Here is an insightful blog on Time Management by one of the most efficient business minds I know—Jim Gano. Enjoy! – Dr. James Lynch
March 14, 2018
Answering the question “How do you get it all done?”
I can’t even venture a guess at how many times I get asked the question “How do you get it all done?” or my personal favorite “Is there anything you don’t do?” to which I often jokingly reply, “yes, sleep!” I own a business with five separate and distinct divisions, including awards, signs, custom imprinted apparel, promotional items and varsity jackets, almost like having five companies in one. I also host a weekly radio show, called “Takin’ Care of Business.” I announce local high school football and basketball games. I am a freelance announcer. I emcee several fundraising events every year for local charities and organizations. I am a writer. I am a husband and a father. And I consult with and speak to numerous businesses on how to make their operations more efficient, improve productivity and return them to profitability. I also volunteer on several committees/boards in my community. As you can see my plate is pretty full. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sometimes when asked how do I get it all done, I am confused by the question. I get it done because I have to. My day starts at 5am when I wake up and I start prioritizing the top five things I need to do that day. There will be many more things that have to get done, but these five are the “must do’s” of the day. I get it done because I set goals and times for things to be finished and just like President Jed Bartlett, on the TV show “The West Wing” as soon as I am done with one task I ask, “What’s next?” though I don’t reference Mrs. Lanigham, then I move onto the next task.
Recently, one woman really pressed me for an answer when I was a guest speaker at a Women in Business luncheon talking about ‘marketing and promoting your business’ and said “I really want to know how you do it all.” And it didn’t seem like she was going to let me off the hook until I answered her. So I said, “I make time for everything, I prioritize tasks (even color code them) and delegate what others on my staff can do so I can focus on those things that only I can handle, and I don’t take on more than I can handle. If it is important to you, you will find a way to get it all done. Some days my calendar looks more like a kaleidoscope than a day planner, but not always. When there is a conflict in my schedule I try to reschedule something or if I can’t, I pick the one I deem most important and decline the second (or third or fourth). I may miss a favorite TV show while I prepare my radio show, but that is why I have a DVR, I’ll catch the show later. I may stay up later one night or get up early to work on something, but again if I deem it important, I’ll find a way to get it done.” She snarked, “Your wife must love that.” I told her “I am home almost every night for dinner, I spend time with her and our kids if they are home, we might watch a few TV shows or talk each night, but eventually if I need to get something done, I will excuse myself and do it, then return if time allows.
Again, it all comes down to what is important to you. My family is most important to me and I try never to let my work interfere with that. I realized a long time ago that there is much more time in the day if you use it wisely. I could fool around on the internet, or watch TV shows until my eyes cross, but those things aren’t as important to me as being with my family, building my business and making sure my employees have plenty of work to do to keep them employed. They are the backbone of my business and what allows me to do those other things I enjoy.
Years ago when I was asked why I do so much by someone I explained to them that when we die our headstone will have our name on it along with the date we are born and the date we died. In between those two dates will be a dash. That dash represents everything we did from the day we were born until the day we left this earth. I’m just filling up the dash. Sometimes when my wife or my friends ask me what I am doing at a particular moment I’ll tell them, “Just filling the dash.” And they all know what that means.
The takeaway here is simple. Do what is important to you. Don’t procrastinate. Make the time. Do it today, not tomorrow and you will be surprised how much more you can do with your extra time. Then, find something else to do, time with family, friends, travel, a hobby, volunteer, you pick, it’s your life.
But, never stop filling up your dash.
Jim Gano is an award winning business consultant and owner of Crown Trophy of Flemington an award retailer specializing in awards for corporate recognition and athletic and academic achievement. Additionally, the company has three other divisions, a full service sign shop, a promotional products division, and a custom imprinted apparel division. Gano also hosts a weekly radio show called “Takin’ Care of Business” which can be heard at noon (Eastern) every Thursday by logging onto www.hunterdonchamberradio.com or on WHCR-DB