Rarely have I heard anyone say Wow, so much time and so little to do! One common theme I have heard in business is everyone saying that is a great idea, but when will I or anyone else have time to get it done? The better question is if it is such a great idea, how can you afford not to get it done? What I want to give you are five tips to utilize the tools around you to maximize your time and gain more free time in your business week.
- Siri or Cortana. How many times have you been driving and needed to schedule a meeting, have a reminder set or send a message? If you are like me, you are hesitant to use these services because you have had poor performance. With 4G now, the devices are faster and the software has improved, making the experience much better. Let your virtual assistant help you gain time!
- Email can waste a lot of time. Justin McClung, Director of Development, Innovation & Administration at Nex-Tech, gave a great session at Tech Edge and did a Fastest 16 Minutes webinar called Inbox Zero. While zero is probably a bit aggressive for me, I do believe that there are definitely keys to success in minimizing email interruptions.
- Turn off the pop up notifications. It isn’t that important.
- Touch email once. File it or act on it. Delete it if it isn’t important.
- Create a filing system that is easy.
Other ideas that I have received from others is to only check email a couple times a day, have it auto file known newsletters and such and most importantly, set expectations that you will not be responding 24X7.
- Utilize your systems to their capacity. Many times we add new software to fix issues you are having, yet it does not talk to your existing systems, such as your line of business application not speaking to your accounting system. Make sure you know all the functions of your existing systems before looking elsewhere. A system that is 80%, yet is familiar and speaks with your existing applications, may be better than a system that is 100% but on an island.
- Build processes around your daily work and follow them consistently. Many times you think there are short cuts and you end up spending more time than if you just did it right the first time and consistently.
- Don’t forget the people. Don’t try and multitask (i.e. Check email and speak with someone). When you are one on one with someone or in a meeting, focus on the people, the systems will wait. (They serve us not the other way around).
Many times in an effort to speed up, I end up slowing down. Hopefully, my mistakes can help you become more productive and happier.