Improving your productivity

Improving your productivity

Managing can be hard work. As the mouth, eyes and ears of a business you have a lot to do, and it’s not simply enough to get your ‘jobs’ done – you ne

Managing can be hard work. As the mouth, eyes and ears of a business you have a lot to do, and it’s not simply enough to get your ‘jobs’ done – you need to be thinking ahead. Here are 5 tips to avoid a time sink on your day that suddenly sees everything spiralling out of control.

Book out a ‘meeting’ day.

This can work really well internally, less so externally. Booking a day for meetings means that everyone knows that they have time with you, and you can keep your requests the other 4 working days to a minimum. The result is a less scattergun approach – and a more consistent approach. This isn’t to say your own team meetings happen on that day, but showing a willingness to meet all areas of the business on your ‘open house’ day will mean you get more fresh ideas, can offer help and support and generally ensure everyone gets a chance to input, without it derailing your plan.

Bank your resources

One of the best ways to get organised and to bank up time is to get a start looking ahead. Summer sales, Mother’s day, even Christmas can all be planned well in advance and should be of no surprise. Can you pre-schedule your team meetings?

Scrap paper

Paper based phone messages, paper from meetings, plans printed off – there’s no need. The clutter is phenomenal so switch to a system that can help reduce the extra noise in your office environment.

If you must use paper take an A4 piece and draw a cross on it. Each square represents a type of task – a long term task, a burning ‘today’ task or quick wins, a set of tasks you need help with, and a set of tasks that you frankly, don’t want to do. Ensure that your day has a mix of the big nasty tasks and a sprinkling of the urgent, quicker tasks. This means every day will see you making progress towards the finish line – and you don’t end up with a Manic Monday where all your tasks are ‘urgent’ or a Friday where all your tasks are onerous.

Use smart tech

Use your email marketing platform to send internal communications, round ups and reports on as you need – you can see who’s read them and really keep on top of those important messages.
Use a tool such as Evernote when you are at meetings, events and seminars and fire the notes back via email to the people in your business who can action them immediately.
Use an online organisation tool like Trello that can help you keep track of tasks, deadlines and workload

Get reports daily

Most of the stress from management comes from the low level anxiety that what you are doing is wrong, on some level. We have to make strong guesses and estimations – so one of the best ways to help reduce it is to get reports daily, or in real time.

Whatever the format, you may want to add these to your own excel document for reference with a summary / comments – eg ‘Sales down – there was a system outage.

Automate

If you can automate even a percentage of your day, you have free time on your hands. This could be as diverse as your reports, tools for finance or marketing, or something as simple as an app for food delivery, turning on your home heating if you stay late, arranging your phone calls or reminding you to do tasks.

Complete all 5 and you’ll soon be firing on all cylinders!

 

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