As soon as you open the office door on Monday morning, the phone starts to ring. You answer it while you open the emails that are already flooding your inbox.
Your desk is covered in paperwork that you need to start immediately, and urgent memos are already coming through from other departments.
When this represents the first ten minutes of your workweek, how frantic will the rest of the week get?
If you’re tired of your business’ hectic environment, it’s time for a change. Read our blog below for tips on how to simplify your business, improve its efficiency and make the office an enjoyable place for everyone.
1. Improve Your Time Management
You might think you’ve streamlined your business’ time management, but there is always room for improvement. To find out if you’re wasting time, record how much time you spend on each task for several days. Include activities like lunch and chatting with people in the office. Do some work activities take longer than you initially thought? Could you cut down on your socialising time to get more work done?
Recording the time you spend on each task should also give you a more accurate measure of how long your most important work activities take. Set a time limit goal for each high-priority task. Instead of answering emails as soon as you get to the office, spend a half hour planning out your day, hour by hour.
2. Trim Technology Time
Every business needs technology to run smoothly. You need to check your email frequently or you could miss important questions or updates. However, constant interruptions take up more time than you think. Apart from taking your time away from other tasks, they interrupt your train of thought, which means you end up spending more time on basic tasks than you need to.
As you record the time you spend on daily tasks, note how often you’re interrupted by emails or phone calls. Write down how much time you spend with technology and if interruptions happen during important tasks. Do they interrupt your workflow? When you stop
mid-sentence to answer an email, how long does it take you to remember what ideas you had before the interruption?
If you can, silence your email alerts while you’re working on important tasks. Let people know that they shouldn’t interrupt you with emails or phone calls during this time. If something happens that requires your urgent attention, ask employees to visit you in person whenever possible. Otherwise, keep a “do not disturb” sign on your door to minimise disruptions.
3. Stay Organised
Unnecessary clutter adds to your business’ frantic pace. It can slow you down as you search for misplaced files, whether they’re hard copies or digital files. It also creates an anxious environment. For a calmer atmosphere, take the time to organise both your desk and desktop. Group similar documents together in clearly marked file folders. Sort files alphabetically or chronologically so you can find the right file quickly. Do the same for your digital files.
You should also keep general desk clutter to a minimum. If your family pictures and desk calendars are taking over your office, remove all but your favourite two or three. The room will look cleaner, bigger and more professional.
4. Hire a Consultant
While these general tips can benefit any business, a consultant works one on one with your individual business to offer business-specific advice. Consultants can help you improve your time management and plan your business’ future. When you implement the tips above, talk to your consultant about ways to modify them for your business and employees.
As you use these four tips, you can look forward to a change of pace at the office. Instead of dreading frenzied Monday mornings, you’ll enjoy a more efficient business and more enjoyable atmosphere. Don’t forget to talk to speak to us for more tips .