Category: Management

maximize your time

Maximize Your Time With This Tool

Time is a precious resource and is the chief bartering tool for money and resources. We decide with each passing moment of the day how we invest that precious resource.

Maximizing your time expands the gifts and resources you can devote to productive and creative endeavors. How you manage time can increase happiness in your time and private life. However, ordering your calendar isn’t exactly intuitive, especially in this day and age of unnatural distraction.

We covered this in our podcasts linked below.

EP45- How to Manage Time Effectively (Part 1)

EP- How to Manage Time Effectively (Part 2)

If you want to grow your personal and professional life in an ordered way, here are 3 things you should do to maximize your time.

1. Focus on the finite

As much as we’d like to treat time as infinite, we know deep down it isn’t. Our kids’ soccer games go unwatched, recitals unattended, and cherished moments with friends or family vanish.

We look at our calendars and emails. Is it Christmas time already?

Where did the time go?

Something has to give. The path of least resistance to burnout is giving into the never ending list of tasks that bombard you day by day. Whether a project manager, team leader, or business executive, your day is filled with an unending task list.

We are trying to fit an infinite thing, our tasks, into a finite thing, our calendar.

If you feel overwhelmed, it’s because you are.

If you feel like you’re missing out on life, it’s because you are.

If you feel like your days and weeks are flying, it’s because they are.

A common mistake for leaders is to let tasks run the calendar rather than the other way around. If you want to be effective, you need to prioritize your time.

2. Weaponize Your Watch

We are driven to distraction. From the time we awaken to the time we sleep, our attention is continually assaulted. Whether through advertisers on the internet or people in our circles, we live in a world saturated with distractions. People want our attention.

And, that can be a good thing.

Distractions aren’t always bad. In fact, distractions can be a welcome relief in the day as you get the chance to devote time free from the pressures of productivity.

The problem comes when distractions are entertained throughout the day and prevent you from getting things done. Distractions become a surrogate for procrastination. And, we’ve all done it.

We’ve all been at that place where we’ve looked up from a mindless scroll through social media and YouTube only to realize an hour has gone by.

There has to be a better way…and there is.

The best way to overcome distractions is to order your day. You have to be intentional with your time. Remember, it’s a finite resource. If you don’t control it, someone or something else will.

You can do a job that’s important without being busy and stressed out.

Our Growability Model for maximizing time allows you to break the chain of distractions by partitioning your day in an intentional way.

Busy work: This is the lowest producer on our task management system. These are tasks that can be done in under 10 minutes. The main objective is to check off boxes and get the small things done so they don’t disturb the rest of your day.

Brainstorm: You must reserve think time at some point in the day. This is an opportunity for you to listen to a podcast, read a blog, or work with a group to explore possibilities and ideas. I argue this time is especially important for the creative process.

Bulldozer: Heavy cognitive lifting is needed during this time. This is when you get the chance to think deeply. In fact, set aside enough time to do Bulldozer time because it requires 20 minutes just to get in the zone. Silence your notifications. Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your office. You’re going to need this for the intense focus required.

These are just a few ways to partition your time but there are more ways to maximize your potential.

Contact a Growability Coach to learn more about this process and how you can implement this for yourself and your team.

3. Brake the bicycle

You can’t fix a bicycle while riding it. Running an organization, managing a project, or leading a team require you to maintain a constant balance to watch for changes in the environment and hazards along the way.

This constant state of inertia and awareness leaves little time to grapple with the processes and potholes along the way. “Kickstand” time is critical for process and system improvement.

This is a golden opportunity to work ON the business and not IN the business.

As a leader, it’s hard to distance yourself from the work being done. But, it has to happen. Your down time isn’t good for you; it’s great for everyone.

This time should be scheduled and segregated from your normal duties.

This is also your time to reset and evaluate processes within your organization, team, or yourself. Loads of self-help blogs and books call it self-care, self-management, and myriad of other tags but I think of it as update and upgrade time.

Every so often my computer prompts me to shut it down and restart so it can install needed updates. Kickstand time works the same. This is your opportunity to think and focus on processes or ideas.

If you’re feeling exhausted and demotivated, you need to prioritize some kickstand time. Whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening, it just needs to be a time you can look from the outside in to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Replace the “I needs” and “I should’s” with “I scheduled” and “I did it.” Fooling ourselves into future victory does little to soften the every day defeat of neglect.

Your success depends on your schedule.


Let a Growability coach help you with your organization. Let us help you raise your organization to its fullest potential.



Growability Battle Plan

Use This Battle Plan to Manage Projects

Projects have slowly been replacing operations for businesses since the eve of the 20th century. Operations largely deals with the managing of an organization while projects involve performance improvement and changing the organization.

Projects allow for quicker, steadier growth of new products and technologies. To take the most advantage of projects, your organization needs to know how to pivot and manage projects effectively.

Our Growability Model shows you how projects can impact your business.

Listen to EP30 The 12 Step Growability Model Overview™

Forward looking companies see the opportunity in quality project management. This is an often overlooked skill set but can separate you from the competition.

If you’re ready to increase productivity, streamline processes, and improve project outcomes, you need to consider these 3 things from our Growability BATTLE Plan™.

1. organization benefit

What is the overall purpose of this project and is there a direct line to a benefit for the organization? One of the skill sets a manager needs is the ability to discern a Return On Investment (ROI).

Projects are going to cost personnel and resources. You want to get the best bang for resource use and not every project proposed is worthy of investing. This should be the first and most prominent question asked before you even consider pushing the project forward.

2. teams, tools, techniques

Who are the main characters and what are the main tools used for this project? You need to identify a project lead, the supporting team, and every tool, technology, or resource required for completion.

This planning phase of the project should be as precise and salient as possible. After all, this is where you extract the majority of project timelines and costs. The better you are here, the easier it will be to keep the project on a tight timeline and budget.

