I recently received an e-mail from a contractor thanking me for a column about discipline and keeping employees motivated in extreme weather.

However, he said I left something out.

“What about the bosses?” he asked.

I neglected to write about activities owners and managers need to do in busy times. I apologize for the oversight. So here are five things that managers and owners can do in busy times.

Take a mini-break.

If you are stressed out, you are working at less efficiency. You’ll make mistakes, lose your sense of humor when others are stressed out, and not think about solving problems as well as you normally would.

Go out to lunch with a friend and don’t take your cell phone or walkie-talkie with you. Or, if you absolutely have to have it, turn it off and don’t look at it.

Do something different to get your mind off work - even if it is only for 10 minutes per day.

Get some exercise.

Even if you go for a walk for 15 minutes each day, you’ll clean your head out a little and be better prepared for work. And you’ll be able to handle the stress better. Exercise is something most people never have time to do - but some make time to do it. As many of you know, I run. I run because I find that I have more energy when I’m in shape and I’m less grouchy - according to my husband.

Shut your door for at least 30 minutes per day.

Working without interruptions for 30 minutes is like working for 90 minutes with interruptions. If you feel that you can’t do it in one 30-minute segment, break it into two 15-minute segments. It’s amazing how much work you can actually get done when you concentrate without interruptions.  

Come in early.

If you are a morning person (i.e. your best time of day is in the a.m.) and you can get in early, make it clear that this is your time to get work done. No one should bother you until a set time (7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., or another time of your choosing). You’ll get a lot done and be prepared to handle any emergency that comes up during the day because you’ve done the “musts” before the day starts.

Staying late doesn’t usually work for most people because there are always employees around who want to talk. If you must, take the work home and promise yourself that you’ll work only a certain amount of time.

Write everything down.

When you are very busy and if you promise someone something and don’t write it down, you may forget to do it. Little yellow sticky notes don’t help. They get stuck to the bottom of a piece of paper that you’ve thrown out or get buried under a lot of papers on your desk.

Get a spiral notebook at the very least or a time management system. Putting everything in one place helps. And when you think of things to do, put them where you are writing everything down. You’re likely to remember that it has to be done and do it.

Remember that this is the time of year to earn profits. Don’t let mistakes made, because you are too busy or tired, eat those profits away.

Copyright Ruth King. All rights reserved. Write to Ruth King, 1650 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 405, Norcross, GA 30093. Call (877) 520-4321; e-mail ruthking@hvacchannel.tv.