Our businesses also differ in terms of interface with clients. If you do “business to business” transactions, the number of people you interact with on a daily basis may differ from someone whose business relies on interacting with consumers. Appointments may be more practical in some instances than others. You have to tailor-make how you manage access to your particular situation if you are to eliminate distractions. Having said that it is important to note that some people do not mind spending the whole day at the office entertaining friends, visitors, and casual acquaintances dropping into the office whenever they feel like it. Do not be that kind of person. It sets the wrong kind of example to junior staff and can harm one’s productivity because these people take up time that you do not have and besides you want to cultivate a professional environment.
The demands of the day are enough to fill the eight working hours available unless if you tend to stay back and play catch up. How do you stay competitive in the market if there is no separation between work and play? Anybody serious about success and achieving effective results will put boundaries that are clear so that there is no confusion. Entrepreneurs are more susceptible to this especially when the workplace is easily accessible. The fact that you are your own boss even puts more responsibility on you to maintain self-discipline and self – management. I have written a whole book called, “Achieve More through Self – Leadership. In it I walk you through the practicalities of how you can get better results through managing self.
Appointments are an important way of not only managing time but managing life. They help you become more structured and productive. Some people seem not to be able to honour their appointments. I once attended a job interview that was supposed to start at 10:30am. By 11:30am there had been no communication about what was happening or when the supposed job interview was going to take place. I decided at the point that this company was probably not good enough for me to join because if you don’t respect people’s time you probably do not respect them.
You may be saying appointments are just not for me yet you never rock up at the doctor, dentist, lawyer or hairstylist without an appointment. Why is that the case? Because you simply won’t see the dentist without an appointment. They have given you conditions acceptable to them. We tell the world around us how to treat us by what we allow.
Some people are always available when you want to see them. If you are always free to see people at short notice, you are probably not that organized. The one who owns a diary will manage the one who doesn’t own one. Why? Because the one without the diary is always available, even though he is very likely to forget important meetings, dates and engagements because of a lack of organization. I used to have a boss who kept a diary and whatever you promised to do in the line of work, he would write down, including the day and time you said he would have it by. You would of-course forget because you didn’t record it like he did and when the time to deliver comes, guess who would be found wanting. It was then that I decided that I do not commit to an action that I am not willing to write down because, what’s written gets done!
You may be saying, “what if my business feeds off the “walk-ins? The fact that your business relies on walk – in customers should not be an excuse for disorder. Sometimes those who drop in unannounced may indeed be potential customers, suppliers, cold-calling salespeople, and even worthwhile business contacts. There is nothing wrong if the call is beneficial to you and your business but I believe there must be a structure and way of doing things that follows certain pre-set principles. I remember seeing a poster in an office that said “if you don’t have anything to do please don’t do it here”. It’s humorous yes, but true. Appointments help to structure your day and helps you allocate time to what’s important. This means you can focus on your most important asset: the paying customer. There is nothing as bad as walking into a place wanting to do business and staff are inattentive because there is just a demand on their time. I am more understanding if the personnel are not busy entertaining social visits at work.
In conclusion, you know your business situation better than any of us. All we can do is make recommendations that will enable efficiency that leads to growth. Some of you may actually need a personal assistant who will put order in your office and focus on the things you are not willing to do that will enable to focus on the highly value things you ought to do such as running a business.