Getting long-lasting relief from overwork

overworkedfirst of three parts) dthe demand for remodeling services – including floors – has now skyrocketed. It often happens that dealers are fully booked for weeks, even months. Much of my coaching has focused on helping overworked, overworked dealers regain control and find relief.

Here are some strategies to help you do that.

A week’s work diary. I have used this strategy with many of my coaching clients to help them consistently accomplish their mission-critical projects and to quickly free up an entire day per week without adding additional staff. This is how it works:

Take a notepad with you everywhere for a week. Set a reminder on your smartphone to go off every hour. When the reminder sounds, write down which tasks you completed in the past hour and how much time you spent on each one. At the end of the week, review your task journal. You are looking for individual tasks, such as sales, answering phones, measuring, etc., that take several hours a week and that you can delegate.

Delegate. As entrepreneurs, it’s tempting to stick our fingers in the cake. If we don’t micro-manage, it won’t get done right. This mindset keeps dealers overworked. You have to let go and let others handle tasks that keep you overworked and keep you from completing mission-critical projects. This means delegation. The week-long task journal helps you determine which tasks to delegate first. Look for a single task that, if delegated, will free up the most hours. For example, if you spend 20 hours a week on sales, hiring an additional salesperson or delegating some or all of your sales tasks to your current team will immediately free up those hours.

Written systems. You want to make your company from owner-dependent to system-dependent. This means having written or documented systems. (If it’s not written down, it’s not a system.) Using the sales team example, I train dealers and their teams in a step-by-step, written sales process that’s easy to learn. I also train owners to have a written checklist of daily and weekly tasks, for which each member of their sales team is responsible. You should also have systems in place for any tasks you are trying to delegate.

Tools, training and accountability. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your delegation efforts, you need to do three things. First, tools to accomplish the task. (A written process is the primary resource, but may also include physical resources such as software, installation tools, etc.) Second, you must train your team on how to use the resources. And third, you have to hold your team accountable for using the tools. Weekly sales or staff training will achieve all three. Whatever you’re trying to delegate, training sessions give you the opportunity to: 1) introduce your team to the tools; 2) train them in the use of the tools; and 3) make them responsible for using the tools consistently and correctly.

Any of these tips can be used for delegating any task you want off your plate, not just sales. If you have any question about the implementation, please email me.

Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, achieve higher margins, and work the hours they want. For more information please email

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