You know what they say; time is money, and this is most definitely the case. If you are not using your time efficiently, then you are not going to be making as much money. It really is as simple as that. Consequently, one of the best ways to improve productivity and to get your profits up is to take a look at your time management skills. Do they need improving? If so, read on to discover some of the ways to boost time management in the workplace. These tips can be applied on an individual basis, as well as providing a useful base for business owners who are looking to get more out of their current workforce.
Make sure your systems are organised
Often, the reason why employees take longer to do tasks is because the systems themselves are inefficient, rather than the employee being so. If your systems aren’t organised, employees are going to spend time looking for files on their computer, rather than being able to get them quickly and instinctively. Now would be the perfect time to look at the systems you have in place. Make sure that you have a policy for how files should be saved, making it easy for all workers to access what they need. Not only is this helpful in terms of using your time more efficiently, but it will actually help to prevent data breaches too. After all, if you do not know where your files are, how are you going to protect them?
Give your employees all of the resources they need to do the job
If you are relying on outdated software or you do not have the correct tools in place, then this is why tasks are not getting completed effectively and efficiently. You need to evaluate your resources on a consistent basis to make sure that you have the best solutions for your workforce. Don’t forget to talk to your employees. After all, they are doing the tasks and using the systems, so they know what they need to do their jobs quicker and better.
In addition to the two points that have been mentioned, another step to put near the top of your to-do list is to get rid of distractions. Sit down and write down all of the current distractions in the workplace, and then ask yourself whether you can eliminate these so your employees can focus and work better. Unless in a customer service role, you may want to allocate set times throughout the day for responding to emails. You would be surprised by just how much time is spent on emails, which means workers are constantly taken away from the task they are meant to be working on.
Another way to increase your efficient use of time is to outsource. Outsourcing is not always the ideal solution – it depends on the task at hand. You need to consider whether it would be cheaper to outsource, as well as whether you would benefit from more quality. But in terms of time management, you need to ask yourself whether you or your employees are spending too much time on activities that do not impact your business’ bottom line. For example, do you spend too much time preparing tax returns, which means you are not focusing on your business’ core activities? If this is the case, you may be much better off hiring an accountant instead and outsourcing all of your tax and financial commitments. This will free up your time so that you can dedicate more to your business.
Give your employees more breaks
This may sound like a bad use of time, but it can actually help your employees to achieve more. We all get to the point whereby we find ourselves staring at the computer screen and we struggle to get much done. In this case, it would be better to take a short break, and then you will come back feeling refreshed and you will be able to work more efficiently. This is why it is a good idea to allow your staff to take more breaks. It is better to have lots of small breaks throughout the day than have one big lunch break and nothing else.
Learn when to say ‘no’
Turning business down can be very difficult. However, sometimes it is for the best. Your company’s poor time management could simply come down to one thing, and this is the fact that you are going your workers far too much to do. You have one of two options in this case; you either expand your business or you start being selective with the work you take on. With regards to the latter, try to get rid of any problem clients. You need to decide whether the effort put in is worth what you are getting in return.
Use an employee time clock
How are you supposed to know if time is being used efficiently if you do not track it? You can use an employee-tracking tool, such as the Employee Time Clock | Sling provides. This will help you to track time efficiently, without needing to use fixed terminals and paper time sheets. Not only is this a good way to keep track of time within your business, but also you can reduce the costs associated with doing so.
Look for ways to minimise stress in the workplace
Stress is one of the biggest causes of wasted time in the workplace. When an employee is stressed, they spend their time worrying instead of working. If morale in the workplace isn’t great, this is what you need to focus on to make sure that time is used more efficiently. There are a number of different ways you can boost the general atmosphere. When you are working on a particularly demanding and difficult project, you could set up massage stations – this is an approach that a number of businesses have taken to ensure that staff can get refreshed and revitalised. Or, why not go on a coffee run for your workers and get everyone their favourite drinks and treats? Small things like this can make a massive difference. Not only does it help your employees to relax and unwind, but it will make them feel valued too. And, a happy worker is a harder worker, which means productivity is boosted considerably.
Carefully consider how you delegate tasks
Task delegation plays a massive role when it comes to efficient use of time. Firstly, you need to make sure you have the best employees working on the best tasks for them, rather than simply giving tasks to the first person available. If you do the latter, you may end up with someone taking several days to complete something because it is not his or her area of specialism, whereas this may have taken a few hours if you had given it to someone that is experienced in that area. So, now would be a good time to look at how you delegate tasks. It is also a good idea to only give each person one task at a time. Most people think that multitasking is an efficient way to get things done, but the truth is that we work better when we are focused and able to concentrate on one thing. Multitasking can actually hamper productivity, as it makes your thoughts flow all over the place, making it harder to get things done efficiently.
Do you currently prioritise tasks effectively? If not, this is something you need to take a look at when you are attempting to improve how well tasks are completed. One of the easiest ways to categories your activities is in one of the following categories: vital and urgent, vital but not urgent, urgent yet not vital, and finally, not vital and not urgent. This will help you to make sure that the right tasks are being completed at the right time. A lot of businesses are going wrong because they have employees working on the wrong tasks at the wrong time.
Hopefully, you now have plenty of suggestions that you can use to improve your time management skills. If you follow the advice that has been provided, you should notice a significant difference to your productivity levels and, therefore, what you are able to achieve in the workplace. This will lead to more profits in the end.