It’s 5 p.m. already, but you feel like nothing has gotten done. Sound familiar? Many processes you do everyday can get bogged down and slow as work piles up. Let’s look at some common time-wasters in the workday and how to stop them.
Where is that version of the contract with Tim’s edits? It was in an e-mail, right? Or a fax? Hunting for documents is no way to spend your day. Try to save all attachments in your inbox to an appropriate folder on your server. Scan faxes and incoming postal mail and add them as well. Rename them consistently to make them easy to find. Learn to use e-mail rules to automatically sort e-mails by client or project and consider using a virtual fax service like SmartFax that delivers faxes direct to your email to ensure they are always accessible.
Meetings without Preparation
Meetings or conference calls with no structure waste time and accomplish little. Make an outline and distribute it out to all attendees. Assign someone to lead the discussion who can keep everyone focused. This will ensure a quick, useful meeting that provides a plan of action.
Every company likes to save money, but when your employees are spending an hour a day rebooting computers in an attempt to get work done, you’re losing more money than you saved. New computers are easily purchased for less than $500 online, and will reduce wasted time and lower employee stress. Places like Compusmart Solutions will also work with you to create a personalized software plan so you can streamline more of your online tasks.
Necessary or Busy Work?
The classic movie “Office Space” has a running gag about a report that must be completed and signed off on by eight different managers. Sound like your office? Two sets of eyes should be sufficient to approve most documents. Free up the others to focus on sales, marketing, and other tasks that grow your business.
You call and leave a voice mail. They call back and leave one for you. You call again and get voice mail again. Instead, send a quick e-mail to find out what you need to know, or send an e-mail suggesting a specific time to talk on the phone. Scheduling phone calls is a great way to avoid wasting time as well as ensuring your conversations happen.
Optimize your work day and you may find yourself left with a completed task list and a sense of accomplishment!