Entrepreneurs

Rituals: Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

By Michael Kurland, who launched Branded Group in 2014, transforming the facility management industry with his vision to #BeBetter.

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that change is the only constant in our lives. In the blink of an eye, our world was turned upside down and our “same old, same old” became a thing of the past. Routine activities had to be reimagined as we adjusted to new normals.

Like many, pre-Covid-19, my morning routine consisted of a trip to the gym, showering and a commute into the office. I was very structured with my time so as to avoid the Orange County, California, traffic nightmare. Once in the office, I did my morning walk-around, talking and reconnecting with my team members. Calls and meetings followed. Top KPIs for my company were reviewed. Off to lunch.

What’s Old Is Well…Old

Today, this routine has been turned on its head. Early into the pandemic, visits to the gym were replaced with home workouts and online personal training. Team check-ins were and still are done virtually, as are meetings with clients and prospects. My morning commute is now a stone’s throw away.

Hours have been freed up, providing more time to plan and strategize new activities and ventures. Meetings have been streamlined, resulting in additional time savings. Instead of filling the air with unnecessary updates, we cut to the chase and discuss priorities. Meeting for the sake of meeting has been kicked to the curb.

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These rituals or routines have been reimagined by nearly every organization over the last eighteen months. Many people are rethinking, reengineering and repurposing their time in order to balance work and life demands. The name of the game is flexibility, agility and adaptability.

In With The New

When I launched my company and developed its vision and other guiding principles, little did I know that one of our core values would take center stage during a global pandemic: Be Adaptable. Our intention for this value was to be open to change, to go with the flow and adapt our routines, processes and structures as needed to accommodate our clients’ needs and business growth.

However, it has come to mean learning how to work remotely, how to conduct business virtually and how to stay connected in an online environment. It’s also meant revisiting our internal processes to determine if they could hold water in a virtual world.

We are a company that is continuously in process-improvement mode. We don’t settle for “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” We avoid complacency in all of our business operations and seek ways to Be Better. We embrace agility, which is key for both personal and professional development.

Avoiding Autopilot

It is human nature to fall into a rut, simply rinsing-and-repeating our lives day after day. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. Yet it leaves no room for growth, advancement or innovation. For example, walking at the same pace for the same distance every day won’t help you lose the Covid 15. Yet, amping up your speed or adding another mile can be just the jolt your body needs to shed those remaining pounds.

On the business side, doing things because you’ve always done them in a certain way leads to boredom, decreased productivity and dips in employee engagement. While we may long for routine, humans like change and challenges. As it’s been said, “Variety is the spice of life.”

There have been many rituals that I’ve let go of since I started my business. I used to check our bank balance and cash flow reports multiple times throughout the day. As a new business owner, I was laser-focused on the numbers and took immediate steps to course-correct if they weren’t adding up. Today, these data points are still important to me; however, there’s no need for me to check them every five minutes.

Know When To Let Go

Before the pandemic, my team and I spent hours on highways and byways, being slaves to the clock. Today, we can ease into our day, sans this external stressor. While we miss the camaraderie of being together, we’ve stretched our creativity muscles and developed new ways to stay connected.

Rituals and routines are good things, yet when they result in complacency, it’s time to reexamine their usefulness. If they are not helping us become better versions of ourselves, we need to take a hard look at each of them to determine if they are serving us. If our business processes are keeping us from future growth, it’s time for a change.

It takes discipline to stick to daily routines like eating well and exercising. It takes a dose of bravery to step out of our comfort zones and try something new. It takes wisdom to be able to know the difference.

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