Human Performance and Achievement Resources
red line
Home Articles & Publications Directories Link Directories Topics Directory Search
Article: Justifying Outside Help -- What's Killing Your Time Related Resources

Justifying Outside Help -- What's Killing Your Time
by Leslie McKerns

As an independent strategic marketing, business development and PR consultant, clients are often amazed, yet puzzled at my productiveness. How do I get a project done so efficiently? The answer is, I only do work -- I am not a part of your corporate world and thus I automatically eliminate anything that is not directly related to getting the job done. (It pleases the client, and frees me to take on another project.)

Justifying Outside Help -- at times we all need consultants. You are not alone in considering outside talent; 60% of all businesses use independent contractors, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 8 million such people are in the workforce.

But what on earth is killing your time and that of your employees and why isn't 40 hours a week or even 75 enough? A quick analysis of a worker's weekday-into-week will reveal the answer.

Here is a list of only 54 of the things that as an in-house employee, I was routinely required to do -- and if you are honest, you'll recognize all of them on your to-do list too.

1. Preparing for staff meetings

2. Attending staff meetings

3. Following up on meeting items assigned to me or others in my supervision

4. Presenting to others at meetings

5. Attending corporate events

6. Attending industry events

7. Preparing for industry events -- shows, displays

8. Prepping others for meetings

9. Preparing materials for the press

10. Reviewing e-mails, messages and phone calls

11. Answering e-mails, messages and phone calls

12. Locating materials and sending responses - requests for information

13. Reviewing requests for meetings

14. Preparing for weekly/monthly/reviews (yours and your staff)

15. Preparing annual and other reports -- by week, month, by quarter, by year

16. Preparing time cards

17. Reviewing time cards of others

18. Reviewing the Work of others

19. Sick days

20. Sick time (less than full day)

21. Vacation days

22. Holidays

23. Personal time/personal leave

24. Socializing

25. Answering questions

26. Scouting for new hires

27. Reviewing new hires

28. Supervising others

29. Mentoring junior staff or interns

30. Reporting to top management on the actions/work of others

31. Team building -- team interaction

32. Preparing Budgets

33. Reviewing Budgets

34. Preparing Estimates for the projects of others

35. Preparing Estimates and budgets for own projects

36. Reviewing bids

37. Preparing bids

38. Client interaction

39. Evaluating vendors

40. Meeting with vendors

41. Ordering supplies and equipment

42. Approving supplies and equipment

43. Selecting gifts for corporate, staff and clients

44. Preparing seasonal events

45. Preparing and/or reviewing guest lists

46. Preparing or approving events -- non seasonal (openings, gatherings, meetings)

47. Attending staff lunches (run over time)

48. Scheduling your work, your team and that of others -- preparing reports

49. Anticipating/estimating sales revenue/profitability analysis

50. Commuting to and from work -- late time/non productive time

51. Contributing to content -- web or print

52. Reviewing content -- web or print

53. Preparing, reviewing marketing materials

54. Conducting marketing and PR for your own firm

Now, some of these are still on my to do list, but they are not on your time, they are done on mine. And, I realize that the things on this list are an important part of corporate life -- even essential interactions.

But, if you have actual work to do in addition to the items on this list, you'll understand the problem. If you spent even an hour per item (and you know it is more) you'll have 54 hours per week of documented responsibilities in addition to your actual job.

When will you do that work? (You know, the work you were hired to do, and that you are held accountable for.) When will you design that building, prepare that client specification package, prepare that legal brief, supervise the installation of that new manufacturing plant, consult on that corporate tax situation?

Brought in at the right time, consultants can be a lifesaver. You can justify bringing in a consultant by getting that project completed or extending your staff without making a long term commitment and without spending the additional 33 --1/3 % that a full time employee costs (over and above their salary).

You are not alone in considering outside talent; 60% of all businesses use independent contractors, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 8 million such people are in the workforce. Use that statistic the next time you need to justify hiring an outside consultant, and the next time you are caught wondering what is killing your time, and why a 40 or even a 75 hour work week isn't enough, you'll know what to do.

Need an independent strategic consultant to free you for the work you need to do? Visit

McKerns Development, PR, Marketing, Business Development, works with businesses and professional firms such developers, architects, designers, engineers, and physicians to increase visibility, promote their projects and services, reach the right customers and build business.

For unique service packages, visit

Leslie McKerns may be contacted at or


Home Articles & Publications Directories Link Directories Topics Directory Specialized Interest Directories Performance & Productivity Blog Search

Website and contents ©1997-2011 C.S. Clarke, Ph.D. (Except where otherwise noted. Articles and content from other contributors are copyright to their respective authors.) All rights reserved.