Winter has come!
Happy Monday to All! (I know it is Wednesday but “it is what it is”!)
Hope y’all enjoyed your one day of being snowed in. Must have felt weird to be at home with nowhere to go!
After a hugely successful few weeks on our main site and all the preparations for the opening of our new site in NW4, we are keen to keep this momentum, and I would like to share with you how our back end team manage to stay ahead of the project and always be prepared. There are 3 simple methods that we focus on respectively to achieve optimum efficiency and minimise delays that I would like to go through.
1) DO NOT LET ANYTHING PILE UP!
If you are anything like me, it is easy to get distracted by phone calls, social media (Instagram is my first choice – follow us!), work banter or pretty much anything going on when there is work without a concrete deadline. Naturally, this kind of work falls down the pecking order and is often deprioritised and ends up becoming overbearing when your line manager or Director suddenly asks a simple question about it. Not only does it not look good when you do not have the answer or cannot say it has been completed, but it can also induce significant stress and the work that had no deadline, now feels like a university exam that you have to do an ‘all-nighter’ to just get the pass mark for.
To avoid this, by learning the hard way, I have come up with an ingenious strategy. I take 15 minutes out of my day, just after my lunch break to spend time on this type of work. GENIUS, I know! This makes it feel like my lunch break has been increased as I can often do this work with my feet up, with my extra strong coffee and my mainstream R&B tunes playing. Whilst this may seem simple, which it is, it is one of those things which you have to consciously do to make work.
Through taking this time out, my time-management has definitively gotten better and has allowed me to focus on the next stage of work, the next development and deal with any last-minute issues (do they ever stop?) without allowing anything to pile up. Whilst this may seem menial, it is just like ensuring you have breakfast before you leave to work – seems simple, but once you actually start doing it you realise how much of a difference it makes. Being a betting man, 1 weeks worth of Starbucks/Costa/Nero (you can only pick one, T&C’s apply) on me if this doesn’t work for you!
2) “IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL”
This is a quote I first heard in my third year of university (seems like donkey’s years ago) and it just hit me the like the hundreds of tonnes of steel we have recently ordered. Again, so simple but something that often needs to be told.
I have recently created myself an overly elaborate weekly planner on excel (for those excel uberfans out there) and it has transformed me. Every Monday, regardless of how busy I am I spend as much time as I need planning the full week ahead and setting specific times for specific actions. At the beginning of every day, I look at my plan (even if I know what I need to do) to see how my day is looking, and at the end of the day, I check to see if I have completed everything I set out for myself to do. If I am being brutally honest, I generally finish all the tasks I set myself early – raa.
Having my weeks and days planned out allows me both to stay on top of everything, take on more responsibility as I have more time and also allow me to do my tasks at a higher quality. I LOVE IT. In my trade, and I am sure in pretty much anyone trade, there is never just one task to do and call it a day – there is always more to do, always more to prepare for, and always more opportunity out there that needs to be found and targeted. Successful planning + Successful implementation = Happy Boss = “I think I deserve a raise” (hehe).
If you are not an excel uberfan, I would be happy to share my planner with you which you can alter to your specific needs!
3) “TALENT WINS GAMES, BUT TEAMWORK AND INTELLIGENCE WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS” – Michael Jordan
Yes yes, I went there with a cheesy MJ quote.
How did Steve Jobs and Bill Gates become the legends that they are? Elon Musk? Jeff Bezos? While they are all extraordinary individuals with world-beating innovations, their main successes stem from the teams they build around themselves – how else could they build global empires?
I am not referring to the importance of motivating your team nor talent acquisition, but rather the vitality of good communication throughout teams and departments. Since I have started my role, the first thing I did was take 5 steps back and learn the responsibilities of everyone in the company, their roles and what they need in order to achieve their best results. Fast-forward 7 months, there is minimal waste in requesting one thing from 3 people, minimal delays in progress due to accounting for the bystander effect and clear lines of communication through emails and WhatsApp.
Through organised internal collaboration and effective communication, we have seen exponential improvements in staying on and often ahead of our schedule of works and rarely being caught out on something unexpected.
Well, I hope you, along with my many readers, have found my insights either useful or at least interesting. If not, now you know how I go about my work! If you have any other ideas or thoughts on how you manage to stay ahead of your work and always be prepare, I would love to hear and discuss it further with you.
In other news, we have our first fully electric branded company vehicle driving around London, if you see it, give it three honks and I promise to reciprocate 😀
Now, for the fun bit, have a look at our 3D model for our site in NW9 and all the happy people walking around.