Productivity Hacks to Make You a Lean Mean Productive Machine


Have you ever struggled to be productive? We certainly have. With so many distractions and so many demands on our time, it can be difficult to be as productive as your job or business requires. Getting things done, crossing items off your to-do list and making real progress can be a real struggle. However, there are ways that you can cut the dead weight from your day and make the most of your time.  

Here are 8 productivity hacks to help with your problem areas.

1. Find a way to effectively manage your e-mail. Most people waste at least 30 minutes to an hour each day reading, reviewing, deleting or writing e-mails that offer no value. Investing in e-mail management in terms of sending and receiving e-mail can save you a lot of valuable work time. Set up rules in your email to filter them.

2. Create effective time allocation in meetings. Wasted time in meetings can drag down the productivity of your fellow workers. Agree to attend only meetings with agendas and stick to the agenda. When a meeting begins, ask for all participants to stand up so they aren’t comfortable and drag the meeting on for too long.

3. Right-sizing technology for effective use by your team. Having access to the technology you need to do your job including effectively collaborating with colleagues across the enterprise is key to productivity.  Make sure you have the right version of the software packages you use – those missing features in an upgrade could be game changers.

4. Automate as many tasks as possible. Remove manual tasks whenever possible. Take the time to figure out all tasks that take up valuable time on a daily and weekly basis and figure out how to automate as many of those tasks as possible. This doesn't mean you should stop paying attention to those reports. Instead, find ways to build automatic dashboards and other systems that lead to more time spent on data interpretation and less time spent on data inputs.

5. If you use [insert software tool here], embrace it. The example of an accounting/finance professionals…we use Excel every day. Take courses to become a guru in your use of Excel for something. It will save time and money.

6. Only produce internal reports that are still needed. Each week/month/quarter you produce some standard reports. Collaborate with others producing reports and with the readers of those reports to make sure your reports are still valuable and reporting the right information - who uses it and why? Or you can eliminate reports that you personally create by showing certain teams how to pull those numbers on their own.

7. Workflow, workflow, workflow. Lack of workflow breeds inefficiency and inhibits business agility. Workflow is the foundation for: repeatability, consistency, quality, scalability, and flexibility.

8. Develop consistent processes and procedures. Inconsistency in process and procedures leads to inefficiency. Most of the time spent on rework can be traced to ineffective processes and procedures. Whether you are taking over a new project or merging various reports into a single data set, I highly recommend sitting down and figuring out the entire set of processes and procedures you need to complete the task at hand.

Streamlining your day is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. The less time you spend on things that don’t matter, the more you can focus your time and energy on getting the right things done. Hopefully these productivity hacks are helpful, let you cut out the dead weight and start blasting through your day.

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