It is often said to give a project to busy people. They'll find the time to complete it. "Finding time" is really a misnomer. We all are given 24 hours per day; no more and no less. What we do with that time and how we use it often determines how successful we are.

It is a busy time of year. However, you still can accomplish a lot. Granted, the telephone comes first. The customer comes first. You need to earn a profit while you can. So, no complaining that it's busy! No grouchiness because everyone is tired!

If you are like me, we try to cram too many things into a week or month that we know will be incredibly busy and set ourselves up for failure. Then when they don't get done, we feel bad about it.

So, what does this mean for you? When it gets hot, you still can complete major tasks if you break them into bite-size pieces and put each piece on the to do list to be completed during a week's time. The excuse "it's too busy now" doesn't have to apply. The major tasks might take longer than if you could devote more time during a slower time of year. However, they still can get done. Just break them into pieces that will take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Putting something off because it's too hot and you are too busy is just an excuse. I know many people who won't go to a class or a meeting because they're too busy but take the time to play golf or tennis every week, or take a week's vacation in the busy time of the year. We can make the time to do the things we want to do, even in the busy times of the year.

One of the ways that you can keep up with your reading in busy times is to put all of your trade magazines and business magazines in a pile. While your waiting on hold on the telephone or for an appointment, scan the magazines or potentially read an article. You can also go through mail while you are on hold waiting. You might find an idea that will help you motivate your employees, save money, or increase profits while waiting on hold.

You can accomplish a lot of things even when "it's busy." Don't use the time of year as an excuse to put off things that need to be done and that can help your business.

A word on mold

Most of the time I write about business topics that affect what you do internally in your business...sales, marketing, finance and operations. Mold is an environmental issue and one that externally can affect your business and ultimately cost you thousands of dollars. Indoor air quality is becoming an important issue for both residential and commercial buildings.

It is also becoming a legal issue with many lawsuits being filed over indoor air quality problems... mold being one of them.

Although mold claims probably have been filed in every state, Texas seems to be a hotbed of mold claims and litigation. In January alone there were 2,500 claims filed against Farmer's Insurance. The experts predict that lawsuits against corporations that make building materials are likely.

And, Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan) is expected to introduce a bill that would protect consumers from toxic mold. The U.S. government has also convened a panel of scientists to study the issue. So, the mold story is getting press and interest.

Unfortunately some of the interest it is getting is because of the lawsuits and awards. The first major lawsuit won was in 1995 by an actor living in Malibu, Calif. His award was $1.5 million. A jury in Texas awarded a woman $32 million in 2001. The lawsuits will only continue.

Mold is one reason to keep disposable cameras in your trucks. If service technicians see what might appear to be mold or even candle soot, they should take a picture of it. If they see candles in a home, they need to take a picture of them too. Remember that a picture is worth 1,000 words and is evidence that could support your case if a claim or a lawsuit is filed.

Make sure that your insurance agency will cover mold claims. Many are refusing to cover them. Also, find the experts in your area. If a technician or you find mold in a building, it might be better to refer the issue to certified professionals who handle these situations in your area rather than deal with the issue yourself.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Copyright 2002, Ruth King. All rights reserved. Ruth King's American Contractor Exchange 1650 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 405 Norcross, GA 30093 800-511-6844 770-729-8028 (fax)