Use Business Downtimes Wisely

Are you maximizing business downtime to do the things that will save time, stave off maintenance problems and remove roadblocks for the future?

Living in a northern climate, the long winters create downtime for people to do things that are neglected during busy times. These include regular home maintenance, purging clutter, filing income tax and working on things of interest. Like the seasons, organizations experience fluctuations during the business cycle. Peak seasons require teams to focus on major priorities, while the slower seasons allow for downtime…  and downtime provides an opportunity to Rest, Repair and Renew for the new season.

Listed below are some activities I share with you, using my 3 R’s of Downtime planning: 

REST

Peak times require a lot of energy and stress levels are higher. When they end, people often crash and need a rest. Here are some ideas you might use:

Give staff some time off. This could be a half-day, reduced work hours for a few days, longer coffee breaks, or let them go home early after the work cycle is done.

Arrange a small team gathering to celebrate wins and socialize — e.g., pizza lunch, doughnuts and coffee in boardroom, or a fun activity outside of work.

Plan an interesting and educational field trip with your team.

REPAIR

Look for things that need fixing or tune-ups in the office and around the premises.

Do maintenance checks, tune-ups and necessary repairs, purge electronic files and clean out offices and desks.

Have employees brainstorm ways to improve processes and resolve annoying and non-critical problems (make it fun by running a contest for most or best suggestions).

Look for and remedy safety issues, refresh maintenance and safety training.

RENEW

This is a time to reflect on what is coming up next, to develop relationships and to ensure the right tools and materials are in place:

Revisit goals and fine-tune plans for the next quarter or peak time.

Take stock of supplies and negotiate resources needed in the future.

Liaise with clients, stakeholders and colleagues to strengthen relationships.

When is your downtime and what will you do with your team to maximize the gift of time? 

The 3 R's of Downtime Planning — Are You and Your Team Missing Out? Click To Tweet

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Peak seasons require focus on major priorities while the slower seasons create downtime and an opportunity to Rest, Repair and Renew — if you plan for it!