Dora Moses is the owner and approved provider of 3 childcare centres in northern Melbourne. Over the years Dora has successfully provided high quality childcare services to families in each centres areas.  
  When we first met Dora in August 2015, she had recognised that the way she was currently running the centres could not be continued. Dora was working long hours virtually 7 days a week trying to keep up with all of the activities required to run the centres. There was little family time and she had noticed that her health was suffering as well. Dora attended our Ultimate Time Management workshop and then join the Melbourne based Time Management Coaching Group. It was clear early, that Dora was someone who continually sought new knowledge and skills to help her run her businesses. During the group coaching program, Dora focused heavily on gaining knowledge in the areas of planning, time management, self-discipline and people management skills and worked at turning them into new skills that are now used on a daily basis.  

1.  Planning

In creating a clear and precise plan of how she would like her centres to operate, Dora was able to identify the new things she wanted to implement into the centres and the current issues that need to be resolved and ensure each centre is exceeding the Childcare standards. From this plan, Dora was able to set her specific goals over the next 2 years and then create the action plans required to achieve these goals.  

2. Time Management

Weekly Planning In the process, Dora identified all of the activities she carried out each day and then placed them into 6 specific categories. Marketing/Sales, Administration, Operations, Team Management, Compliance and Personal Development. Dora reviewed each activity and confirmed whether they were her responsibility to carry out or whether they should be done by another team member. Activities that should be carried out by other team members were moved to the team member and those that could only be done by Dora, were now kept on her list. Following this, Dora then started the process of establishing her default weekly plan. In this plan, Dora determined which days and time she would work on each categories activities. This enabled her to always be clear on what she should be doing at certain times on specific days. It also enables her to take the time to plan each week and be in control of her week. The result of working through this process of creating a default weekly plan and developing other people skills, has seen Dora go from working 7 days a week to 4. Daily Planning Dora now takes the time at the end of each day to plan and prioritise the next day, based on her weekly plan.  

3. Self Discipline

Stopping Procrastination Over the first 6 months, Dora took the time to focus on getting control of how she thought about the activities she has to carry out, developing the understanding not every activity is enjoyable or quick and that when we have to do something we don’t like, is difficult or takes too long, we tend to put them off to another time and not get them done. In discovering that it is purely our thoughts that make us procrastinate and put things off, Dora now takes control of her thoughts, knowing that by doing these items first, she will generally have a much better, happier and more productive day. Reducing Distractions Dora also took the time to determine how long she can focus on most important activities before her mind would uncontrollably wander off onto other things preventing her from completing the specific task. She also identified the items that would distract her when she needed to be focused. i.e. Phone calls, sms messaged, push notices, emails, checking websites for information, making a coffee, etc, etc. Through doing this, she was able to create a methodology and pattern on how to plan her day. Based on what activities were being carried out on the day, she allows around 80 minutes’ focus time to enable completion of important activities, 5 to 10 minutes’ distraction time to do the distraction activities and then another 80 minute focus time on the important activities. The amount of focus and distraction periods in a day, depends on the activities planned for the day.  

4. People Management Skills

Through working on developing specific skills on how she worked with the people around her, Dora has been able to pull back hours in her day. Over the 18 months, Dora has re-organised her team structure in each centre and the organisation as a whole, recruiting key people with the skills required to fully carry out and be accountable for the responsibilities of their roles. She now manages her team in a manner that requires them to be responsible for the outcomes of their centres. Reducing Interruptions Through the process of not answering questions or solving people’s problems, but teaching them how to find the answers and solve their own problems, Dora has found that her team are significantly better at getting things done and only come to her for the more important issues. This has resulted in a significant reduction to interruptions in her day. Leadership and Communicating With Team Members I could see that Dora had always been a good communicator with her teams, so through our focus on understanding how to identify each individuals learning modalities and behavioural styles, and through keeping a keen focus on managing through her team structures, the communication process has been further enhanced within her childcare centres, resulting in Dora being able to plan and utilise her time with far less interruptions and distractions. Through the development of this new series of skills in each of these areas, Dora is now able to run her business with far less stress, more time, and we are now focusing on developing the marketing for the centres to enable her to consolidate and grow her organisation and start achieving some of the longer term goals.