Dear Food Bites Reader

Dear Food Bites Reader

Dear Food Bites Reader,

Of the many things we, as humans have managed, to control, re-produce, re-create and improve (or destroy), the commodity of “time” remains elusive.  There is nothing that can make time stand still or move faster.  We do not have time-machines that can take us back to the past or into the future.  It just keeps tick-tick-tick-ticking away…

This is the time of the year when we wish each day had a few more waking hours to do what needs to be done.  Of course, if we did have more time, surely our bodies wouldn’t be able to survive the extended hours (most of us are hardly coping as it is).

There is one thing that we can do with time though… We can SAVE time!

Today’s Food Bites Blog is aimed at helping you save time and includes a few useful tips on how to help you use your minutes wisely.

Tip #1: Now is a good time of the year to do a quick reality check.  We know our food safety management systems consist of testing and internal audit programmes, meeting schedules and training plans.  Take stock of what has been done and what still needs to be done.  This may sound counter-productive and more like a waste of time, but we all know the saying; “failing to plan…”

Tip #2: Do some catching up.  Once you’ve taken stock, you can now prioritize what still needs to be done.  We know that seeing a huge backlog can be paralyzing and incite feelings of anxiety but knowing the extent of what needs to be done, is better than not knowing at all.

Tip #3: Use visual aids to list the items in priority of execution (a white board or flip chart works well).  Allocate due dates and responsibilities for the various actions.  Making this list visual is very helpful because the fact that you can see it, means that you are less likely to forget.  Don’t underestimate the thrill of ticking the actions off as you complete them – this is a huge motivation and will keep you going when you feel like giving up.

Tip #4: Find time in the whirlwind of activity to automate and improve the way you do things.  Use technology at your disposal to make your life easier.  Set reminders on your phone or use Outlook to create tasks with due dates and share them with your team.  Remember, the improvements you implement today, will put some extra time in the bank too.

Tip #5: There are a lot of things we do that eat our minutes and eventually add up to hours of wasted time.  Keep meetings short and stick to the agenda items.  Be very careful of getting caught up in extended conversations at the coffee machine or being roped into doing someone else’s work.  You will be surprised how easy it is to do everything for everyone and nothing for yourself!  There is no need to be unsocial or unhelpful, you just need to know when to draw the line.  Leave the social media trawling, non-essential chat groups and news updates for after work – turn off these notifications on your phone so that you will not be distracted.  It’s terribly disappointing to get to the end of your workday and realise that you have spent hours on social media, reading up on the news or doing someone else’s work and haven’t made any progress on your own “to-do” list.

Most importantly, know that you are not alone.  It is a hectic time of the year for most people in the food industry and most of us are juggling too many things. As long as you know that you have done what you can, and given your best today, tomorrow is another day…

Don’t forget, if you still need to squeeze in some training before the end of the year, Progress Excellence has a jam-packed public workshop programme. If you prefer, we can also deliver training on-site on a date that works for you and your team!  Face-to-face or virtual – whatever YOUR schedule allows.  E-mail for a customized training quotation.

Until next month, good luck with your time saving initiatives.  Remember, every minute counts!

From the Food Bites Team.