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 Entrepreneur.com 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.

Nikki Stella is the president of Promo Marketing Media Group.

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