Improving your productivity can have many benefits – if you’re employed it can help you secure that promotion you’ve been chasing, if you own a business it can boost your profits. But improving productivity is easier said than done. Read on to discover five tips that will make your working-life more efficient.
1 – Avoid meetings where possible
Meetings, if they’re not handled properly, can be a real drain on your time. It’s not a case of turning down every meeting, but you need to be selective about which ones you attend. Getting together with a prospective client? Great! Spending an hour deciding what colour the office’s new carpet should be? Not so great.
Whenever someone proposes a meeting, ask yourself if you really need to be in it. If the answer is no, don’t be afraid to politely explain why you don’t want to attend. A lot of what goes on in meetings can be thrashed out in emails or during informal chats.
If a meeting is required, make sure there’s a plan and that it’s strictly observed.
2 – Use the cloud to get organized
There are plenty of cloud-based services out there which you can use to better organize your time. Trello is a project-management orientated noticeboard, which allows people to be assigned tasks. This comes in handy if you’re collaborating with a number of people working towards a single goal.
Even something as simple as Google Drive can be used to help keep track of what you need to be doing and when you should be doing it. Good time management is key to staying productive.
3 – Master your inbox
Dealing with emails can be a time consuming process, so it’s worth spending a bit of time getting to grips with your inbox in a structured manner.
Firstly, take some time to think about the kinds of email you send. If you cut down the number of pointless email you’re sending out, you’ll see a fall in the number of pointless replies you get. It’s a hard rule to stick to, but you should only send emails when it’s strictly necessary.
In an ideal world, you’d only ever send emails with attachments but obviously that isn’t possible.
Here are a few tips to help cut down the number of emails you send:
Never email someone you could physically talk to – the back and forth nature of email makes it more time consuming than a quick chat. If you can walk over to someone’s desk or even just pick up the phone, it will send you time.
Try to avoid emails which lack substance – Saying “thanks” is polite, but if that’s all you’re sending in your email is it really worth your while? Avoid sending one-word emails unless you really have to.
Only send a response if one is warranted – Don’t feel you have to reply to an email. If it’s not worth your time, just ignore it. If it does warrant a response, you should, as always, consider whether an email is the best way to handle things.
Other tactics for keeping your inbox under control include setting aside an hour a day to handle emails, ensuring your email address is only available to those who need it and setting up filters so your messages are pre-sorted for you.
4 – Understand how you procrastinate
Maybe you watch too much TV, or perhaps you’re a social networking addict. If you can identify the things you do when you should be working, then you’re one step closer to solving your procrastination problems.
If you’ve gone cold turkey and it hasn’t worked, try turning your preferred method of idling into a reward. If you complete everything on your to-do list for a given day, you get to watch X amount of TV, for example. This is a great way to help you get stuck into those personal projects you’re forever putting off.
5 – Understand your goals
If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with any given project, then you’re probably going to waste a lot of time. If you’re not working towards a set goal, the chances are you aren’t working.
Goals don’t have to be massive, in fact it’s often better if they’re not. Just make sure you understand what you’re supposed to achieve and how you’re going to go about meeting your target. If you can’t do that, you’re just tilting at windmills.
Originally posted @ http://soho.ca/index.php/five-killer-tips-to-boost-productivity/
About the Author: Guest post by Will Stevens of 123-reg. The company has recently launched a new range of cloud servers aimed at helping small firms improve their levels of productivity.
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