You’re an entrepreneur who embraces technology. All these modern hardware, software, mobile devices, and apps help get your small business off the ground and turned your enterprise into a going concern among your customers.
But now that you’ve hired an employee or two, you can help but wonder if all this 21st century is actually sapping your productivity. It seems that you’re spending increasing amounts of time looking at funny Facebook videos. And you’ve caught your workers using up work hours searching for mobile phone apps.
You don’t consider it particularly practical to become a Luddite just to boost productivity. PC Magazine agrees and offers several tips for co-existing with hi-tech so your business thrives.
Minimize the Hardware
If one high-tech device does wonders to improve your business, then several must be better. So you not only own a desktop in the office but also own a laptop so you can bring your work to the coffee shop, a tablet so you can read your online magazines, a smart phone to keep in touch, and a connected watch so you can access your phone from your wrist. Each of these devices take time to check for notices, upgrade with the latest features, clean, maintain and store. You have to duplicate what you do with one piece of hardware among all the others.
Instead of dealing with all these time-consuming machines, confine yourself to just one or two. that you can focus on. For example, use a touch-screen laptop to take the place of your desktop and tablet, and rely on your smartphone for more portable functions, such as telling the time or catching up on reading.
Beware Your Time Online
You have the best intentions whenever you go online. You want to check the latest prices on a new paper shredder and you spend hours browsing office furniture, looking at pictures of well-decorated business spaces, and shopping for Christmas decorations. You want to respond immediately to an email your customer sent you but end up spending all afternoon sorting and adding tags to each message and cleaning up your contacts list.
To eliminate these digital time sinks, confine your online meanderings to a limited period each day, perhaps an hour when you first come in or the hour before you leave the office. If you don’t have the discipline to control your Internet access, inexpensive software such as Freedom can block access to websites and apps for set period of time. If you’re not sure how much time you spend online, use an app like RescueTime to track where you’re spending your minutes.
Block Off Your Focus Time
You know that you’re most focused the first two hours of the day or sometime in the afternoon. So that’s when you schedule your meetings. Unfortunately, such interactions among people tend to be highly unproductive as you hem and haw your way through different strategies, analyzing various options, and reaching consensus. So you’ve wasted your most valuable time.
Schedule your interactions at any other time other than when you’re most focused. Block off your most productive hours on your online calendar, so employees and customers know not to bother you then. You can then spend your best times performing tasks that demand concentration or that produce the biggest value for your company, such as determining project schedules.
Technology can multiply the working capacity of people around you and yourself but only if you know how to use it properly. To find out how, please contact us. As your IT consulting service, we can help you define strategies for managing your hardware, software, and network.