In the Weeds

My brother-in-law recently opened a restaurant and is now learning what it means to be “in the weeds.” For those of you unfamiliar with this expression, it means you are crazy-busy and working at a frantic pace. For all of us in the print and promotional products industry, this is the “in the weeds” time of year. Everyone is slammed with end-of-year projects, sales goals and preparations for 2013.

Many moons ago, I worked in a restaurant, back in the kitchen. It was a popular restaurant and because of the sheer volume of diners we were “in the weeds” frequently. I loved managing the situation, prioritizing orders and getting the job done right. I loved the mad rush. If all went right, when it ended, the quiet after the storm was filled with a sense of accomplishment. However, to get to that peaceful place, it was necessary to walk into the storm with a great team who knew exactly what was expected of them. With a talented and committed team, even when the unexpected happens, you still have efficiency, quick and creative thinking and a solid knowledge base to get you through.

Joe Mathews, Don Debolt and Deb Percival of published a great article on time management to increase productivity. Given the time of year, I thought a few of these were standout suggestions to help maximize in-office efforts to get ‘er done. Here are my picks from their list:

  • Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end.
  • Schedule time for interruptions. Put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
  • Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and emails just because they show up. Instead, schedule a time to respond to emails and return phone calls.
  • Block out distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.

Good luck, everyone, and enjoy the rush.

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