Project creep is real.

Loosely articulating the resources needed for a project may lead to a slow, creeping increase on those resources if not properly managed or maintained. Before you realize it, your project is beyond time and beyond budget. This didn’t happen overnight.

Incremental or nearly imperceivable changes can modify project timelines, budgets, and resources slightly. But, if the trend continues, you can end up with an inverse ROI. Good project managers need to understand all parts of the project process so they can speak to slight changes.

🚩 A major red flag for an organization is a project lead or manager who cannot answer basic questions about project progress. This includes timeline, budget, personnel, and other resources. If you have this issue, you need to consider alternatives to managing the project.

We cover some strategies to consider here on the podcast where we cover 5 Things You Should Prune from Your Business.

3. End results

How do you know this project succeeded? Take time and attention to identify and properly describe the various KPIs (key performance indicators) and KPDs(key performance determinants) for this project. These are the goals your team are striving to achieve. Improperly or loosely defined KPIs and KPDs can spell disaster for your project.

We cover the best practice for determining KPIs and KPDs in your organization and projects in Episode 47 Key Performance Indicators.

Results reflect expectations. If they don’t, you need to look into the internal and external factors that influenced the project scope and its execution.

The full battle plan

There are more things to consider when managing projects. Contact us to access to our full 6-step Growability BATTLE Plan™.



The 3 Employee Types to Consider Firing

Firing someone from your organization is heavy, depressing, and stressful for all involved. This is a decision not to be taken lightly but is critical if you want to succeed.

I think of firing as pruning. Pruning is the removal of parts of a plant that does not contribute to the plant’s overall health but, in fact, injures its health and development. Pruning is an essential process to ensure the longevity of any plant or, in our case, organization.

5 Things to Prune from Your Organization

Pruning your organization for those that impede performance is an opportunity for you to achieve excellence. Your customer base and organization should be your top priorities. When it’s time to make these very tough decisions, you’ll want to use our Growability™ Prune Your Business tool.

If you want to lead a happy team and successful business, here are 3 employees you should consider pruning from your organization.

1) Overlappers

These employees weaken organization culture because they either require micromanagement or are micromanaging. There is no added benefit to an organization that permits micromanagement. 

I think of someone sitting at the laptop pouring over the screen while someone else is standing behind looking over their shoulder giving them critiques. If a team member doesn’t have the capacity to do the job unless someone is checking on them, I either haven’t provided the appropriate training or have the wrong team member in that position. 

Oftentimes, the problem isn’t the worker; it’s the micromanager. Micromanagers diminish organizational culture. Team members stop working for the organization and instead focus on meeting the micromanager’s requirements. It’s a bad environment all around. 

Alternatively, overlappers may be the result of being overstaffed. When there are too many people working in overlapping job roles and responsibilities, you end up with low performers and weakened growth.

2. Hero manager

Conversely, a hero manager is also a problem. A hero manager is the person who steps in and takes care of everyone’s problems. They swoop in like a superhero right as a mistake is being made. “I will fix this problem!” they proudly proclaim. 

This manager sounds like an asset not a liability. Many organizations would LOVE to have someone like this. The problem is they become a single point of failure. If something happens to that person and they leave the organization, they take the competencies and skill sets with them. Everyone else on the team depending on the hero manager is left scurrying. 

A good manager isn’t the one swooping in to fix problems. 

A good manager ensures the team is achieving full capacity and working with their skillset. If I’m leading an organization and have a hero manager, I need to find a way to have them become part of the team rather than staying on top pulling them up. Hero managers destroy systems because the become the system. 

Leaders may emerge as hero managers naturally if responsibilities and duties are incrementally and consistently added to them. They may not have started as a hero manager but circumstance have made them one. This isn’t healthy for the organization and may expedite burnout.

3. Suckers

Suckers are people in an organization that are universally liked by all but add little to no value for the organization itself. Let’s say I need to hire a salesperson, Sue, to increase my revenue to 10%. Everyone in the organization loves Sue, including myself.  In a year, I evaluate her performance and notice our sales are still at 5%. I have a terrible decision to make. 

Just because I like someone doesn’t mean that our organization needs them on staff. Just because everyone on the team likes this person doesn’t mean you keep them on the team. It’s a difficult decision to be in but remember that this is about growing the organization. 

Suckers use the same root system of your organization but don’t produce fruit for the organization. 

It sounds harsh to fire someone that is so well-liked but keeping them at the organization not only sets a bad precedent for performance but also stalls organizational momentum. You’re not doing the team any favors by keeping people on just because you like them. They may have immense talent; it’s just displaced at your organization. They may find a more fertile place to grow elsewhere. 

Firing as the last resort

I think it’s important to stop here and point out that firing should not be a “guns a-blazin’” approach to management. You lead with “Do we have the right systems in place for incentive, expectation, and feedback?” first. Firing should only be the last resort when all other options have been exhausted. 

Firing should not be the first and primary response to the behaviors and personalities described above. Do all you can to coach people to success. Coaching is a win for everyone. You may be able to turn someone around in your organization and they get to realize their potential. Co-workers and team members will see this dynamic play out. It has huge payoffs if you do it right. 

We at Growability want to see an organization reach their fullest potential. Not a great potential…not some potential…fullest potential. 

Contact Us

Let a Growability coach help you with your organization. Click the link below and let us help you raise your organization to its fullest potential.

Strengthsfinder 2.0 Video Training Links

Resource: Strengthsfinder 2.0 Coaching Links:

Gallup defines a strength as the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity.

After completing your Strengthsfinder 2.0 test, use the following links to learn more about your top 5 to 10 strengths on Clifton’s Strengthsfinder.

Link to Clifton’s Strengthsfinder