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Kill the Productivity Zombie Killers (a belated Halloween)

Business Process Management

Being a Way We Doer is about improving your business’s productivity, and giving your people more autonomy to get on with what needs to be done. So why not set them a time management challenge? Our interactive “How Much Time Are You Wasting” quiz lets them see for themselves just how much time they lose each working week to non-productive tasks, and how that can add up over an entire year.

Encourage them to use this information to take control of their own productivity zombie killers and find new ways to leverage their work time (and even their personal time), so they get more out of every day.

Free your time!

  • Group similar tasks together to minimize the amount of times you need to switch tasks (and the amount of time you need to switch between tasks).
  • Set aside a fixed time, or times, to manage emails, and turn it off in between. (Some people even have an auto-responder telling correspondents they’ll reply at those set times, and invite them to phone if it’s urgent.)
  • Rethink the email trail. Could you complete a task more quickly with a 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 types of 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%.
  • Ask your staff to suggest improvements to systems and processes. Set aside a regular time—say, once a month—to workshop these 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 that meeting? If yes, then define up front what you want to have achieved by the end of it. If you can’t think of a goal, consider using another channel for getting input and sharing information. And who do you really need in the room? Fewer participants help keep meetings faster and on topic. You can still keep other colleagues informed before and after the meeting, by asking for their input and sharing minutes.
  • Log on to Way We Do first thing in the morning! Make sure your staff members each have a login, and show them how they can manage and streamline their work demands to have more control over their own productivity, and get more enjoyment from their work. A happy team is a productive team!

These are just a few general suggestions. How you approach the productivity process will depend on your own business flow and culture. Ask your staff how they think they could save time and boost productivity, not just in their own roles, but in the wider business as well.

Measure the results, adjust the steps and processes, and remember to acknowledge your team for their initiative and creativity, as well as their achievements.

Have questions?