Having a routine is a great way to consistently achieve high levels of OTIF (without blood, sweat and tears!).
However, life tends to get in the way of executing your routine. Especially business life…
Let’s recap, a good routine will help you to:
- design a way forward for your business,
- nibble away at your strategy,
- mop up loose ends,
- ensure that processes operate correctly.
In short, a good routine can help you prevent little things ramping up into crises.
When you run out of time
So, what do you do when you just don’t seem to have time to follow your own routine?
One option is to throttle your routine and re-introduce it.
Another option, and the point of this article, is that you can apply a Kaizen approach to create a potent shortcut through your routine. This means that you can squeeze your routine into your hectic schedule and still get the bulk of the results.
Kaizen is the art of taking small steps to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed and make progress. Regarding your business meetings, look at the impact of the agenda items and select the handful of items that will make the biggest difference. This approach ends up being a Pareto analysis of your meetings, but the approach of nibbling is there for psychological purposes. You should make progress with your routine and maximise your results at the same time.
In real life
I had a management meeting to attend today at one of my clients. Their schedule was crazy busy, but the meeting really did need to take place. I looked at the agenda with my client and we cut out a few of the agenda points and we agreed to have a ten minute meeting (the meeting was scheduled for an hour). During the meeting we got into some really good debates about taking the business forward and we ended up having half an hour. Kaizen has a habit of doing this, creating momentum by eliminating the feeling of being overwhelmed by your schedule.
I don’t advocate skimping on your routine all the time, but if you find that some of your agenda points are surplus to requirements then you might find that you can streamline your routine at the same time.
A well executed routine can make a huge difference to the running of your business, the results you achieve and your wellbeing (seriously). If you find that you just can’t follow your business routine consistently, then try this Kaizen approach.
Finally, if you want some tools to help you design an effective routine then check out The Effective Routine toolkit.