Time Management

It’s the beginning of a fresh, new year and we wish everyone a successful and happy 2015! However, less than 2 weeks into this year, I have heard so many people say “there aren’t enough hours in the day”. Whether they are referring to returning to work after the Christmas break, thinking about goals and objectives for the year or trying to juggle home and work life.

The obvious answer would be to think about Time Management; let’s face it, it is reported that over 70% of employees work beyond their contracted hours. However, despite it being a multi-billion pound industry, there is no such thing as Time Management. You can’t manage time; you can only manage yourself. Only YOU can control what you do and when you do it!

So if you are feeling like “there aren’t enough hours in the day”, take a look at how you are managing yourself and those around you.

Game Plan
There is no need to over-complicate this though: often expensive, professional courses are great but my biggest hurdle was finding the time to fit them in! The easiest and most effective way to make the most of the time you have is to plan.

  • Take half an hour at the beginning of each week to decide what you need to achieve
  • Write these goals down
  • List the days of the week you work
  • Break each day down into segments: allocate a time slot for emails, letters, projects etc
  • Colour code & print out the timetable you have created

Task Diary
If you still aren’t achieving your goals, is this down to procrastination or because you are being pulled in too many directions? Take a sheet of paper, marked with A, B & C.  A is for important, crucial tasks; B is for non-essential but necessary tasks and C is for distractions, the unnecessary stuff! Each hour, take a few minutes to think about what you have done and which category it falls in to; write it down.  After a day or even a week of keeping a task diary, you will have a clear idea of where the majority of your time is being spent.  This is also great tool to show your boss if you are constantly being pulled in different directions!

One of my all time favourite quotes, which has become a real mantra to me, is:

“if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail” Benjamin Franklin

Looking ahead, taking control and planning for the day, the week, the month, the year, is so important to success!

We use simple templates for the Game Plan and Task Diary at XPS.  Please feel free to download and use!

Emma Bowman Smith, Managing Director


XPS Company News


innovationOn Sunday 1st February 2015, XPS celebrate their 7th Anniversary! The last 7 years have flown by and we would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of our customers & suppliers for their support and loyalty.

XPS was launched as the UK was plunging into a deep recession. To have launched a business at that time could be seen as fool hardy and risky but 7 years on, if we can survive that and still grow, we can achieve anything!

Next month we will be embarking on the first stage of our Accreditation to ISO 18001 for Health & Safety with BSI. This is an exciting milestone for us as it completes our operating standards targets and will provide us with a fully integrated Operational Management System.

XPS have always operated to stringent Health & Safety regulations but we have now chosen this standard for accreditation because it is so encompassing and is externally audited. We will keep you updated of our progress in the next newsletter.


Cliches – What do they really mean?



noun; the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. "your support is of great value"

So what is being added: importance, worth, usefulness? Maybe it is all three?

At XPS, when we use this term, we are promising to add practical benefits so therefore the usefulness of the service; we also intend to add effectiveness so therefore the worth of the customer investment.

But does everyone’s view of the word “value” mean the same thing, particularly when, as a verb, it means the monetary worth of something?

We’d love to hear your view on the word “value” & whether it is an overused term: connect with us on twitter (link) using #xpsvalue and tell us what it means to you & we will enter you into a prize draw for a bottle of champagne*

Congratulations to Julie Hood of Husborne Crawley Lower School who won last month’s draw!

*Drawn at random from all contributors on 2nd February 2015


Partner Spotlight


TravisBeadYou may have noticed that brand awareness is important to us at XPS?  When the business was launched, we were aware that we were entering an industry that was dominated by some huge players and we wanted to stand out from the crowd. 

Our industry is full of greys and blues; we wanted to demonstrate we were vibrant, passionate and energetic as a service provider. But it isn’t just about choosing a colour: it is so important to get the whole brand right and to be consistent in everything you do to raise awareness and create the right image.  Whether you are creating a new brand or re-branding, get this right and you are already one step ahead of your competitors.

For the past 4 years, we have worked with Design & Marketing specialists TravisBead.

Roze Sherwood, Director at TravisBead advises, "One of the key factors to making your business successful is getting your brand identity right and this is not exclusive to the large Blue Chips. No matter what size of business you have, you do make a big impression with your brand identity, positiviely or otherwise. Customers instantly relate the quality of your brand image to the quality of your product or service. A good brand identity gives credibility to your business, a bad one undermines success, so it is worth investing in."

TravisBead have been working with companies of all sizes for the past decade to help develop their brand identities. The first thing we do is listen, finding out about your brand and your business objectives, then we begin to design the most appropriate solution. We involve you in each step, thus ensuring you receive materials that are as individual as your business.

For further information please visit


FM Industry News


workplace design New Waste Legislation From 1st January 2015A revised EU Waste Framework Directive 2008 requires that from 1 January 2015, the collection of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass must be separate where ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’ (TEEP) and ‘appropriate to meet the necessary quality standards for the relevant recycling sectors’.

Whilst there has been very sketchy statutory guidance for commercial waste disposal, the following procedures should be a part of every businesses waste process:

  1. Consider reduction & reuse of recyclable items
  2. Do not mix clean recyclable waste with general waste
  3. Ensure your service provider has adequate depot sorting facilities

XPS operate a successful & proven recycling implementation programme which is available to all clients. If you haven’t taken advantage yet, now is the time to do so!

All our waste disposal supply chain partners are verified as having adequate sorting facilities as a minimum.

We are working with our supply chain partners to ensure that any changes to legislation or statutory guidance are swiftly communicated to all customers.



Simon Says...


Without regular clearance of your gutters on commercial properties, the gutters will collect debris from leaves, waste & other debris. This can cause blockages. If a blockage occurs, water is likely to seep back into the building, particularly during heavy downpours.

Blocked gutters are the cause of a large proportion of water ingress which can disrupt work, damage stock, ruin machinery and equipment and lead to costly insurance claims and an increase in premiums. In fact, due to the recent heavy rainstorms in the UK many insurance companies are now recommending that a routine gutter clean is undertaken to commercial and industrial businesses and this may be reflected with reduced premiums.

Gutter clearance is usually a straightforward process, even with access restrictions. We recommend that gutters are cleared at least twice a year to prevent debris build up and keep them flowing. Your provider can also check for leaks or breaks in the gutters during the clearance.

Simon Bowman Smith is Operations Director at XPS and has first-hand experience of every maintenance issue on the face of the earth!

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