Your time is your most precious resource
Your time is irreplaceable so be intentional and efficient where you spend it. And leveling up your software skills might be the best thing you do for your work this year. It’s the gift to your schedule that keeps on giving.
We all have reports or documents to prepare daily, weekly, monthly, etc. We all have email inboxes where other people try to insert their agendas into our days. It’s incredibly rare for food service leadership to receive enough training for the software they use daily. Even those who are comfortable with their software can benefit from upping their skill level. Properly implemented software can shave hours of work from your day. Last year I streamlined three reports using only intermediate Excel skills and literally saved myself six hours of work each month! Thanks to online courses I’m continuing to optimize these reports and saving more time.
Learn anything for $25
OK. Not anything, but all Microsoft and other mainstream software products are taught online. Have you ever gone to one of those training seminars in a hotel banquet room? I’m referring to the $89 expert training about a thing that requires you to spend a day away from the office. The kind where every break they try to sell you “$600 worth” of books and CDs about the thing for only $297?
Meet Lynda. Lynda.com is the antidote for those expensive, off-site courses.
I’m a late adopter of lynda.com, but it’s been awesome. Choose lessons at any level from beginner to expert. Learn at your own pace. Add the completion certificates to your LinkedIn profile. It starts at $25 a month, but a single month’s subscription may be all you need.
How to get the most out of Lynda
For the purposes of this instruction I’ll reference Microsoft products because they’re so common. You can replace these with the equivalent used by your company. Sign up for your free trial and plan to be a member for one month. Most courses are between 2 and 8 hours long. Take a course appropriate to your skill level in the following categories:
- Outlook: During the course customize your notifications, layout, signatures, formatting and calendar.
- Excel: Don’t overestimate your abilities in Excel. There’s a reason some people earn healthy incomes teaching this one software program. It’s incredibly powerful. Anytime you think I wish it could do this thing automatically, Excel can probably do that thing. Whatever level you’re at, take a course at that level and possibly the next one up. If you’re like me, you will find things to automate that you didn’t realize was possible before.
- Word: As healthcare dietary managers Word may not seem like an important program to master. It is. Like Excel, Word is much more powerful than most people realize. You can customize the Styles functions to match your branding, create recipe templates so all your recipes match, customize pre-made templates for anything from announcements to disciplinary actions.
Those three programs will fill your first five weeks with education. You may pause your subscription while you work to implement those lessons.
Other helpful courses
- Time management/productivity
- Leadership/management techniques
- Accounting/finance fundamentals
- And more
Sharpen your saw
Great managers and leaders continually works on themselves. By optimizing hard skills and streamlining various tasks you are making room to handle the messy, human problems that deserve more of your time than spreadsheets and email. Working on yourself is a selfless act.
*Healthcare Kitchen has no affiliation with lynda.com.