The issue of people wasting time at work has always been a hard one to tackle. According to Forbes, 89% of people admit to wasting time at work. For small business owners, wasting time at work can be even easier due to being overwhelmed by the responsibility or easily distracted without anyone to hold you accountable. Regardless of the issue, it can be hard to reign yourself in and create better systems for everyone involved to get more work done.
Let’s rephrase that, it’s not just about getting more work done. It’s about getting smarter work done. Spending hours and hours working late into the evening can actually be a sign that you aren’t working efficiently, and thereby wasting time. This can be seen more with highly motivated people. The idea behind working hard itself isn’t bad, but if you aren’t working in a smart way, you could be a roadblock for your company.
Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, like you need to do it all yourself, or easily distracted, we have some easy tricks to help you accomplish more throughout your work week.
1. List And Prioritize
We believe making lists are the starting point to building an empire. A good list is what will help you and your team stay on track and not be overwhelmed. Just make sure you create a list that is well prioritized. First create a list of the items, office supplies, etc, you will need for the week. Buy all of these items all at once; better yet, delegate the task to someone else. People love a hard working boss, but you need to delegate task to get everything done that you need to in a day. People also love having a task to do that is necessary.
Next you need to take a good look at the different things you and your team need to get done this week and month. For this week, decide what are the most urgent tasks on the list and assign them to someone on your team and yourself.
Once you have the most urgent tasks out of the way, take a look at which assignments are the most important to the functionality of your company. Maybe they aren’t urgent yet, but they must be done eventually before they become urgent. Schedule those throughout the next couple of weeks so you will be sure to get them done after the urgent tasks.
You will have some extra, smaller-item tasks that will inevitably get pushed to the side. Don’t obsess over them, but record them so they aren’t completely forgotten. Once you and your team make it through the important tasks, you can assign or take on the smaller ones on the list. Trust the list that you have created. Try not to let yourself get distracted by everything that needs to get done and try to do it all on yourself in one go. This will only create confusion and half-finished tasks that are eventually forgotten about.
2. Create Clear, Attainable Goals
This step may need to be done before and after your list making. When creating clear goals, you will need to create sub-lists or add to the list you already have. Everything depends on the goal you have in mind and how large of a feat that goal is.
With each task or goal you need to decide exactly what needs to be done. Once you have a clear idea of how to accomplish your larger goal, assign those tasks to your team. Pay attention to which members of your team like or are skilled at each task. Allow for clear communication in your team so that everyone knows what is expected of them and so that you know what concerns they may have.
It’s important to be realistic with the time you give for each task. Yes, you would like for everything to be done and finished as soon as possible, but you also want a good product and employees that aren’t overworked. Pay attention to the task list each employee has for the week and make sure to adjust it according to which project is more urgent.
Take a minute to be realistic about the work required for the project before setting a due date. Listen to any concerns from employees. If the task is in their expertise and they say they will need more time, trust them with it (especially if they have already proven to be a hard-working team member).
3. Track The Time
An easy way for you to personally save time for your business is to track the minutes/hours it takes you to complete an item on your list. If it took you longer one day than the other to finish a task, ask yourself why and be honest. It may be that the TV was on and you were somewhat distracted from time to time. Yes, you aren’t straight-up watching TV. However, the moments you take to glance up from your screen and get your mind focused different subjects does catch up to you and the clock.
Tracking time especially helps those who are easily distracted. You may think you have it under control, but once you track your time from day-to-day, you will be able to see just how distracted you really are in your daily projects. When you are being timed, it can also make your work feel more like a game.
If you take pride in how long it takes you to do a task well, you can try to lower and lower your time to finish certain tasks. This mindset change may help you to truly boost your productivity during the day, despite all of the distractions around you.
4. Incentivise Tasks And Break
You and your team are not working machines. It is important to incentivize tasks with rewards and take breaks to refresh. Without taking the proper breaks, your team will begin to lose interest in their work as they become more fatigued and restless. If you want quality work done and for everyone to enjoy and take pride in their workplace, add some prizes and allow for breaks to keep the energy flowing.
Maybe you could have a coffee break with donuts at one point in the day. You could try having Coffee Shop Fridays where your team goes to work in a coffee shop instead of the office for the morning. Simple breaks and rewards can boost your team’s spirits and productivity.
It may sound counter-intuitive to give breaks and awards to save time for your business. However, focused, creative employees get a lot more done in a small amount of time than fatigued employees do all day. So if you want to save time for your business, take more breaks.
5. Virtual Meetings
If you are having trouble getting everyone together to meet for a project or idea, try using virtual meetings. Though face-to-face interactions have their own perks and help you connect better, a virtual meeting can help you get work done without trying to figure out any trips.
Especially with people that you have already met in person, save everyone some time and video call in whoever doesn’t work in your office. Meetings are infamous for wasting time. Try and keep your meetings efficient by providing the necessary information and planning ahead of time what you want to bring to the table. Once the meeting is done, everyone can go back to work without the unnecessary travel time.
6. Use A Project Management Platform
Being organized saves everyone a lot of time. With all of the lists and tasks you will be creating and assigning, it will help to have an easy-access place to have the information stored for all employees to see and utilize.
Try using a project management platform such as Basecamp or Asana to help organize your team, save time, and boost productivity. These platforms help everyone keep track of what they should be doing and how much work they have already done.
7. Hire Experts When Need Be
You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t have to try to. Make sure you delegate, even if you would prefer to do it yourself. If you try to do everything yourself, you may just be slowing your team down.
For those tasks that are outside of you and your team’s expertise, don’t be afraid to look for outside help. Whether you need a virtual assistant or a marketing firm, there are many people out there in the world who can help you get more work done and save you time in the end to do what you need to do.
If you need digital marketing help, from website creation to SEO, our team at Elevare Agency can help you so that you can stop wasting time and have work that you love. Fill our the form below for a FREE 30 minute consultation and we can help you create digital marketing content in a time-efficient manner.