It’s a simple thought process that helps you decide “what's next ?” Shared with your team the same thought process can bring massive improvements in productivity for the business and cut down on endless cross communications.

With what seemed like an endless barrage of calls and emails, in time you can work with your team to catch up once a day stopping all the downtime.

These disruptions are massive breaks in concentrations often taking 15-20 mins before fully up to speed again so the benefits are so powerful when implemented.

If are on the tools and up a tower but have to come down to go outside to take a call, take off the PPE and all that goes with it, signing out in some places, it's bad enough if you do it for time efficiency, can you see what it does to your labour output if your office is ringing the men during the day, its chaos.

Little things like pre-arranged call times when you know they will be down for a break matched with the time square method and it can reduce stress levels between site and the office.

This process will help if you:

  • Run around putting out fires all day, rather than focusing on tasks you want to complete.
  • Are busy but feel like your work has little impact,
  • Aren’t making progress on long-term goals,
  • Suffer from procrastination,
  • Struggle to say “no” when asked to do something,
  • Have a hard time delegating tasks,

🤔 So how does this work?

Well it is driven by two words used together but in different orders that you will have to really learn to consider what they mean when used at different times

  1. Urgency - A job or action that is time-sensitive and must be done immediately.
  2. Importance - A part of an action that contributes to your long-term mission, values, and goals. They may not yield immediate results (making them easy to neglect). Sometimes important tasks are also urgent — but usually not.

So what does this look like?

Saint 1 - Urgent and Important

This is a critical area. What must happen today. This could be, do the lads knowing where they are going? Has the RAMS been signed off? Have they got the right kit and materials? Do you know when to call that client today? Have you got the pricing all done, checked and ready to go?

It's probably where you feel you live most days and you can feel the tension in your chest as you quickly have to change and move things around as you have to deal with problems as they occur.

While these tasks will always be important and urgent, we can then understand what is not, allowing us to better manage and use our time.

Saint 2 - Not Urgent but Important

This is where a lot of the planning is done.

Stop for a moment, break the old habit of calling someone and just think about what needs to happen here. This is where you will consider not just what needs to be done but when so you have the cards and you play them at the right time in the right order.

This is your time buffer to the chaos occurring, you have time. Once this system comes into play the first few days will be hard but then a time gap appears and everyone understands the framework and stop shouting to be heard. This is your time to consider how you do things daily and is it having the right effect. Is there a disciplined approach to changing things and looking after each other.

Saint 3 - Urgent but not Important

This area, as mad as it sounds is where we find Clients Admin to be the main culprit, it’s all over the place. Site to Site and things are getting done but if admin is not considered it can get out of control quickly and even the person doing it becomes unmotivated.

These are urgent tasks and the idea is to have them ready to be brought into Saint 2, so they don’t just sit there, we consider, action and then review on a daily basis.

Saint 4 - Not Urgent and not Important

These are the things you say “leave on my desk” and you just never really get to.

Some would view this section as a mental dumping ground. Note to call a rep, a bit of kit that you’re thinking of buying. With these kinds of tasks, it is best to put stuff in here and hold. It is not important and not urgent. You can look at these tasks when you have spare time or are not feeling 100%, For example, Friday afternoon or when you cannot be bothered to get into anything other than a bit of housekeeping. Clear out what you do not want to keep, try to keep it to 10 items, no more.

📈 The Process

Imagine an email just came in from someone that works for you, it’s just an enquiry but then you also get a reminder for van insurance to renew next month, your staff member puts it in Saint 3 for you to review later. No call is needed, no distraction. They have handled and managed the task, filtered in and notified you.

If your work with SaintVA, this is exactly how we work, We are able to handle the incoming "distractions" and appropriately organise them to what's a priority. We will move things backwards and forwards so you can see how a task is placed and this will correlate with live updates on your iPads or phone. This stops so much cross calling, wasted downtime and then agree to a review time per day.

You or your team all now make a commitment and agree, this is where you all learn to trust each other or will hold each person accountable, yourself included as you are leading the operation so need to show by example. Your goal is to live mainly in Saint 2 and alternate to Saint 1 only when required.

This is the system at its most basic but we can really use it as a powerful testing and audit tool. Saint Coaching can help you implement this and most importantly make it become a company habit across the entire business.

Coaching helps because the staff can push back or moan or think it's not a good idea so it just loses pace due to neglect from the team. Most people hate change and they like to stay in their comfort zones, but that is why things stay the same. A Saint Construction Coach helps break through that and acts as the buffer for the MD from the staff. We take a little bit of flack but we are able to implement systems that deliver results in a quick turnaround.

We use this same technique when we work with our client's admin teams or even the site teams in fact. We help implement systems which allow the team to relax/destress and clear the fog, leading to improved efficiency, communication and team morale.

That's a wrap

If you would like to discuss anything mentioned within this article please feel free to book in a call with your Business Development Manager to a have a quick and free call to clear any of your problems or worries!

Frequently asked questions

This article has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.

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Constantly Running Against The Clock?

Written by the team at:

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