How many times has a client said that they will get their bookkeeping up to date, get their tax return info to us, implement a strategy etc, and it hasn’t happened?
Case Study Engineering Company
Right now, we are trying to implement a system in an engineering company. This integrates with bookkeeping software, covers stock control, sales and purchase order processing, job and work scheduling. It’s in the cloud, everyone can see at what stage any job is, and it replaces a very old database which is often wrong, and needs emails to and fro, so wasting time. It was scheduled for roll-out 6 months ago. It’s still in the build phase.
Why does this happen?
Why, given that they want it to happen? Because they are busy, and they can’t find the time. So, they put it off, the problem gets bigger and now needs more time, which they can’t allocate so they put it off…
Case Study Green Energy Contractor
Again, a client has won a major green energy contract that needs much more capacity than they have now. How can they even start? Where do they find the people, what systems do they need, how do they build them? How long will it all take, given they have 12 months from now to get the contract finished? Scaling this fast is hard.
This issue isn’t about what we need from our clients, nor is it restricted to the day-to-day admin, or finance, or marketing of a business. It’s pervasive. It applies to every aspect of life, not just business.
Kaizen is the answer
The philosophy of kaizen was popularised by Toyota, and it means “good change.” It means gradual, continuous improvement. Every day, some thing, even small, gets better. Over time extraordinary things occur.
“There is no benefit in making sure it’s perfect if it’s late.”
Start. Break the problem down into small, bite sized chunks. Do one, then the next and so on. You can refine it later once it’s all working. Allocate 10 minutes to start the task. Studies show you may stretch the 10 minutes out, now that you get into it, and more gets done. You will feel better to have accomplished something.
Also, Ziegarnik and Ovsiankina
Bluma Zeigarnik found that once started, the task stays uppermost in your mind. One of her colleagues, Maria Ovsiankina found that people had a stronger urge to complete unfinished tasks. You can use these effects to start, knowing that you will be more likely to finish the task.
Keeping to small, bite sized, 10 minutes chunks, allows you the satisfaction of knowing you are making progress. That nagging problem is going away.
Does it work? Yes, it does
With the engineering company, we’ve agreed to simply describe what is needed on the first page of every instrument they make. Then that informs what we need in a job schedule, then what stock elements, then sales order processing, reports etc.
For the green energy contract, the client will get hold of all the people they know who can do the job now, and use them as subcontractors, whilst they advertise permanent jobs. It starts the contract, thus making the problem smaller, and gets some cash flowing to fund the rest.
Here is another learning – don’t expect a binary solution, i.e. I’ll do this or that. Do both at the same time. Don’t worry that it adds to workload. It won’t, as it reduces the size of each part of the problem and buys you time. And as you start, you will find better ways of doing more, quicker.
“Overthinking leads to procrastination. Thinking whilst doing leads to results.”
It comes down to that old saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”
Let’s round up
To overcome the paralysis of time and a big job to do, break it down into small parts and just start!
How we can help you
We are all about helping you achieve the best life-work (not work-life) balance for you. We do what you need to keep you on the right side of the taxman, answer all your questions, and make helpful suggestions.
Always recognising that your business is a tool for you, not an end in itself. We help you plan to live your best life for longer.
Freedom and independence is the key to success, so book a free Business Energizer session with us to find out how to achieve it.