Uncle Nick: How do you spend your time?

By Mark Zajac

Mark and Uncle Nick

Stanley opened the drive at “the station” at 6 a.m. so folks could get gas on their way to work. By 8:00 the mechanic had arrived and was working on cars that had been either dropped off the previous evening or that morning. Nick arrived at 10 a.m. and focused his day on maximizing “face to face” time with customers: Working the drive, calling to let people know their car was ready, going over the bill with a customer, doing small quick jobs (replacing bulbs and fuses and repairing flats) and clicking off a few coins from his “changer” to give the kids so they could get a “pop” (from a machine which I doubt ever turned a profit … but kids loved!).

At 1:00, a quick lunch and a trip to the bank. Dinner was early (4:30 to 5:30) so he could return to the station and send employees’ home for the day. The rest of the night was spent working the drive and finishing up odd jobs in the shop. He locked up at 10:00 p.m., spent 30 minutes on “the books” and went home to watch Jack Parr (later Johnny Carson).

This was Nick’s routine, six days a week for over 50 years! He did what he was good at (working with customers), delegated tasks that were not critical for him to do personally and it all worked beautifully.

How are you spending your time in the business? Are you productive or just active? Is your time spent building customer relationships or doing busy work? Do you delegate tasks to others or do you try to do it all yourself?

Focus personally on what will grow your business (e.g. customer relationships), learn to delegate tasks to others, and develop a routine to provide discipline and accountability.

“Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions” (John Randolph). Don’t waste it!

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