Have you ever experienced a work-day time warp, where the time passes but you don’t actually get anything done? Chances are your extraneous tasks are taking longer than they should. Here are some quick tips to get rid of time-wasters and free up your schedule for what’s important.
Spreadsheets: You want to invest your time where it matters, and ‘spreadsheets’ probably didn’t make the list. Complicated documents and manual lists are time-wasters and easy to mess up. Consider investing in online management software that will keep your business on track while freeing up your schedule. The best part? A system isn’t prone to human error, so that number you accidentally typed won’t ruin your week.
Perfectionism: Will moving that comma really affect your long-term business plan? Remember that better is the enemy of good enough. Before starting a task, make note of the big-picture goals and objectives. Once those have been reached, ensure any additional time you invest is going to make the project noticeably better. Otherwise you might wind up with one fantastic project instead of one fantastic business.
Document confusion: If you’re not in the cloud, what are you waiting for? Don’t waste time emailing large files, working with multiple versions of a document, or trying to figure out who needs access to what. A cloud-based system keeps everyone on the same page and ensures they have easy access to the most up-to-date information.
Ineffective meetings: Have you ever left a meeting wondering what exactly the point was? Meetings can be huge time-wasters if they’re not structured and controlled. Start the meeting by setting clear goals and objectives, and send everyone a list of topics or questions to reflect on beforehand. Re-direct any conversation that isn’t directly addressing the core issues – such as Bob’s story about his weekend.
Miscommunication: Everyone hates the he said, she said game. In a fast-paced work environment, people forget what you talked about. Instead of relying on face-to-face communication, make sure your tasks, deadlines, policies and meeting notes are recorded in an accessible company-wide system. It will keep everyone on the same page, and allow them to access the information they need wherever, whenever.
What do you think is your company’s biggest time-waster? How could it be managed more productively?
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