MAX-imizing your time!

I remember my father, Max Gersh, used say “in business, if you need something to get done, give it to a busy person.”  When I first heard this as a teenager, it made no sense to me.  I remember thinking that I’d rather ask someone with lots of free time since they had could give it the time and attention it would need to get done.  As often happens, as I got older, it seemed the smarter my dad became!  

I learned through my own experience that busy people usually know how to get things done out of necessity since they don’t have the luxury of spare time to be wasted. You can see that busy people tend to be more dynamic and operate at a higher energy level than those whose time and talents are underutilized.  When I close my eyes and think of working with someone who is not busy I recall the time I got my first contractor’s license from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. I was busy so I made sure to get there early in order to get in and out quick, I asked the gentlemen if he could process my application and let me be on my way.  Instead he told me I had to wait. So I sat there and watched the guy slowly eat his breakfast while reading the paper at his desk.  You can imagine how infuriating this was for someone who was busy, but I bit my lip not so as not to wind up with my application lost in a bureaucratic vortex.

What I’ve also learned is that not all busy people are created equal.  What is truly more important is “effectiveness”, namely what are the results of all that activity. We all know people who operate at a frenetic pace with high energy, but they don’t seem to get their most important things accomplished. I have found that this is usually due to not having a clear plan of action or schedule for their time or that they’re just highly distracted and get lost chasing the “shiny foil” that arises during the day so they spend their time on things that may be urgent but unimportant.  

 In our business we have our fair share of situations that arise that are both “urgent and important” in the case of fires, floods or other emergencies that require immediate restoration and repair. I used to think “what’s the use of planning when something unexpected is going to come along and pull me away,” but I’ve found that the process of planning by itself helps to clarify my most important goals on a priority to-do list rather than having them swirling around in my head, possibly to be lost forever.  

The next critical step in maximizing effectiveness is to make sure that those priorities got time scheduled in my calendar with a specific day & time to get them done. This way if no emergencies happened, I had a clear plan of action to work on completing my priority tasks and if something urgent & important did arise, art least I had something to return to after the “storm” had passed to remind me what was important to me before I was distracted.

At MAXONS most everyone has been indoctrinated in scheduling their days and weekly goals in advance to the best of their ability and then staying on plan when the appointed time comes if at all possible. Tasks no longer are forgotten but may be postponed as priorities shift. I think these habits of planning, scheduling and managing our time has made our busy team at MAXONS generally more effective than our competition and has served to be a competitive advantage in managing our “busy-ness.”  If you’re interested in learning more about getting things done as a busy person, here’s a link to a helpful list with 13 Tips for More Effective Time Management at http://www.localcareers.com/links/time.htm

Contributed by Damon Gersh, CEO/President MAXONS Restorations, Inc.

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