Metrics

I still can hear my professor’s voice from grad school echoing through my head repeatedly… “What gets measured gets done.” I am not going to say that this mantra is full proof nor will I say that things that are not measured do not get done, but it is amazing how if you are willing to go through the process of measuring things… to keep track of them, that they often seem more likely to get done.

In work, that is why it is important to not only have things that are measured but to think about the implications of what may be ignored due to the items that are chosen to be measured… Often in the workplace, whether a small business or a large corporation, this has led to the arrangement of a balanced scorecard where different things are measured to hopefully alleviate not having one important thing sacrificed for the sake of another.

In financial planning as it exists today, there often are tendencies to try to focus on one thing in terms of looking at priorities. Though there is definite power in focus, especially if one is willing to sacrifice other areas of one’s life to achieve something, this may not always be practical or advisable. Often it is not.

In goal setting, many may have made New Year’s resolutions as it related to health and wealth. These may include a goal to lose so much weight by such and such point, or to be able to complete a certain activity by a certain point of time, or to have accumulated X number of dollars.

I have completed a number of marathons. It involves a lot of training and a lot of time. I had to sacrifice other things in my life to be able to do these things. Though I reaped a number of benefits, including feeling better physically and in the training for one of them, losing a fair amount of weight, I also had less time that I spent on my relationships and some of them may have suffered accordingly.

Part of the beauty of planning is in trying to find the balance of what should be measured. What should be priority? What should we make certain is kept in the picture so it does not suffer? How often will we check in to make sure that we are going in the right direction? Are we prepared to readjust if our goals have unintentional side effects?

What measured does get done… and it can be used for significant benefit. It is also important to remember that there is more than just one thing that most of us face.

As always, please send your questions and comments to info@objectiveplanningllc.com

 

 

 

 

Delegation: The Leveraging of Time

There is part of me that is afraid to write this article in that I know I am going to be speaking to a certain degree out of both sides of my mouth. We all only have so much time: 168 hours per week to be more precise.

There are plenty of studies which suggest that any work we do over 40 hours of work per week tends to produce diminishing returns in terms of errors and that if the average person does substantially more than 40 hours per week, then the amount of time that is spent correcting the mistakes tends to bring the actual total productivity back down towards that 40 hour work week figure. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but even some of the busiest executives that I know hardly work more than a 60 hour work week on a consistent basis. The reason? They realize they can get more out of relaxing and delegating the rest of the tasks that need to be done.

Many small business owners have a terrible time with delegation. It is a step that is necessary in order to reach the next level of success. Please note that many business owners make the mistake of thinking that one extra unit will create an extra level of productivity. They try this and often find out that they are actually making less money than when they were doing things on their own. This can cause many to throw their hands up in the air and say that delegation is not worth it. Like all things, there is a degree of truth to this even though it may not be the whole truth. Often, there are different levels in a business and one may have to save up enough resources in order to bring the business to the next level. It may very well be that one would have to be in a position to hire eight people rather than one additional person in order to achieve the next level of productivity. Perhaps you may be needed to help train or develop systems for seven people who are performing whatever your task is and you need an administrative assistant or a receptionist to help coordinate the schedules for everyone. Anything less and it could be that you are losing productivity in trying to bring fewer people up to speed and find yourself wondering “what happened?”

Given the statistics regarding productivity of people working more than 40 hours, I always find myself questioning whenever someone is working over 60 hours on a consistent basis. That being said, if you are working 40 hours per week and you knew that if you worked an extra 5 hours or so that you could generate X and that X was greater than the cost of a task that you hated or did not like as much as your work, perhaps it would make more sense to delegate that job elsewhere.

 

I knew a man who figured that if he volunteered to work in the office on Saturdays for 3 hours, then he would average $100-150 for every hour worked. It took him 30 minutes commute each way, so he had to give up a total of 4 hours of his day for which he knew he would average $300-450. He also knew that it would take him 3-4 hours to do his yard work should he choose, but that it would only cost $150/week to hire out the yard work and landscaping to be done by a professional company who could do it better. So each week he would come in to the office and pocket the profit he made by outsourcing. The same amount of time was spent, yet he made more money by hiring out. Some could say that this goes to show that there is more than one way to make your lawn green.

Are there areas in your life where you can benefit by delegation?

Please send your questions and comments to info@objectiveplanningllc.com.