There are only so many hours in the day (24 just to clarify), so making the most of the time is critical. There are two ways to increase productivity - put in longer hours or work better. There's only so many extra hours I want to put in so let's aim for working better.
Your company could be running smoothly but there can still be improvements. Sometimes, things go awry, projects get delayed, or meetings take longer than you ever thought humanly possible. Issues like this can be fixed by improving the efficiency of your business. Being more productive at work or business, is not an exact science but you should be more responsible about managing your time.
Here are 5 top tips to make you and your team more efficient.
Check and limit the amount of time spent on tasks.
You may think you're good enough to measure the amount of time spent on various tasks. However, some research suggests that only 17 percent of people are able to correctly appraise the passage of time, so realistically, you probably don't actually know how much time you're spending. RescueTime is a very clever tool that can help by letting you know exactly how much time you spend on everyday tasks, including social networks, e-mail, word processing and applications. I'll be honest, it's a bit scary..., I need to spend a lot less time on pinterest...
Create lists, loads of lists, then lists of your lists!
The number of tasks to be completed sometimes can be ridiculous. However prioritising them will help you focus and complete the most important ones. The order of prioritising your tasks should be according to the time commitment and the order of importance or urgency. Keep an eye on your progress. This will not only give a sense of accomplishment as tasks ticks on the day finished, but can also help assess trends in productivity. Monitoring effectiveness can reveal what times of day, one is more productive.
You can schedule breaks at intervals where you can leave all tasks and come back with more renewed energy. Set deadlines to complete a particular task and strictly adhere to it. Have a look at my video on time management here. I go on and on about evernote but I think it's great!
Although we tend to think of the possibility of multi-tasking as an important skill to increase efficiency, the opposite may be true. Psychologists have discovered that attempting to do several tasks at once can result in actually losing time and reducing productivity. Instead of multitasking, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to the next project.
Delegate like a BOSS!
Asking for help to perform certain tasks is crucial to order to increase efficiency. Two main factors when collaborating with colleagues are communication and trust. Be a team player and know when to ask for reinforcements. Make sure you have correctly informed colleagues of the relevant deadlines, in addition to ensuring they have all the tools and products needed to complete the job.
Promoting a culture of open communication
As a business owner, you should constantly encourage your employees to communicate openly. This goes beyond the idea of face to face communication to solve problems, employees should be free to express their concerns about how the business is run.
You cannot be everywhere but your employees may be able to detect an area in your business that might not be very effective. Giving them freehand to express their opinions and give relevant feedback will help to boost efficiency and team spirit.
Very few projects will fail if communication is open and timely.