How to Leave Work at Work

There is one thing virtually all the contractors I work with share, and that is they take their work along with them wherever they go. At the dinner table, their daughter may be telling them what happened at school that day, but their mind is off wondering if a customer request is being addressed or they’re concerned that a large check you’ve been expecting is finally coming in.

Sound familiar? And by the way, don’t think their daughter doesn’t know they are somewhere else. Kids are more perceptive than we realize.

So how can cleaning contractors leave work at work? Here are some suggestions:

Create “After Hours.” Most contractors know when they want to be at work and in the office, they just don’t know when to leave. You must designate specific times of the day, specifically for family bonding and responsibilities, exercise, and fun. These are your after hours. Avoid going online and checking email or contacting your staff. After hours is personal time.

Avoid Micromanaging: It is important that we train and develop management staff to make decisions. When we take the time to develop a training program for managers and supervisors and then allow them to carry out their duties, after hour calls will be minimized. This is all about avoiding micromanaging.

Plan your day. I encourage contractors to turn their days into what I call “bookends.” The first bookend starts in the morning by setting your intentions for the day. Is today a marketing day? Client or staff meeting day? Once your intentions are defined, list three or four activities you also want to accomplish that day.

The end bookend is the evening bookend. It includes a review of the day. What was accomplished and what was not. With time and discipline, you should be able to accomplish everything you planned. If something was left undone or something has come up that day that must be addressed, add it to your next morning bookend.

The Big Picture

The big picture here is that we all need to take a mental break. I have witnessed contractors that can’t get away from their businesses. Often, they take things too seriously, they become too involved and stressed, and the result is they make unfortunate decisions.

The steps discussed here should help you start each day refreshed, make thought-out decisions, and you’ll likely find you get far more accomplished as well.

And always remember something that I say at the end of all my seminars:

You can hit many home runs on the job, but when you finally get home and there is no won to share the victories, what you gained?

Ron Segura is president of Segura Associates. His company works with building managers as well as large and small contractors, helping them build their brands and streamline business operations. This helps reduce costs and allows them to operate more profitably.  He can be reached at: