Today I'm going to talk about time and the value of time. That's a subject I've had lots of advice from people on and it's a subject I still find highly complex.
How do you value your time as a business owner? Are you as productive as you could be and are the team on track to meeting objectives?
The general consensus of calculating the value of time is to:
- work out how much money you want to make at the end of the year
- then divide that by how many hours you should be working (over the year)
- to make the amount of money that gets your value (of time/effort).
If you're a medium size business you might value your time at $200 an hour, $500 an hour. If you're getting into a bigger business you might value your time at $1,000 or a mega business $5,000 an hour.
Value Task Allocation
Your time should be focussed on the tasks/activities that are going to move your HVAC company forward....you dont want to get caught up in the tasks that can be handled by someone else (for a lower value).
The idea is when evaluating tasks you can do, if there's a task someone can do at a better rate or a better price than you, i.e. cheaper :- that is a task you can hand over. You can pay someone $20, $40 or $80 an hour to do a task, that means you don't have to do that task and can focus on the tasks that need your expertise/time/effort.
The more people you can get doing those tasks, the more wealth creation or the more value creation you're able to produce by re-directing your time to the right tasks.
Let's face it, your time is always required because you're managing/leading, training, mentoring, following up on people so it's not like your value of time goes away completely. The more you can spread your energy to support those people doing that work and you can have the revenue to cover those people the better. That calculation is valid.
But here is the kicker....this applies to your personal time as well as your efforts in the business.
Your time ... I view your time whether it's an hour of work or an hour at home. If there's something at home you can get someone else to do, like mowing your lawns (unless you like doing that) or cleaning the house or whatever. Your time is valuable so if you value your time at $200 an hour and you can get someone to clean your house for $35 an hour, that's a good investment (for your time).
So why do we want to value our time?
....an hour back in your day that gives you an hour to have downtime (relax with family/friends) or uptime (exercising, doing something of interest) is just as important.
Work time is valuable but so is your downtime because the productivity of your work time is directly correlated to how much downtime you get (and rest). That need to recover is a bit counter-intuitive but if you just keep going and you don't have a break your productivity nosedives.
Do you have the stamina for the long haul?
You could go for a couple of months pretty hard core, "Look at all this productivity, I am kicking goals." Then all of a sudden your productivity halves and halves again until ... you're working backwards, seriously - you cant get anything finished.
You can work so hard and get so tired that the decisions you're making are actually sending your company backwards so regular breaks are so important (even mini breaks). Half the time you dont even realise what the cause of the nosedive in productivity is due to.
My wife and I have just started planning these breaks out (in advance). Our breaks for the whole year are mapped out (we would love it to be for big holidays) but its actually the mini breaks we have planned out - atleast one 2-4 day weekend every month.
If you know when you're going to have it you can organise everything around it; book your pet in to kennel/cattery, you can make sure you've done all your shopping, you can make sure the camper trailer is sorted out, you can get everything organized.
The stress of it goes away, which let's be honest here, it can be stressful getting out the door to have a holiday!
That yearly planner, booking your downtime, it means your uptime is more productive. Map out all your events for the year on a yearly planner and lock in those bloody holidays.
If you are like me, always say when we get back from a holiday "I really should book another one." Some people are organized but I wasn't and now that I am it's a hell of a lot better I can tell you.
Value your time, make sure you have plenty of downtime.
But how do you step away from the Business
This comes down to delegation - to other people; a couple of points to consider:
- giving clear instruction,
- giving them the procedures, and
- setting aside time to train them and
- follow-up on what they're doing
Just bellowing at someone to do something when you take off on a holiday is not training so if you're getting angry and frustrated, stop, look at your systems. If you haven't documented the thing you're getting upset about that's on you.
Look at your own behaviour, say, "Are you actually following the process? Are you upholding your end of the deal?" Then, talk to your staff, are they upholding their end of the deal.
This was recently explained to me by Athol (he's a business coach for trades businesses). That is, 'sometimes you need to put emotion into your instruction and direction to people and you need to get that balance right. Just bold faced bellowing at someone just makes them feel like crap and they're going to rebel.'
On the other hand, being really passive and just saying, "It'd be really nice if you didn't do it that way," is also useless. Both those two things are counter-intuitive, the bellowing is opening you up to mistakes being made, you get them off side and they're going to be out to get you. The really passive is you're just wasting your time, in both those situations you're wasting your 'valuable' time.
Also, the way you tell them is important. If it's important then emphasize it in your language, and in your energy, and in your animation. People who are a bit passive like me, if I don't put any emphasis in to it people can easily think what I'm saying as I don't care about it or I don't think it is important.
If it's important you need to express that it's important and why.
Anyway, that's probably not the best advice but having the right amount of energy in your conversation and being respectful but still having that energy level right and definitely not losing your cool!
Time. There you go?
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