20 minutes is not a great deal of time – it equates to a short run, a soap opera episode (without the adverts) or the average life expectancy of a fighter pilot in World War I according the British comedy show Blackadder. Yet when added together, many twenty minutes make a lot of time.
The question has to be asked how often do we use up, lose or simply haemorrhage 20 minutes during our lives. Take that thought one step further: how often do we waste or lose 20 minutes at work every day?
What does this mean? Here’s a simple calculation for you – 20 minutes every day multiplied by the number of working days in a year – say 48 weeks = 240 days * 20 minutes = 4800 minutes = which in turn is 80 hours. This equates to two complete working weeks at 40 hours per week.
Let’s look at a couple of examples. I know in the world of micro businesses taking a two week holiday in the summer every year is a huge cost to the business in terms of time, budget and mental angst caused by not being around. However with just 20 minutes a day improvement in productivity that whole holiday could be taken guilt free. Paid for from the benefits of improved productivity during the rest of the year.
Let’s look at this through the eyes of a business development person. If the average new business appointment takes one hour and there are 2-3 hours of preparation, research and follow up to consider from each of these appointments, that would equate to approximately 1/2 a day per new business appointment. Using the numbers shown above 80 hours of FAFFing time saved equates to 10 working days, which would mean time made available for a potential of 20 new business appointments That’s quite a lot of appointments.
Take this a step further – what is your average conversation rate from first appointment to new client? 20% – 50% – 75%? What is your average order sign up value – 5,000 – 25,000 – 50,000? You need to make this real for you and your business.
If your conversation rate is 20% from first appointment and your average order value is Â£5,000 then over one year by improving your productivity by just twenty minutes per day and using that time on business development you could gain an addition Â£20,000 of business. From just 20 minutes.
Contrast that with another business whose conversion rate is 50% and their average order value is Â£25,000, that equates to an additional Â£250,000 of additional business. All from just 20 minutes of improved productivity per day!
Obviously not all business is the same in value, size or quality, conversion rates vary from one person to the next. This is purely an example to get you thinking about the opportunity costs to your business with just a small improvement in productivity.
This analogy can be used for all areas of business. Consider the importance of estimating the right time and effort for billable hours within a design quote for a creative businesses. How often is there a massive over spend in development time that cannot be passed back to the client. Is this caused by poor productivity or poor quoting or a combination of the two? You could have simply underestimated the amount of time required or worse still the client changed the remit or turned into a high maintenance demanding monster, 20 minutes every day of over spend with just one client adds up as un-billable time?
So to conclude dismiss the importance of 20 minutes of improved productivity at your own risk and cost. Keep to your normal working day, just improve the output that is lost through FAFFing about by just 20 minutes per day and reap the rewards!