You may be shocked by how much unnecessary work you perform daily. How effectively you use your time not only affects your productivity and bottom line, it is also dictates whether or not you have time to enjoy your social life outside work. Your ability to maximize your own efficiency affects every hour of your day. Here are some valuable tips on how to optimize your workflow so you can ensure that the time at your desk is time wisely spent.
Tip # 1: The ABC’s Don’t Just Help You Close Deals
Learn a new ABC: Always Be Cleaning. A clean workspace has incredible power and an organized work environment will minimize stress and maximize efficiency. Take time out to organize your documents and put everything in their place, both physically and digitally. While it may seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming task, the positive results far outweigh the negative. The reality is that you waste exponentially more time having to maintain and sort through piles of misfiled or outdated documents on a daily basis, when one clean sweep (and a commitment to keeping it that way), is a far more profitable use of your time. Once it is organized, maintain it by dedicating at least 15 minutes every day to cleaning up and resist the urge to find excuses to put things away “later” that can be put away now.
Tip # 2: Refuse to Dump on Your Digital Desktop
Your desktop was meant to house documents that you use every day, in an easily accessible location, but dozens of files later, it becomes a virtual dump site for orphaned files. One useful tool to clean up your desktop is File Explorer, it will allow you to order your files and shortcuts by date. In the View tab you can choose from the Sort by menu and choose Date modified, you can then see which files have been there the longest and if they do not have any current value, you can immediately delete them. Another method is to create a “Temp Folder”, this will allow you to store downloads, email attachments and images, anything that needs to be temporarily stored. Once they have been moved or copied to their final location, simply delete the contents of the folder on a daily or weekly basis and keep your desktop free of unnecessary files.
Tip #3: Organize your email Inbox and Sent Mail
One problem with letting your Inbox or Sent folders grow forever is that the bigger they get the greater your risk to losing an email if your email client crashes or have a computer problem. Try hard to handle each email once, when you receive it. Make decisions on each email to delete it if it has no value to you. Periodically empty your trash or deleted folders. Store your most frequent incoming and outgoing emails in proper folders identified by author’s name or company. Once you get into the habit of doing this, managing your email becomes much easier.
Tip #4: Develop A Digital Filing System
There are four things to consider when creating your filing system:
1. How will you create your documents?
2. How will they be stored?
3. How will they be easily retrieved?
4. How will they be kept secure?
The simply answer to all four? Look to the clouds. Not only do cloud data systems streamline your ability to create, organize, collaborate, retrieve and share documents with a myriad of applications and tools, they also keep them safe. A crashed hard drive can wipe out countless valuable documents, templates, contracts and client information. Understanding the value of your stored assets and the fallibility of hard drives cannot be overstated. Hard drives fail every day and 94% of businesses that suffer from a catastrophic loss of data simply do not survive, and if they do, they still lose countless time and resources to restoring and reorganizing the data. Scanning your documents into Box, Dropbox, Google Drive or any preferred cloud-based system not only supply you with a great deal of support and tools for organizing your documents, but they can also save your company from digital death. To see which cloud system would work best for your company, see our previous blog post: https://ccscannow.com/which-cloud-provider/
Tip #5: Automation Dedication
You can save time and energy by automating everyday tasks, allowing you to focus on the more important aspects of your work. Google Drive offers a Google Forms app, and with some quick field inputs you can create and share forms with clients and suppliers that, once digitally filled out, will automatically import the information to a self-created Excel spreadsheet, filtered to your exact specifications. There is also ccScan, suite of tools which let you to scan and import documents to a number of popular cloud based systems, allowing you to classify, index, share and export documents effortlessly with a single user-friendly system. It is the difference between having to take every document and review, file, organize, upload, sort, collate, search and retrieve, and simply uploading the information and letting your software to do all the rest of the work for you.
Tip #6: Manage Your Minutes
Constant interruptions and task-switching eat precious time and brainpower, it is imperative that you outline your day with a schedule that covers your entire workday and not just your appointments and meetings. Divide up your day by hours, half hours and even minutes, in conjunction with your “to-do” list, and you can ensure that you are devoting proper attention to all of your responsibilities. It is also important to schedule your communications so that you take specific time out to return emails and phone calls, instead of allowing yourself being constantly impeded by an endless stream of correspondence. It is recommended that you take time out once in the morning and once in the afternoon to maximize time efficiency.
You can instantly optimize your ability to run your business effectively and efficiently by managing your time wisely and utilizing the best available online tools. Your time is extremely valuable and while your workload can seem overwhelming, you need to remember that you are in control of your time and resources and you need to make them work for you.