What do you spend most of your work hours doing? How often are you satisfied at the end of the day with all you accomplished? Do you track the time you spend on different tasks throughout your work week?

If not, you should consider doing so periodically.

There are a myriad of black holes into which your time is lost, never to be seen again. When your time disappears into that void, voice mails can go unheard, players’ questions might go unanswered, reservations aren’t cancelled, comps are left unwritten, and you are left falling further and further behind. Being a player development professional is fun. Being rushed to do more work than you have time for is not.

If you work in player development, your job is about doing one thing: getting your best players to spend as much of their gaming wallet with your property as possible. If a thing you are doing isn’t one that’s directly related to accomplishing that objective, it’s not a thing you should be doing.

Have you lost time to any of these?

Spending more than a quarter of an hour with a single player.  Unless you are resolving a major issue, you shouldn’t spend this much time during a regular shift with just one of your guests. You can make an exception if the player has a six-figure credit line. 

Working behind a counter or in the pit.  Unless a host is handling an issue for a big player, he shouldn’t be working at the hotel desk or player’s club or promotions desk. Hosts shouldn’t be printing cards or “pit clerking.” A host should be working the pit, not working in the pit.

Handling operational complaints. Obviously, part of a host’s job is to smooth the ruffled feathers of an angry high-roller. It’s not necessarily the host’s job, however, to come to the steakhouse every time a guest says his meal hasn’t met his expectations. It’s important that operations and player development come to an understanding about which players (and which situations) should be handled by a host and when the department’s staff should be trained and empowered to do it themselves.

Poring over reports to figure out who to call. Your player calls will go a lot faster if you don’t have to do the database mining yourself. You need a tool that provides you, on a daily basis, which guests to call, which reservations to make, and which activities to complete.

Making calls to players whose ADT is never likely to reach a level for hosting. You know which players I mean, right? The squeaky wheels who end up on a host’s voicemail because they couldn’t get a comp last time they were there and a coffee shop server suggested the host could help them. These are not the players you should be spending your valuable time on.

Visits with co-workers. You’re a people person or you wouldn’t be in player development.  You can justify the time you’re spending with a slot attendant because she helps you identify good players in the high limit slots. But if you are spending more than 15 minutes at a time with her, especially if it’s more than once per shift, you’re losing productivity to the relationship.  Make 15 minutes the maximum andthe exception.

Scrambling to finish administrative tasks before deadline. Schedule time each shift to complete any data entry or reporting related to your day’s activity. Don’t wait until the last minute, or you run the risk of forfeiting bonus money or projecting the appearance of one who is less productive than you actually are. 

 If you could structure your workday for maximum efficiency, how would you want to spend your time? Make that question one you start each day asking yourself. Put together a plan for the day before you open your e-mail or pick up the phone. Make your priority focusing on your players, not on taking care of administration and minor service recovery. Then challenge yourself to exceed your goals with all the recovered time you’ll have at your disposal. It probably still won’t be enough, but it’s a start.