Archive for the ‘productivity’ Category

Personal Productivity

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Club management is a demanding and time-consuming profession.  Managers and supervisors at all levels too often find themselves reacting to events and constantly responding to the crisis of the moment.

What all this means is that in order to stay ahead of this never-ending press of daily operations and to attend to the many important issues of member service, organization and operating efficiencies, special events and activity programming, planning and review, staff development and training, and continual process improvement, not to mention personal sanity, a manager must be well-organized and highly productive.  Below are some of the strategies and habits that can improve your personal productivity.

Annual Planning.  Have an annual plan and timelines for your department or section.  Put it in writing to commit to its accomplishment and review it on a monthly basis.

Work Planning.  Your personal work plan will include what steps need to be accomplished to meet your departmental goals, but will also have personal goals, such as developing yourself and your skill set.

Use a Day-Timer to better organize yourself, your schedule, and your daily tasks.  Use it to look and plan ahead.

Make Lists and Prioritize.  Priorities change frequently-even on a daily basis-but keep a list of priorities (1.  Critical-must be accomplished as soon as possible; 2.  Priority-must be accomplished; 3.  Routine-may be accomplished as time and resources permit).

Develop and Use Checklists.  These pre-prepared lists for project work, such as organizing storage areas or deep cleaning work spaces, can be used to assign your employees recurring tasks when business is slow, but you are not yet prepared to send anyone home.

Plan Ahead.  The planning horizons may vary from department to department, but you should always be looking ahead at least one month (and often 2 to 3 months) for special events, seasonal activities, increasing or decreasing business levels, vacation scheduling, and any other events or activities that require advance planning.

Use a Personal Computer.  The PC is a great productivity tool and standard business word processing, spreadsheet, and graphics software, such as MS-Office, will allow you to create professional-looking documents that can be stored for future use or modification, such as written standards, policies, and procedures; training materials; budgets and benchmarks; and room diagrams.  Having these skills will not only make you more productive and help you communicate more professionally, but will significantly enhance your career opportunities and progression.

Organize and Save Your Work.  As you produce written standards, policies, and procedures; training materials; various communications; specialized spreadsheets; and any other intellectual material on the computer, save them for future use.  Most of what you spend time to create you’ll use again as you progress through your career, but you must be able to find it.

Benchmark Your Operation and Forecast Business Levels.  Benchmarking will give you a deeper understanding of your business and its seasonality and will help you budget more accurately for future years.  It will also allow you to formally forecast upcoming business levels, allowing more efficient staffing.  Both of these disciplines will help take some of the guesswork out of your business decisions.

Master and Delegate Routine Tasks.   Routine tasks such as setting schedules, ordering consumable supplies, benchmarking, formal forecasting, and others can and should be delegated to competent and conscientious employees.  You must still supervise the work and check its accuracy on a regular basis, but you’ll save your own time while helping develop the confidence and abilities of one or more of your employees.  Be sure the selected employees are also benefiting by the arrangement through genuine learning opportunity or possibly additional compensation for the tasks.

But before you delegate any task to another, make sure you have mastered the task yourself, have a complete understanding of any and all issues involved, and train the selected employee thoroughly – not just by showing him how, but by explaining why at the same time.

Establish Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Seasonal, and Annual Habits.  The above disciplines will be far easier to implement if you establish regular schedules to do some of the following:

  • Daily – Benchmarking, forecasting, staff communication, continual ongoing reviews of your operation, monitoring payroll hours.
  • Weekly – Payroll verification, staff scheduling, reviewing and planning for upcoming events, Tools to Beat Budget, coding invoices, ordering supplies and inventories, ongoing staff training.
  • Monthly – Inventories, Tools to Beat Budget, monthly review of operating statements and work plans.
  • Seasonal – Event and activity programming, seasonal hiring and terminations, ordering seasonal supplies and inventories.
  • Annual – Annual planning, budgeting, asset inventory.

Summary.  Your department’s or section’s organization and efficiency starts and ends with you.  The efficiency of your operational area and your employee work habits will reflect your personal productivity.  To the extent you are disorganized, undisciplined, and work without a plan, your area of the operation will follow suit.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

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