You might not recognize the wasted time, energy, or money in your business until it smacks you in the face. #realtalk
But, once you ARE aware of the wasted efforts, investments, or minutes, you now have to spend even MORE time figuring out how it started, where it began, and what to do next. Which just adds even more weight to the top of your to-do list, holding you back from doing what you love.
We have all been there. Frozen in the paralysis of what’s being held back in your business and not able to take action on breaking through it. I’m here to say you aren’t alone, and there IS something that can be done about it to get back your time, conserve your energy, and SAVE your money.
Waste (aka – wasted time, energy, and money) exists literally everywhere, and it’s SO important to recognize and target how waste is showing up in your business and in your life. Discovering those wasted efforts is a TOP contributor to improving your productivity and getting that time, effort, and money BACK into your reach.
Organization improves efficiency and allows the waste to be more visible. So the more organized that you are, the more you’re going to be able to see a clear path to what is benefiting your workflow and what is actually holding you back from success and from the place that you’re wanting to be.
The best way to get to your ideal situation or process is targeting your DOWNTIME waste through practicing continuous improvement. That means encouraging small improvements in your life because even the smallest improvements add up to small wins that help advance the GROWTH AND SPACE in your life. With those small increases in productivity, your team is going to see the change happening and fall into the snowball effect of rapid improvement.
Mark Twain said it best… “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”
Targeting your DOWNTIME waste is a problem-solving method that is an opportunity for learning. It’s NOT a method of blaming people. 90% of the time, it’s the PROCESS that fails – NOT the individual. The way things are set up in your business is NOT bulletproof. So don’t add fuel to the fire by placing blame on your team because something went haywire. When it comes to cleaning up and getting rid of tasks, processes, systems, etc. that aren’t there to improve your workflow, you’re focusing & pinpointing where that energy is being held and not who is the one who set it up.
Here’s a peek at how targeting DOWNTIME waste works for me & my team…
DEFECTS – The way I eliminate defects is more of an ‘ongoing’ thing. When I’m troubleshooting tech errors, this is where I document anything that I can prevent in future workflows.
OVER PRODUCTION – This is where project plans come into play. Having a set template to tweak and adjust for each launch really gets things fine-tuned the more the plan is done. I don’t worry about adding in the extra fluff here – it’s all about what is NEEDED to get the job done. (Metrics tracking AFTER the fact is where you can decide to implement something new next time.)
WAITING – Instead of waiting for a deliverable, or someone else’s tasks, I focus on the things I can control and keep my workflow going to eliminate time that could have been productive.
NOT-CLEAR – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – ask all the questions. Frequently communicate and speak in terms everyone can be on the same page about so you aren’t wasting time later trying to catch up.
TRANSPORT – As much as I love my restorative qualities and rearranging of project plans and tasks, there are times when it’s not benefiting anyone. Doing this outside of a project/launch period will prevent any new barriers you would run into operating on the fly.
INVENTORY – Using what you have to the fullest extent is where you’re really going to learn how your software is benefiting you the most. So don’t shell out extra cash for the sake of having something new, and do it when you know it’s strategically the best move.
MOTION – Here is where I focus on the amount of ‘clicks’ or steps inside of my ops. If there is a way I can condense how many times I open up a new browser – I’m doing it. There’s no point in adding steps if it’s not doing you any good.
EXCESS PROCESSING – One. Thing. At. A. Time. We all have 75 million things on our to-do lists but stressing about them all at once or trying to DO them all at once is not helping ANY scenario.
So – what does that mean for you & how can you target what “waste” is adding value to your business and what needs to be trimmed or thrown out?
If the ‘thing’ taking up space is something that is of benefit & is necessary to you or your workflow, it is value-added and not considered “waste”. This is something like prepping for a discovery call. It’s valuable to your business & benefits how the outcome turns out. If something is considered of value, the action is to optimize how you approach it. An example of this would be prepping for the discovery call a day in advance so that you can prepare how the time can be best spent.
If the ‘thing’ taking up space is something that you wouldn’t expect, wouldn’t want or halts your workflow, it is considered “non-value-added waste”. This is something like waiting an excessive amount of time for something you need, constantly reworking errors that pop up without fixing the issue, or having to spend time searching for something. If something is considered non-value-added waste, the action is to eliminate it completely. An example of this would be fixing an automation connection so that it is not showing an error each time it is triggered.
If the ‘thing’ taking up space is something that causes excessive waiting or cash, but is necessary for your business, it is considered “non-value-added but necessary”. This is something like waiting for certification test results or legal documentation that is required for your business operations. If something is considered non-value-added but necessary, the action is to perform as efficiently as possible. We can’t eliminate this ‘thing’ because it’s needed for our business, but what we can do is reduce the number of steps taken to get to the end result. An example of this would be taking the certification test some time in advance so that you aren’t stressing over getting results back asap.
Once you’re able to categorize your time into these 3 buckets, you’ll be able to take action on what needs to be optimized, eliminated, or just done as efficiently as possible.
Featured Article Inside The Elevate Magazine, A Publication Inside The Passive Project Membership, Hosted By Gemma Bonham-Carter.