Six ways to increase your daily productivity

April 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

By Helen Jones – Pelican Business Services

Keeping your working day as productive as possible is always a priority but is even more critical in tough times. It’s easy to get into bad habits and to let things slip, so here are a few reminders of simple processes which can help your business be more productive day to day:

Use email response templates
The same inquiries and questions crop up on email on a regular basis so create and store email templates containing standard responses with the required information. Then all that is needed is to add the personalised greeting/opening line and any closing details necessary. 

Keep contacts in one place and up to date
Fast and easy access to telephone numbers and emails is critical so maintain a contacts address book on your PC, such as Outlook or use your smartphone. Keep contacts up to date and synchronised.

Create checklists
Use checklists for regular business processes – such as registering a new client or taking on a new supplier. Document each step and the information required at each stage. This saves time, avoids errors and omissions next time, and allows others to easily pick up the task.

Do the filing – electronic as well
Keep on top of the filing – dull but essential in keeping productivity high so you know you can find everything you need. As well as paper files ensure that computer files are as organised as the paper system – mirror both systems for ease of use and ensure PC files are tidied up on a weekly basis. Use project names and dates on electronic files so you know which is current, deleting old versions to avoid later confusion.

Cut the clutter
Physical clutter is one of the main barriers to productivity. If you can’t find what you need or you don’t have enough clear space to work it’s difficult to get things done efficiently. Clutter for many just adds stress as the physical mess is replicated in the mind, creating confusion and distractions. Get rid of the clutter and dedicate time on a regular basis to keep it under control.

Back up
Ensure you have a back up process in place and that it is followed through. An automated back up that runs out of office hours is ideal or implement a manual process and take responsibility for it. This is one of the most vital and basic office processes but in small businesses often gets missed. There are numerous online solutions available such as Carbonite or Mozy at reasonable prices.

Not keeping on top of these routine processes results in wasted time, increased stress and distractions as you try to get things done on the hoof rather than in a planned and controlled way. Schedule reminders for all these tasks or even better automate as many of them as possible to help you maximise your productive time each working day.

Next month find out how to boost your productivity using some simple planning tools.

Helen Jones, Director, Pelican Business Services
T: +351 282 760 548 | M: +351 914 563 407
helenjones@pelicanbusiness.com
www.pelicanbusiness.com

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Moving forward in challenging times

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