Time Management

When the Conversation Gets Complex, End the Emails and Converse Directly

By Cheryl Lauer / July 13, 2021 / Comments Off on When the Conversation Gets Complex, End the Emails and Converse Directly

It started as a simple miscommunication…

…and then it became a train wreck with hurt feelings and big problems to solve.

That’s what happened in my friend’s company when one of his employees raised an issue in an email.

The issue wasn’t a big deal. But email has a way of turning small things into big things.

Recipients misunderstood the sender’s point. They reacted to the tone, not the facts. They cc’d others. Assumptions piled on top of assumptions. People read between the lines. Emotion trumped logic.

My friend, the business owner, was cc’d after the emotional fire was burning out of control.

Now he was spending precious time fighting a fire that could have been avoided in the first place.

How can you help your team to ditch the drama and improve communication?

Read More

How to Overcome the Midyear Doldrums

By Cheryl Lauer / May 20, 2021 / Comments Off on How to Overcome the Midyear Doldrums

I have a client who had a great first quarter.

Now spring has sprung. The weather is better. We seem to be turning the corner on the pandemic…

…and my client has lost momentum.

He thinks he’s on target to hit his annual goals. So now he’s thinking, “I can take my foot off the gas.”

Call it the midyear doldrums. Call it the May Mistake.

I see it happen every year as the flowers bloom. Business people take their foot off the gas.

Some, like my client, ease up after smelling the roses.

Others set goals in January, don’t accomplish as much in Q1 as they hoped, and get stuck in the mud.

Many simply let the good weather, vacations, and other rites of spring distract their attention.

How do you avoid this fate? How do you ensure you don’t squander opportunities to push forward and prosper?

Read More
Person completing checklist

How to Complete the Critical Things You Hate to Do

By Cheryl Lauer / April 23, 2021 / Comments Off on How to Complete the Critical Things You Hate to Do

I know a business owner who hates everything associated with billing, collections, and finance.

When it’s time to cut an invoice, he stalls. When payments are past due, he stalls. When he has to reconcile financial statements, he stalls.

Those things don’t get done, and they become an emotional anchor. He knows undone things are piling up. That weighs on him. He feels guilty for putting this off. That weighs on him. Cash-flow suffers. That weighs on him.

But, still, he doesn’t get it done efficiently.

Meanwhile, all that emotional weight distracts him from other tasks. So he struggles to get done even those things he likes to do.

Sound familiar?

Everyone faces important business tasks they don’t like to do.

Some stall and let it weigh on them — which creates undue stress for the business and its leaders. Others find a way to get the job done. Their businesses thrive, and the leaders suffer less stress. Everyone wants their business to thrive, not suffer.

So how do you make it happen? Here are four keys to get done the things you hate to do.

Read More

How to Get More Done and Achieve Your Goals by Protecting Your Time

By Cheryl Lauer / February 10, 2021 / Comments Off on How to Get More Done and Achieve Your Goals by Protecting Your Time

Bill was struggling to meet his sales goals. He wasn’t making enough calls. He wasn’t following up. He wasn’t closing sales. He was distracted and discouraged…

…Until I helped him to set aside “Protected Time” on his calendar.

Now he’s exceeding his goals, and he’s enjoying his work more.

You’ve probably heard of “time blocking.” It makes sense to set aside blocks on your calendar for important tasks.

But people stumble with time-blocking.

Why? Because they “block” the time on their calendar, but they don’t PROTECT it.

With these small changes you can Protect your time and achieve more and meet your goals…

Read More

Unplanned Drop-Ins Disrupt Information Flow

By Cheryl Lauer / January 6, 2021 / Comments Off on Unplanned Drop-Ins Disrupt Information Flow

I asked a business owner recently how he gathers information from his employees.

His reply: “I stop by each person’s office.”

You’ve seen it. The check-in. The boss swings by, unannounced, pops their head in the office and says:

“How’s it going? What are you working on? Everything on track? OK. Good…”

Sometimes the boss may spring some unexpected assignment on you. Other times, they just encourage you to “carry on.”

Most managers — and their employees — can relate to this. The manager gathers information in snippets. A quick check-in here. A water-cooler conversation there

But let’s take a look at what really happens (and what doesn’t) when we take the “pop-in” approach…

Read More
Person Attending a Webinar and Taking Notes

How to Break the Webinar Habit

By Cheryl Lauer / May 12, 2020 / Comments Off on How to Break the Webinar Habit

This is an intervention……for all of you webinar addicts. Your business success depends on this. Since the pandemic began, I’ve seen too many business people lose focus as they click-and-watch every time they get an email offer for an interesting, informative webinar. Last week, a business owner told me about the Search Engine Optimization webinar he watched. He learned a lot, he told me. “Wow! Are you handling SEO for your company now?” I asked. He responded with silence. He got the point.

Read More