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You Will Be Shocked! Unfinished Home Repairs are Huge Time Wasters.

You Will Be Shocked! Unfinished Home Repairs are Huge Time Wasters.

Do you realize how much time you waste every day subconsciously thinking about unfinished tasks like home repairs?

Home repairs are unbelievable time wasters. Unfinished home repairs circle into your conscious awareness every single day and they drain you of energy. They crush your creativity. And, they even affect your self-esteem. They are a continual source of distraction, disorganization, frustration, irritation, procrastination and guilt.

When you see the photos of broken, damaged, dirty and unfinished repairs and tasks that need to be tended to, your brain lasers in on these visual inputs and immediately is consciously aware of the need that each one of these repairs needs to be fixed.  And, because your brain does not like gaps or internal conflict, your brain wants you to fix every repair – right now! Immediately a bit of adrenalin is released into your body and you feel that tiny bit of personal disappointment that something is physically broken in your life.

Therefore, regardless of what you would like to be thinking about at that moment and whatever you were planning on taking action on at your home, when you walk into your kitchen and flip the light switch on each morning only to find two of the three light bulbs in the ceiling fixture burned out, your brain not only experiences that instant moment of frustration that the burned out light bulbs need to be repaired, but you also experience the accompanying sense of guilt because you have not taken the five minutes to change the light bulbs that have been burned out for the last six weeks.

Here is a sample list of common home repairs and tasks:

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  • Burned out light bulbs of all shapes and sizes – inside and outside
  • Screen door needs replacing
  • Broken or cracked windows
  • Leaky faucets
  • Any type of plumbing problems
  • Unfinished yard work
  • Mowing
  • Gardening
  • Mulching
  • Driveway issues
  • Tiny paint dings and sheet rock repairs
  • Exposed wires
  • Light fixtures and lamps that need rewiring
  • Pictures that need to be hung on the wall
  • Interior doors that don’t open and close properly
  • Kitchen cabinets that are off their hinges
  • Stains on carpets and repairs to flooring
  • Exterior bricks or steps that need to be replaced
  • Caulking
  • Roofing
  • Cleaning out the gutters
  • Water leaks
  • Broken tree limbs outside
  • Dead bugs in ceiling light fixtures
  • Replacing heat and air filters
  • Checking smoke alarm batteries
  • Getting rid of physical clutter
  • Deep cleaning your home
  • Storing broken items you know can’t be repaired and you know need to be thrown away

Home Repairs and Unfinished Tasks are Time Wasters

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    The Outcome is Stress, Anxiety and Distraction

    As a time management-thought leader, strategist and coach I am often asked what are some of the first action steps a person can take to improve their personal time management.

    Time management action steps:

    1. Set Aside Time in Your Schedule

    Set a time in your schedule to create a complete inventory of every single home repair and unfinished task in your life. Creating a written list allows your subconscious mind to stop the constant reminders of every single thing that needs to be done in your life. By creating a list and placing the list in a safe location your brain will not have to expend time wasting energy and attention trying to remind you to complete these repairs.

    2. Become Aware of the Cost

    Choose to become consciously aware of the true cost of unfinished home repairs. Awareness is always the beginning to improvement.

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    3. Relax.

    This is a difficult action. Your brain really does want you to fix every repair and complete every unfinished task right now. Internally you realize that working through a list will take time and money. Give yourself permission to rank these tasks in order of priority. Recognize that relaxing should lead to abandonment of the need to get your home and your life in order.

    4. Create a Timeline

    Create a realistic timeline of when you will take action on the items on your list.

    5. Break Up Large Projects

    Break large projects into smaller action steps.

    6. Commit

    Make a commitment to yourself to do what you said you will do.

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    7. Ask for Help

    Ask someone to help you accomplish the tasks. As in many things in life fellowship and accountability are exponential support to decreasing the amount of time you will be required to complete each task

    8. Mark it Off

    Seriously, mark each task off your list as you complete them. Marking a task off your list releases dopamine into your system and creates that wonderful feeling of accomplishment and motivation.

    9. Take Action

    The final action step is don’t just read this article. Choose to take action in your own life.

    Conclusion: A Single Burned Out Light Bulb 

    Every single burned out light bulb in your home is robbing your energy, your attention, your creativity, your peace, your sense of balance…and, your time.

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    Home Repair CheckList
      Home Repair Checklist

      I would like each one of you reading this article to write down how many home repairs you need to fix, then leave a comment of the actual number of home repairs and unfinished tasks you were able to list. And, the associated feelings and emotions you experienced as you created your home repair list.

      It is time to take action.

       

       

      Featured photo credit: burnt out flame bulb / wintersoul1 via flic.kr

      More by this author

      Allyson Lewis

      Allyson is a nationally acclaimed author, motivator, speaker, time management, productivity strategist, and executive coach.

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      Last Updated on January 6, 2021

      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

      Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

      In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

      For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

      For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

      Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

      Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

      Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

      How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

      1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

      Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

      For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

      2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

      Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

      Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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      Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

      3. Create a System

      Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

      This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

      You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

      Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

      4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

      We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

      If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

      Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

      Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

      5. Use a Ratings Scale

      Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

      Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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      It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

      6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

      This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

      You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

      You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

      7. Offer Feedback Forms

      Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

      First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

      Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

      You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

      8. Track Cost Effectiveness

      This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

      Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

      Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

      9. Use Self-Evaluations

      Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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      Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

      10. Monitor Time Management

      This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

      Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

        The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

        While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

        11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

        We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

        Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

        For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

        Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

        Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

        From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

        12. Utilize Peer Feedback

        This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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        Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

        Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

        It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

        13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

        When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

        Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

        Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

        14. Use an External Evaluator

        Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

        They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

        While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

        Final Thoughts

        These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

        The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

        The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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        Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

        Reference

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