Well, it is our “Get Organized” issue, so I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the importance of organization and I’m not just talking about your toolbox! The entire flow of your day revolves around organization. From when you wake until you lay your head down at the conclusion of a long day.
Your success is a direct result of long-term planning and daily action. Good organization will help you gain control of your time so you can achieve your goals. Here are a few tips that may make your day-to-day a little smoother.
1. First Things First! Start Clean and Finish Clean.
When I used to work for my father at the family-owned construction company, it was mandatory to arrive at 7:30 a.m. even though the workday didn’t start until 8 a.m. We used this time to prepare for the day and load the trucks with the necessary materials and tools. This process was imperative for a successful workday. We rarely had a late start, everybody was ready to go by 8 a.m. and we had all the necessary tools for the job.
Taking a few minutes before your day starts to organize your space, clean up and gather your tools is a sure-fire way to get the day started on the right foot. Starting the day off this way is so important and it keeps you from losing valuable time throughout your workday. A process like this, which can also include a few minutes before you head home, will keep you more apt to put your tools in the exact same place every day.
2. Lists, Lists and More Lists.
Make daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists of important tasks and goals. Review these at the beginning of each week, and add and edit frequently. This will help more than you can realize. Also watch your shop’s schedule; see what jobs are coming in or what jobs have changed. Also create a list of problems you run into during the repair. Do you need new or specialty tools to better perform your job? Write it down you’re likely to forget once the job is finished.
3. Focus on What’s Important.
Oftentimes, you get caught up in what you’re doing is just “a job.” Remember that if you don’t do your job correctly, you’re putting people’s lives at risk. Remind yourself of what is important by keeping family photos or inspirational pictures nearby.
4. Manage Your Time Well.
Make sure you take a lunch and any breaks that are given to you. You can take this time to prioritize your lists/schedule. Make sure you try to do your most challenging work when your energy level is the highest. Let’s say you have a brake job and a transmission rebuild tomorrow…Perhaps it would be a good idea to do the brake job first thing and get that out of the way and give yourself time to get going, then do the transmission rebuild. Or you can use your commute time to mentally organize your day. I will mentally and visually go through my to-do list in my head on the way to work. It allows me to prepare and motivate myself for what needs to be done.
5. Take Advantage of Down Time.
This can be the most important part of the day if utilized correctly. If there is a break in the day between jobs, there is so much you could be doing. Clean and organize your space, or observe another job that may be going on. We can always learn from others no matter how much experience we have. Or take this time to research any specific vehicle issues that you have run into during a repair, refer back to your lists that you have made.
Throughout any given day there are going to be changes in your schedule something that pops up…Maybe a flat tire, a cancelation, a small job that turns into a big job. Allow room to adjust. Don’t schedule yourself so tight that you can’t make any adjustments. Not having any room to adjust will create more stress and this is the last thing you want.
Use these tips on a regular basis and focus on staying organized. Continue to work on improving and while it won’t happen overnight, a continuous effort will make your days much easier with less stress!