Since early age we have been told that, time is precious, that it is an asset. As we grow, we also learn that time is money. In fact, if you rephrase, wasting time means losing money. And, of course, nobody likes losing money, especially business owners and managers of all levels. Numerous books have been written on time management, dozens of apps and project management software are available, courses are attended where we learn how to manage the precious and limited resource, called time.
As a business owner, I try very hard to optimize my time and to train my team to use their time with maximum output. This subject is too big for just one article; yet, I would like to share with you, my valued reader, some no no-nonsense tips, which, if applied, will save you time and money. Guaranteed, or your money back. Oh, my blog is free. Then satisfaction guaranteed or your time is back.
- Prioritizing is the key. Being busy and having things done are not the same thing. You can always put things-to-do into four categories as in the below matrix. Always start from the tasks, which are both important and urgent, dedicate some time everyday to the important, but not urgent staff, do quickly urgent unimportant jobs and ignore unimportant and not urgent things.
- Create meaningful plan of actions for the next day. The best timing for making to-do-list is in the end of each working day. The most important assignments put first in your list. Be very specific. If you need to make some orders for spare parts and consumables, do it first thing you enter the bodyshop in the morning. For many of us it is difficult to jump in work early in the morning (I am the best example of that type of people), but if you have had your plan crafted before, it will be much easier to optimize your time.
- Keep tools in designated places. Have you ever met this super busy prep guy, who is always in hectic motion trying to find masking tape, a putty spreader or a box of gloves? Never leave the working place without sorting out your tools and materials; everything must have its place in a bodyshop.
- No customers on the working place. Period. Your receptionist is your bodyguard. Otherwise, workers will have to choose whether they should get stuff painted or to keep meaningless polite conversation with a curious customer.
- Learn to say no to things and jobs, which won’t benefit your business. Read a separate article on this subject “The art of saying NO applied to car body repair business”.
- Stop multitasking. Even if you think that doing prep job with one hand, and mixing paint with another, will speed up your work, do not be misleaded. Chances are you get poor results in both tasks with a result of expensive re-spray and re-work.
- Stop procrastinating important chores. Another useful post about procrastination “5 things to stop procrastinating in a bodyshop”. To be short, if you postpone changing filters in the spray booth or cleaning up the workshop, you will spend precious time later on when removing dust nibs or searching for tools.
Yet, the most important advice I can give is to know your limits. Business owners’, especially those who run a start-up, biggest challenge is not to burn out. Take breaks, learn to slow down and devote enough time for your loved ones.