Taking Care of Business… -to-Business

This morning, I Googled the acronym “TCB2B” to make sure I’m not stepping on the toes of anyone who might have coined it before me, but surprisingly, no one has – score!

Taking Care of Business-to-BusinessI might be getting ahead of myself, so let me explain.

We all know that Elvis and Bachman-Turner Overdrive (yes, I just went there) made the abbreviation “TCB” (short for “Taking Care of Business”) popular, but when you’re B2B marketers like us here at MLT, it’s also important to make the most of each day, and better serve your clients and customers, by TCB2B.

I was inspired by the keynote speaker at my little sister’s graduation from the University of Georgia Grady School of Journalism & Mass Communications (I’ll proudly mention here that I’m a Grady Grad; got my degree in advertising about four years ago, to be exact – how time flies). The speaker was W.H. “Dink” NeSmith Jr., a distinguished veteran in the field of newspaper management.

Aside from being a very refreshing and entertaining speaker, NeSmith had a TCB-themed message, and I couldn’t agree more with everything he said. A self-proclaimed daydreamer, like myself and many others who work in B2B or B2C creative shops, he said it’s not really difficult to keep your eyes on the prize and make the most of each day (ahem, TCB) with proper time management; it’s all about list-making and “Dink’s 5 D’s of Time Management,” as he called it.

As an account executive, I keep a pen in my purse at all times, so I jotted these 5 D’s down. NeSmith mentioned getting a natural “rush” whenever he crosses items off his to-do list, which is something I find myself doing multiple times a day. It’s my being efficient and diligent that benefits MLT and our clients at the end of the day, so I guess you could say I’m TCB2B every day…

Anyway, without further ado, here are Dink’s 5 D’s: Deliberate, Do it, Delegate, Ditch it and don’t Diddle around.

Deliberate: Probably the most important D on the list. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND THINK ABOUT IT. This is a critical step, where you can ask those important questions (even dumb ones), evaluate the project and weigh the pros and cons of taking it on. Make sure that every detail is thought through and analyzed. This is where another lettered list – the 5 W’s – comes into play: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Think about it, think about it some more and then decide.

Do It: You’ve thought it through, now it’s time to take action. Take on the task at hand with the conviction that it’s the most important thing at that moment, and the absolute best use of your time. I’m not going to say “don’t diddle,” because we’ll get to that later. Just do it, and do it well.

Delegate: As much as you’d like to be the hero to everyone, all the time, here’s where you’ve got to face reality and realize you simply can’t do everything for everyone. Sometimes you need to let it go and trust that the people helping you can execute properly. Being the control freak/perfectionist that I am, I have to say this D is the most Difficult (yes, with a capital D) for me, but it’s necessary in time management because there are only so many things YOU as one person can do. It’s not a weakness to ask for some help here and there. Teamwork is a wonderful thing.

Ditch It: In some cases, the project you’re approached with couldn’t be more wrong for you or the company you represent, and that is OK. It’s not wrong to say no. While the prospect of the project is appreciated, it might not be a good fit or an appropriate task, so just ditch it; just say “no thank you,” and ditch it with humility, appreciation and grace.

Don’t Diddle Around: Yes, procrastination is the enemy, my friends. If you’re not approaching your work with tact and purpose, it could be that you should have ditched it or delegated it earlier on, but most likely you’re doing some diddling. It happens. But think about this: Time is money. Time is precious. Time is valuable. Your company and your clients depend on you making the most of your time during office hours. That can also mean putting in extra time, and speaking for all of us at MLT, TCB2B doesn’t always stop at 6 p.m. You know how the song goes: “Taking care of business, and working overtime.” Of course there’s a little time each day for kicking back and having a good time with your co-workers, but while you’re working for your company’s and your client’s advancement, there is no time to diddle.

So what are you waiting for? Attack that to-do list in front of you with a TCB2B attitude. Make your day count.