Getting long-lasting relief from overwork

overworkedfirst of three parts) demand for remodeling services—including flooring—is through the roof right now. It’s common for dealers to be booked out for weeks, even months. Much of my coaching has centered around helping overstressed, overworked dealers regain control and find relief.

Here are some strategies to help you do just that.

One week task journal. I’ve used this strategy with many of my coaching clients to help them consistently accomplish their mission-critical projects and to quickly free up an entire day per week without adding additional staff. Here’s how it works:

For one week carry a notepad with you everywhere you go. Set a reminder on your smartphone to go off every hour. When the reminder sounds, write down what tasks you performed during the previous hour and how much time you spent on each task. At the end of the week, review your task journal. You’re looking for single tasks—such as sales, answering phones, measuring, etc.—that are taking up multiple hours per week and which can be delegated.

delegate. As entrepreneurs, it’s tempting to keep our fingers in every pie. If we’re not micro-managing, it won’t get done right. This mindset keeps dealers overworked. You’ve got to let go and let others handle tasks that are keeping you overworked and preventing you from accomplishing mission-critical projects. This means delegation. The one-week task journal will help you determine which tasks to delegate first. Look for a single task, which if delegated, will free up the most hours. As an example, if you’re spending 20 hours per week selling, then hiring an additional salesperson or delegating some or all of your sales duties to your current team will immediately free up those hours.

Write systems. You want to shift your business from being owner-dependent to being system-dependent. This means having written or documented systems. (If it’s not written down, it’s not a system.) Using the sales team example, I train dealers and their teams on a step-by-step, written sales process that’s easy to learn. I also train owners to have a written checklist of daily and weekly tasks, which each member of their sales team is responsible for. You should also have written systems for whatever tasks you’re trying to delegate.

Tools, training and accountability. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your delegation efforts you need to put three things in place. First, tools to accomplish the task. (A written process is the primary tool, but can also include physical tools such as software, installation tools, etc.) Second, you must train your team on how to use the tools. And third, you need to hold your team accountable to use the tools. Weekly sales or staff training will accomplish all three. Whatever you’re trying to delegate, training meetings give you the opportunity to: 1) introduce your team to the tools; 2) train them on how to use the tools; and 3) provide them with accountability to use the tools consistently and correctly.

Each of these tips can be used for delegating any task you want off your plate, not just sales. If you have a question about implementation, drop me an email.

Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For more, email: [email protected]

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