Today is your birthday! OK, maybe it’s not actually today, but happy birthday anyway. This is the one day a year when a few people, your mum and maybe an aunt, send you an actual birthday card. Remember those? Real physical cards. Heck, nowadays people can’t even be bothered with an e-card. but I digress. This week you’ll learn how you can retake control of your time and get back at least 20% of your work life to enjoy doing other things that matter. Let’s get back to your birthday. At around 8:30 on your birthday morning, your postal delivery person comes to your home and delivers the first card that your Mum sent in the first-class post. Where are you at 8:30 in the morning? The Postman always delivers twice Either at work or on your way to work right? Oh, well. On your doormat at home (yes, the Royal mail delivers to your door… and everyone else’s door too) lies that birthday card from your dear mum. At about 3 in the afternoon, the postal delivery comes again to your home and delivers a second birthday card. This one from your aunt who chose the second-class post because she’s a little more frugal than your mum. A second birthday card pops through your letterbox. Where are you at 3 in the afternoon? Oh, yes, you’re still at work aren’t you. So let’s say that you leave early today because your partner is treating you to a special birthday dinner and you want to be ready. You arrive home at about 5:30 pm and there on your doormat lie two birthday cards. The thrill that someone remembered and even cared enough to buy, write and send a real card through the post envelopes you with a warmth of love and celebration. Now, imagine that you have just taken over the reins at a huge distribution company that is losing more than one and a half million dollars a day. The company has been losing money for years and years, decades even, and no-one seems to know how to stop the haemorrhaging. The company can trace its roots back to the early 16th century during the reign of Henry VIII. I am, of course, referring to the Royal Mail. The same organisation who delivered your birthday cards. For more than a hundred years, the Royal Mail has struggled to make a profit and the continued losses could mark the final demise of this nearly 500-year-old organisation. I’ll give you a minute to fix the problem. It only takes 10 to 15 seconds because you doubt that the answer could be that simple What was that, in less than 10 seconds and you know that you should deliver once a day? Well, that seems pretty obvious. So you argue and debate and cajole and use every shred of your influence and the twice a day delivery becomes once a day. So tell me, did you care that your birthday cards arrived in the morning and in the afternoon? Of course not, you weren’t there anyway. Had they been delivered together, it would have made no difference to you. The twice a day delivery service added no value to you. Indeed, when it went to once a day, nobody noticed, and nobody really cared. Sure, in the days of Jane Austin when the ladies would be sat primly at home with their embroidery and awaiting the morning letter from their lover, and then later, more eagerly asking Papa if the afternoon post was here with yet another letter from her dearly beloved. But by 2004, we even had this newfangled and strange tool known as email. The Royal Mail had lost millions and millions providing a service that added no value its customers cared about. We walk in circles because everyone else walks in circles so we walk in circles like everyone else… So, what are you doing each and every day that’s adding no value to your customers? How many meetings do you attend that are a complete waste of your time? How many emails do you reply to that add little or no value? How many texts do you send that achieve little more than a beep at the other end? What other activities are you doing every day that, anyone with fresh eyes, would question “why do you do that?” Your answer, of cour
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LA 063: When Enough is Enough: How to Retake Control of Your Life
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