The more we work with small business projects, the more we realize that nobody has everything all figured out. It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of; there's a lot to learn in life and business. Most of the time we're all just learning as we go, and doing the best we can every moment. There's so many ways to grow and expand and change- as people and as companies. The key, we think, is finding what works for you. Your life (and your company) is unlike anyone else's, and that's a good thing! In a world where everyone does the same and is the same and gets the same results, we won't see much innovative progress. It's only when we strive to work together in creative harmony and happiness that we see projects of all shapes and sizes come to completion with ease. Typically, the project done with innovative methods ends up far outreaching anyone's expectations as an added bonus!
Yet one issue we're noticing more often in small business is the need for organization that actually works. Typically we see scheduling that is certainly ambitious for the project timeline, yet lacks the reality of bringing a project to fruition without leaving everyone utterly exhausted and miserable. It's one thing to push our limits, and as we all know it's quite another to break altogether. Some of us have learned this the hard way, but even those companies who tend to push a bit too much can learn new ways!
The most common theme we notice that could use freshening up is what we consider a culturally standardized "workday". Not every person on every team has their "peak" at the same time in a day. Allowing everyone in the office or on the team the freedom and flexibility to dictate when they are at their best (and schedule themselves accordingly) can really break boundaries on new projects and jobs. We've watched businesses hesitantly give the freedom of scheduling over from 'managers' to individuals themselves, and most often (with the right people on the bus) they are pleasantly surprised by the outcome! Some individuals can get more work done from 6am to 11am than others can do with a long 9 hour day.
We've watched others get even more creative with scheduling. Learning that "play", even for adults, can lead to more productivity and happier work spaces, another small home-based business decided to schedule a "recess" right into their daily agenda. For 30 minutes every afternoon they get up, get moving, and get a break from the grind. Though this recess schedule might not last forever, they've noticed a much more productive afternoon- even "losing" a full 30 minutes of productivity to "playtime".
It's not as easy for every company or individual to incorporate more scheduling freedom into their lives and daily agendas. Sometimes it's the little things- like adding flextime to your practice- that can make a world of difference. Additionally, stretching "workable" hours out from 6am to 7pm rather than 8-5, and allowing everyone on the team or in the company to take their pick of consecutive hour blocks can accommodate most any schedule.
Scheduling and timeline organization doesn't have to be the boring, headache-inducing structural nightmare we sometimes imagine it to be. When we make scheduling and organization work for us, it's quite the opposite. Dare we say it could even be fun?
Get as creative as you can, outsource when you can't, and perhaps you might just find yourself looking forward to a little more productivity in the near future!
This article is linked above in regards to play; please consider saving it for later reading, especially if you're in mid to upper management! It's packed with great facts, as well as ideas and tools to put into practice!