The year has started with full force and the to-do list grew quickly when I thought about everything to do, during this year. Sometimes you feel that there are not enough hours in the day to catch up on all your work and at the same time have a balanced life.
But don’t worry, there are solutions. We’ve collected seven tips to help you be more productive and save time.
1 Prioritize at the right time
It might not come as a surprise that it is good to prioritize one’s work and to make so-called “to-do lists”. Lists give you an overview of what to do and can help create space in the brain. This is because if something is written down you do not need to remember it.
But it can also be a point to make lists at a certain time and in a certain way. Doing too extensive to-do lists can make you feel overwhelmed and things still end up in oblivion.
Instead, try to prioritize for tomorrow. Let this be the last thing you do before you go home and keep the list short and concise. No more than five points in the list. By making the list the day before, you are taking the idea away from the tactical and can instead think more strategically about priorities and solutions. Otherwise, it is easy to get caught up and only plan around what is right in front of you, such as emails and smaller tasks that pop up during the day.
2 Take breaks
Yes, you can actually save time by allowing your self to take breaks at regular intervals. Did you know that an adult has a concentration ability of between 15-40 minutes? Everything you do during the day drains your cognitive battery, which can make you feel like you are idling sometimes. The battery needs recharging during the day. Of course it is good to have a longer lunch break that allows you to rest, but the fact is that even micro-breaks can help you regain concentration and increase creativity. When you are vibrant and concentrated, you do a better job and work more efficiently.
If you have ever been thinking about a problem, get up to have a coffee and then come back to your desk and realize that you have the solution. Then you know the value in taking breaks.
3 Identifying “time wasters”
According to a study done in 2017, small business owners waste 21.8 hours per week! This includes 6.8 hours of business operations that drive little or no profitability, 3.4 hours of less important emails and 1.8 hours of solving problems that could have been prevented.
The important thing here is to identify where you are spending time that does not benefit you or your work duties. A common such trap is when you are CC:d in an email that you really didn’t need to get. Another common scenario is when staff do not have enough authority and need to make small decisions through their manager, which they should actually be able to make themselves. Identifying where time is wasted is usually what is difficult, once you know what they are, the solutions are usually simple.
4 One hat at a time
Many jobs mean that you have more responsibilities. This is especially common in smaller companies where staff are expected to help with a variety of tasks that may not go under their job title. For example, is there a special inbox that you need to keep track of, or are you responsible for purchasing consumables for the office?
Working with two different things is rarely effective, but often results in working more than half as slowly instead. If you have many responsibilities, consider wearing “one hat at a time”. Dedicate specific times of the week where you will handle these tasks. It also makes it easier for you to learn how to disconnect these tasks when your regular tasks are to be done. In addition, colleagues and customers learn that it is during these times that this is handled.
5 Focus on simplicity
It’s easy to get caught up in grandiose ideas, but sometimes the easiest idea is even the most elegant. Sometimes you are attracted by intricate solutions that sound cool, especially if it is in an area where you are a little unsure. But by letting you look at the problem from a different angle and choose the item with the least resistance, you can save yourself, your colleagues and maybe even your customers lots of time.
As we usually say at Soluno; We simply make it simple.
6 Stay organized
Yes, this is obvious, I know! But keeping things organized and tidy around you can save a lot of time. This can be an organized mail inbox, signed agreements in the right binders or tidying up in your folders on the computer. Take an hour, or a whole day if needed, and get organized and you will notice that many tasks will be easier to manage.
Even just tidying up on your desk can help your brain focus better on the task in front of you.
7 Use the right technology
Thank the gods for technology. There are a plethora of great services to help you save time in every way possible. If you take the car to work, the Waze app can be your new best friend. Waze gives you real-time updates, which means you know where traffic stops are. If you want an ultimate to-do list, Wunderlist is a popular tool. Think about what you need help with and try to Google it. There is an app for almost everything.
Save time for your customers
Entrepreneurs obviously want to be efficient with their own time, but many also want to be able to save time for their customers. And is there anything more boring to spend time than sitting in the telephone queue? This is something that we, who work with telephony for companies, have understood. That is why we have created Virtual Phone Q, VPQ. What VPQ does is allow a bot to keep the customer’s place in the queue. When it is the customer’s turn, the VPQ calls the customer and connects the call with the right agent. This way your customers can focus on something else while they wait and avoid hearing “You now have number 23 in the queue, thanks for waiting”. Want to read more about VPQ? Click the button below.