A key to success is to save time at work. By using less time on each task you save money, have more time to get other things done, and can spend your personal time on what’s really important.
With the emergence of digital solutions and platforms, the every-day worker has a completely new way of getting things done. There’s a wide range of services that enable professionals to collaborate easier, keep track of tasks and work across devices.
But there’s also plenty of pitfalls that one should be careful not to fall into. Here’s our tips for how you can save time at work.
1. Do one task at a time – avoid multitasking
The first of our time saving tips is actually countering what many might expect. A common belief is that if you’re good at multitasking, you can save a ton of time. This is generally not the case. Let’s look at an example:
There’s plenty of distractions popping up on your screen at all times. As a marketer in a small company, you might be working on a blog post and suddenly receive an email from a customer asking for help with something. When you’re in the middle of writing back to that customer, your boss need a report on something. Now you have three tasks that you’re halfway done with and everything needs to be delivered within the day.
Jumping back and forth between these three tasks is never a good idea. If you work on one task and then jump over to another one, you will need maybe 10 or 15 minutes to get in the right flow. This makes multitasking very inefficient.
Multitasking isn’t just making you use more time on each task. There’s also a bunch of other downsides. Take a look in this article to learn more. Avoid multitasking. It doesn’t help you save time at work. At all.
While it’s nice to get a few breaks from tasks, it shouldn’t be occupied by a new one. Take some time to eat or converse with colleagues and then get back to the same task you worked on. Get to the next one when you’re done with that one.
2. Don’t take on everything by yourself. Collaborate with your team
Don’t think of yourself as a one-man machine that can do everything. It’s not something that help you save time at work. While it might be right that you have a very diverse skill set (we don’t know), there’s never a good idea to do everything alone. There’s two reasons for that:
First off, you’re most likely not the best one on every single task that comes your way. There might be someone else on your team that has a very good set of skills for completing a couple of those tasks. That’s why it might be best to delegate some of them to that person, simply because you’re not as good as him at those specific tasks.
Second, if you take on too many tasks it may be too much for you to handle. In order to actually finish up with the tasks, you rush through them without doing it properly. If someone else has time to take some load off your back, use it! That way they can to their tasks properly, while you have time to focus more on a few specific ones yourself.
In order to take advantage of your team, it’s important to communicate with them as efficiently as possible. Take a look at inc.com and their tips that will help you communicate better with your team.
This might be the most basic one of our time saving tips. It’s common knowledge that more people work faster together.
3. Manage a limited amount of services
Moving back and forth from different applications and services can be very tiresome and time consuming. As cloud applications are getting more and more common, the problem are rising for the average medium- to large-sized enterprise. Sanjay Beri from Netscope believes that companies of that size use between 300 to 400 cloud apps all together.
Of course, not all employees has to deal with every single application. But still, some are bound to deal with a large amount of these services.
We would recommend you to work with as few services as possible. Try to find ways to work easily across different platforms and services. Correlate is a great tool to work with multiple cloud services, like Google Drive, Dropbox and Gmail.
4. Plan your next day before you leave
When you arrive at work you might need a couple of minutes to get in the right mindset. After that, you should try to be as effective as possible while working. Jumping right into tasks can help you save time at work and get tasks done faster.
A good practice is to use 15 minutes or so before you leave to prepare yourself for the next day. Set up a small task list that you follow up on. Make sure you have a good idea of who you should be in touch with during the next working day. Do anything to make the next day go as smoothly as possible!
5. Set a fixed time for when you go home.
Stand firm on when you go home for the day. If not, you might actually end up stalling tasks as you mentally believe you have more time to do them. If you’re very strict on what time you’ll go home, you will be more effective at work. Distractions will be less tempting and you’ll be more focused. Why? Because one of your most important goals is to get home at a specific time.
The most important time to set is a latest time to leave. This prevents you from stalling and putting tasks on hold. If you feel your tasks has been properly executed ahead of your scheduled departure time, you can get a head start on tomorrow’s tasks and use more time to prepare for the morrow.
Some days you’ll get all tasks done with maybe an extra hour at the end of the day. So the next day you can set an even higher goal and see if that’s possible to reach.
So here’s a challenge for you: try out each of these tips throughout next week and notice the effect. It WILL help you save time at work. While tip number three might be a bit harder to transition out of, it might be more important tip on this list.
So if you’re experiencing the same stress as the rest of us when managing multiple cloud services, read this article and find the solution.