Productivity is key for success, and after the upheaval and disruption of 2020, with many offices still closed teams working remotely, it is important to find ways to improve efficiency and get more done so that your business can recover and grow.
Miscommunication is one of the biggest blockers for increasing productivity. By clearly communicating, everyone will be on the same page and able to collaborate and work together effectively. This is particularly important if your business is working remotely for the time being. While many businesses have found that working remotely can increase productivity, it only works if you’re all communicating well.
Try to organise your different methods of communication and use them for specific purposes. So for example, you could dedicate your email for communicating with clients and external partners or sharing finalised projects, documents, and updates with the whole business. Assign Slack to be used for internal communications, set up different channels for each project, team, or client so that you have a clear, organised record of all relevant conversations. Ensure you’re using cloud-based storage so that everyone has easy access to all the documents and work that they need at any time. This will avoid confusion in sending different versions of documents back and forth and will allow you to keep everything in order and up to date.
It might seem obvious, but what is productivity? Well, as outlined in this definition, productivity is a way of measuring how efficiently work is being done — how much work is done in how much time. But the key to effectively increasing productivity isn’t as simple as getting more and more done each day, it’s about finding ways to improve how quickly you can do each task so that it takes up less time without reducing the quality of the finished product or result.
One of the keys to improving productivity is tracking how you’re spending your time. Use a time tracking tool that allows you to monitor how long you spend on each individual task. This will give you a clear idea of how much time is spent on key tasks and work, and how much time is taken up with administrative tasks or things that need to be done but don’t necessarily move you towards overall goals and deadlines.
Once you’ve monitored how you and your team and spending time for a few weeks you’ll be able to see where things get help up, or which tasks need to be streamlined. You’ll know what areas you need to improve, and what other tools are going to be essential to increasing productivity or automating any repetitive tasks.
Use a Password Manager
The more tools and software you use the more login details and passwords you need to remember. And using the same password for every account isn’t going to be secure enough. So rather than struggling with multiple, complex passwords, you may consider using one of the password management tools covered in this round-up of the best options. It will be able to store all your passwords ready to input them each time you need to log in, and it can generate strong new passwords when you sign up to something new. Using a password management tool is a lot safer than saving your passwords in your web browser or noting them down somewhere. It also makes it easier to share passwords across your business if other people in the team need to use an account.
Automate Wherever Possible
There are endless automation tools out there for almost every repetitive or administrative task you need to do, you just need to find the ones that work for your business. You can automate your marketing emails to send out at regular intervals or are triggered by certain actions. Bulk upload your social media posts and schedule them a month at a time. You can use HR software to streamline managing holiday requests and sick leave. Accounting software will allow you to send out automated invoices, simplify your payroll process, cut down the hassle of taxes, and give you a better insight into your finances. If you’re not sure where to start with automating your business, then this article covers ten of the best tools you can use to save time.
Better Project Management
Project management is another key part of productivity that you need to focus on in 2021. If you’re effectively managing projects then everyone is clear about exactly what they need to be doing and when. It makes all the difference and ensures you’re always hitting deadlines with time to spare, rather than letting work drag on for months or years. Tackle each new project or piece of work by breaking it down into smaller tasks and goals and mapping exactly who needs to do what in order for it to be completed. Use project management software to assign tasks out to team members with deadlines, so that they can plan out their workload and know which things need to be prioritised.
Increasing your business’s productivity in 2021 is going to require you and your team to optimise your workflow and use the right tools and software to automate and streamline processes.