What can shops do when they’re overwhelmed with work?

When you are slammed, it’s easy to think that you need to work on six things at once to be able to get to the finish line faster. But you know that only creates more stress and causes silly mistakes. Instead, limit yourself and your crew to work on one thing at a time. That laser-like focus, and 100% effort will start knocking out work much faster, and quality improves.

Also, try adjusting your mindset. When you come into work, and your brain is focused on “I have too much to do today!”, your anxiety level increases as well. This mindset feeds into the feeling that you can’t get everything handled.

Instead, try starting your day with the mindset and focus that “I have plenty of time to do everything I need to!” Take a deep breath and start knocking out the tasks one at a time. Delegate if you can. Prioritize the tasks, so the most urgent and essential ones get completed first. That mental shift is relaxing and will help your concentration and ability to do things correctly.

Remember, not all work is good.

What’s that mean? You are stressed and overwhelmed. It may look like you will be clocking in a minimum of 60 or 80 hours for the next three to six weeks. I know exactly what that is like.

There are tons of shops out there that are struggling to find work. Having a long list of jobs to produce is a great thing. Here’s the question to ask though: Are all the jobs that make up your busy schedule worthwhile? Profitable?

It’s a known fact that for businesses, the top 20% of customers bring in 80% of the sales revenue. Do yourself a favor and pull up your own shop sales history and check this out with the jobs you bring in. This means that the bottom 80% of customers only give you 20% of your sales, which translates to a lot of work for less money.

Marshall Atkinson

Marshall Atkinson is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor's of science in art and is now the owner of Atkinson Consulting LLC. He worked for T-Formation of Tallahassee Inc. for nearly 18 years as both art director and vice president of operations and was instrumental in the company's third-party certification through the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership - the first apparel company to receive such accreditation. Atkinson has participated on trade show and webinar industry panel discussions regarding sustainability and the Consumer Product Safety Information Act. Currently, he is also responsible for the education division of InkSoft. 

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