Skip to main content


Too many jobs / not enough time?

Many times you hear people talking about the lack of time in their day and the amount of tasks or projects that are building up. There is a simple approach to this that can be used to great effect and may be worth a go. It is the idea of drip feeding 10 minute tasks into your day. Ten minutes isn't a lot of time and you can get a surprisingly large amount of work done in a focussed slot of 10 minutes. Ten minutes isn't very long and so usually doesn't make us feel overwhelmed, this means that procrastination can be avoided. Ten minutes done every day is fifty minutes in a normal working week. Many projects can be moved on with nearly an hour a week. Moreover, if the tasks or projects you have chosen to spend 10 minutes a day on are important, you will probably gain momentum and decide to spend more time on these and stop doing something that is less important. So, if you find yourself getting stuck then try putting your hard to reach / hard to start projects into

Stop doing what's no longer required

When an improvement has taken effect and the results you need have appeared this can often be an opportunity to stop doing some things that you have done before. Do the same KPIs need to be reported upon? Do the same reports need to be submitted to your clients? Do you still need to hold the same meetings that you had before your problems went away? When you make an improvement to your business some activities you did beforehand will not be as relevant. Some tasks may only be present because they are at the request of an unhappy owner or customer. Make the decision to stop doing what is no longer required and do more of what is essential. Smartspeed Consulting Limited Deliver on Time with Smartspeed

Result, Solution, Action

This is the sequence to make change happen. Many times we see organisations determine what solution they want, when in fact that will give them a different result to the one that they really want. If you find yourself in this situation, or are about to embark upon a new project, then ask yourself this question - "will this course of action give me the result that I need?" From root cause problem solving we know that the 'evidence' that we see around us is usually a symptom of the real problem and by probing deeper we can find the simpler and more powerful problem to solve. So, before you start your next project or improvement activity consider the steps once more: - What result do we need? - What is the appropriate solution? - What is the most efficient and effective course of action? Smartspeed Consulting Limited Deliver on Time with Smartspeed

A lack of reality

When you hear that information is not available and that it won't be discussed you can be fairly sure that there is something going wrong within a business. Whatever the reason is for not wanting to discuss the facts the outcome is clear. You cannot make decisions properly without the facts. Many times you can see this lack of engagement through the minimisation that takes place. Comments are made that make the situation look less important than it really is and the necessary fact finding never takes place. Keep your eyes and ears open for times when facts are being ignored or played down, there could be a significant opportunity lurking behind the scenes. Smartspeed Consulting Limited Deliver on Time with Smartspeed

Doing the right tasks at the right time

Businesses run on routines. Every day there will be some kind of activity that needs to take place like clockwork. If the routine task does not take place it will probably not be the end of the world, but if the task is never done the quality of the service, or the standards in the business may well drop. If routines of work are important then why do we struggle to keep them in place? One answer for this question is that we don't create formal rotas / schedules of activity that are clearly visible and located in a public place within the business. It does require discipline to maintain routine activities - especially when we become really busy. With a rota we are more able to remember what we need to do in order for the business to run smoothly, professionally and efficiently. If you need more help than just a rota then you may want to try implementing an end of week checklist for your own personal use, or put a reminder on your phone / email calendar. As the habit forms an

Taking the rough with the smooth

On our travels we see many projects getting behind schedule due to the people involved not the 'taking the rough with the smooth'. By this we mean that during the course of the project there may well be some elements that are highly enjoyable and some that are boring or difficult. If all of the tasks listed for a project are required to complete the project then all of them will need to be completed. By actively managing the parts of the project which appear, or are expected, to be in the difficult / confusing / tedious camp then you will have a better chance of others completing all of the tasks in a timely manner. If it is you who is struggling with these tasks then it might be worth considering the advice given by Brian Tracy in his book 'Eat that frog'. Basically, start your working day with the most unpleasant, difficult (and most important) task. Once this is done you don't have to think about that task again. Try it and see what it does for your proje

Don't rush your job

It's interesting to watch and take note of what happens when people rush their jobs. Things get missed off. Parts of the job that normally get done, and can be done from memory, don't get done. Depending on where you work this may or may not be critical. For a surgeon this may be life and death (or a fire fighter, or a pilot for example), for everyone else this could at least mean a poor customer experience for our clients, or the reworking of a job at a later date. Two improvements spring to mind with this problem in mind. 1 - using checklists can make life a lot easier (so when you are pushed for time you don't need to rely on your mind!). 2 - appropriate time should be given to a task and scheduled accordingly (or deferred if possible - should there not be enough time). Business does go quickly - but reworking the same problems time and time again is even slower. Look at the areas where you find mistakes occuring. If they are due to people rushing the job the