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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Disrupting Your Day with Small Quality Tasks

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Savvy Contractors use time wisely

You’re a construction contractor – and you’re busy! All day long!

Or are you?

What about those minutes of time that are maddeningly frustrating because you’re waiting?

Waiting between scheduled appointments

Waiting for the person who is late to an appointment

Waiting for the coffee to brew

Waiting for a slow application to load

Waiting for a field report to finish downloading

Waiting between sessions at a conference

Waiting on phone hold

Waiting while you’re stuck in traffic for . . . well you know, forever

Use the disruptions!

You already know how disruptive “wait time” can be for your day. Do you know how to use those disruptive moments to accomplish small quality tasks?

The first hurdle you’re likely to meet is an all-or-nothing mentality. Yet, there are some simple things you can do to help jump that hurdle.

  1. Be actively looking for those moments of time that you can put to use

  2. Keep a list of potential activities (on your physical or digital desktop, in your wallet, on your dash, in your briefcase, in your toolbox, where ever you’ll see it)

  3. Be prepared with the proper tools (“the” list, a phone, a book, a notebook, pens, a highlighter, a kindle, an iPad, educational or inspirational audio)

Write the list

Some of the types of items you may want to include on your “potential activities list” are:

  1. Proofread documentation

  2. Organize a few files on computer

  3. Clear old stuff off computer

  4. Check or add items to any needed lists

  5. Phone or email someone from ‘contact this week’ list

  6. Send file A to person Z

  7. Physical exercise

  8. Clear spam from inbox

  9. Write an outline for X report

  10. Tidy your desk

More ways to use those minutes

Here are a few more actions you can take which are quite useful in using up those minutes and gaining some traction in other areas.

I’ve already mentioned the drive time dilemma. The simplest way to gain from the traffic down time is keep audio which is either educational or inspirational in your truck. While you’re driving or while your stuck in the traffic jam you have a way to keep yourself ahead of the game through this simple method of self-improvement.

Another useful minute filler is your notebook and highlighter whether it be digital or physical. Say you’re at a construction contracting conference, you’ve been taking notes because, yeah, it’s that good. Then you hurry over to the next session – and you have to wait for it to start. Highlight the most important parts of what you’ve just heard. Yep, that simple. The quick review is great at cementing “the good stuff” in your brain.

Say you’ve just gotten off an important phone call, take a few minutes to write down one to three of the most important takeaways. Use this same strategy when you’ve finished reading an article, a chapter, a blog post, whatever. Building this habit will pay off multiple times over as you train yourself to look for and remember the most important parts of whatever you’ve just read, heard, seen, or done.

Your call to action

Write your “potential activities” list. Using the list provided above and your own knowledge of how you and how your office operates, write your own list of minute filling activities, put it where you’ll see it. Next time you must wait, put those minutes to good use.

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