I just read an article about a tiny island named Sommarøy, whose residents are hoping to free themselves from the tyranny of the clock by declaring the small Norwegian island the world’s first time-free zone.
“All over the world, people are characterized by stress and depression,” Kjell Ove Hveding, the leader of the campaign on the island, west of Tromsø and inside the Arctic circle, told the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.
“In many cases, this can be linked to the feeling of being trapped by the clock. We will be a time-free zone where everyone can live their lives to the fullest … Our goal is to provide full flexibility, 24/7. If you want to cut the lawn at 4 am, then you can do it.”
Wow, can you imagine that? No time to worry about time…sounds great!
Now, back in the real world…
How can we live our lives to the fullest and be less dependent on time and stop being a clock watcher? Can we make our job a time free zone? Sure, but how?
By being more prepared, that’s how.
Do Your Homework
Stop hoping everything will work out as planned. Instead, “do your homework” and plan for the worst. That’s what made me successful in my 20+ year hospitality career. I look for the mistakes before they happen. Remember “Murphy’s Law”? “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
I would walk my property and pretend I’m a customer. What would I look for if I was paying for this and what would I expect? That’s easy…
I tried to always be proactive and address any issue before my customer would.
- Is the temperature in the room appropriate for most?
- Are there shoe scuff marks on the bottom of doors or dirty handprints at the door edges?
- Have I provided clear-to-understand signage or instructions for any product or service my guests may use?
- Did I order enough product, and do I have enough employees working to serve the customer?
- Did I buy the best items I could afford and have I trained my team members to be attentive and fully competent?
If not, I should expect to be running around trying to fix the problems when they arise – and there never seems to be enough time for that! The only way to prevent them from happening in the first place is to plan for them happening.
- Write your plan down
- Set up ahead of time
- Have a full “dress rehearsal or walk-thru”
- Think like the customer
- Go over your plan again
- Smile and relax because you’re prepared”
If you don’t, you’ll be watching the clock and hoping you have enough time to:
- Clean the scuff marks off the doors
- Run to your office to type-up new signs
- Frantically call a few employees and beg them to come in right away
- Apologize to your upset customers for their poor experience
Can you make your job a time free zone? Sure. I’d love to become less stressed or depressed like our friends in Sommarøy. A time-free zone is a great place to live or work but, it comes at a cost.
With all this time on my hands, I’ll probably spend too much of it with my head in the fridge looking for a snack. Time, plus a never-ending supply of pumpkin pie (my favorite) may just stress-out my belt buckle. HA!
Link to original article: