Being a Way We Doer is about getting the best out of your business, and your people, as efficiently as possible. We’re always on the hunt for a new way to do more — more sales, more customer success, more job satisfaction — with less — less time, less repetition, less wasted effort. Despite this, there’ll be times you and your team find yourselves falling into the same old productivity traps. And you may not act on them immediately, because they seem inconsequential each and every time, but add them up and they’re the sly, secret demons that could be slowly eating away at the wins you’ve made in your pursuit of productivity.
What you can measure you can manage
If you’ve not taken our interactive “How Much Time Are You Wasting” quiz, then take a few minutes to run through it and see just how much time you’re losing each year to these “little” habits. And of course, if you have taken it, but a long time ago, you might want to take it again to see how you’re progressing. Are you beating the demons or have you still got some old habits that will not die?
Whether it’s your first time taking the quiz or your fifth, take a fresh look at what you can do, individually and as a team, to free your time so you can more out of every day, at work, and away from it.
8 hacks to help beat the productivity zombies
- Group similar tasks — If you’ve got more than one task that requires you be logged in to a certain platform, or be in a certain location, plan it so you can complete them all in a single block. It minimises the number of times you have to switch tasks, and cuts back on the time you lose going back and forth.
- Set aside a fixed time (or times) to manage email, and turn it off in between — Emails can be the bane of our existence, distracting us and forcing us to deal with non-urgent and seemingly important issues when we could be getting higher value tasks done. Some people have an auto-responder telling correspondents they’ll reply at set times, and invite them to phone if the matter is urgent.
- Rethink the email trail — Do you really need to add to the trail, or could you deal with the task quicker with a simple phone call (or even a quick visit to your colleague’s work station)?
- Consider implementing online collaboration tools for your team, like Slack and Microsoft Teams — These tools can help staff work together no matter where they are, or what device they’re on, and can reduce the email deluge by as much as 50%.
- Get your staff involved in coming up with systems and process improvements — Set aside a regular time, for instance, once a month, to workshop ideas with your staff and solve some of those niggly, time-draining problems once and for all.
- Introduce more standing meetings — There’s a reason most of the scenes in West Wing were set as walking meetings: We think better on our feet, and are less likely to be distracted by tangential topics. Standing meetings also tend to be quicker, as people are less comfortable and more motivated to stay on topic so they can move on to the next thing as soon as possible.
- Do you really need to have a meeting? — Ask yourself this before you send out the invite. If the answer’s yes, then define up front what you want to get from it. If you can’t think of a clear goal, consider using another channel for sharing information and getting feedback. And if you still want to call a meeting, think about who you really need in the room. Fewer participants means meetings are faster and stay on topic. You can still keep other colleagues informed before and after the meeting by asking for their input beforehand and sharing minutes afterwards.
- Log on to Way We Do first thing in the morning! — It’s your most powerful productivity tool, after all! Make sure everyone in your team has a login. Show them how Way We Do can help them manage and streamline their workload and take control over their own productivity. They’ll get more enjoyment and satisfaction from their work, and a happy team is a productive team!
Of course, you’re bound to find more productivity hacks of your own as you hone your process and time management. Track down your business zombies and hit them with your own custom-made productivity hacks. Remember to track your progress, either through our Time Wasters quiz, or through your own leader board or “hit list”. Adjust the steps and processes as you go, and remember to celebrate your wins together as a team.