February is Heart Month — A great time to stop and think about ways to get your business “pumping” too by evaluating ways to be more productive. Below are a number of tips and streamlining tools so both you and your employees can boost overall productivity and profitability:
Make Your To-Do Lists Prioritized: While it may be tempting to put off more challenging tasks to the bottom of you list in favor of other, simpler items, that can actually crush your productivity. Whatever item on your list is most essential,do it first. This way, if your day goes sideways or other distractions suck away valuable hours and you have to push things to another day, you know you have already completed your most critical items first.
Schedule De-Clutter Time: Once a week, schedule time to for everyone to go around their workspace and remove unnecessary items, move along paperwork, throw out trash, etc. Put it on your calendar system using a scheduling tool like Google Calendar or iCal to ensure it gets done.
Clean Out Your Email Box: Get ruthless — how many of those vendor/supplier/trade emails do you really need? Are you still getting emails from a trade show you attended once 5 years ago? Are you getting sales offers or promos for a product you no longer use? Instead of viewing and clicking those emails every time they come in, spend 15-30 seconds when you get a bulk mail email no longer applicable and click through to “unsubscribe” — You will save time every day thereafter when those junk emails are no longer cluttering your inbox.
Re-Think the Workspace for all Employees: Your employees are the best at telling you what they might need to be more effective at work. Create a survey for all employees where you list several office or workspace tweaks that might make their day more streamlined. For example, would dual computer screens allow people to complete reports faster?
Stand up! Extended periods of sitting are detrimental to your overall health. To improve everyone’s energy (and waistline), consider investing in standing desks for those that are interested or convertible desks that move from a standing to seated option. A more active workforce is one less likely to call out sick.
Invest in Advanced Training: How many of your employees use Excel for reporting or PowerPoint or something similar for presentations? What if your office was truly maximizing those tools? Consider investing in a professional training session to open up new possibilities and functionality for these programs, paving the way for shortcuts and hacks that will speed everyone’s progress.
Get Mediterranean! The “Mediterranean Diet” was just named the #1 best diet for Cardiovascular Health by US News & World Report. It’s more than just a diet, it’s really a lifestyle you can embrace in your office: Stock the break room with healthier fruits and nuts versus candy and encourage everyone to walk when possible, especially after meals!
Shorten all Meetings by 15 Minutes or More: You know the rule — Any meeting scheduled for an hour will likely drag on to an hour and 15 minutes or even an hour and a half….or more! Scheduling your meetings for a shorter amount of time to begin with creates a sense of urgency to get a resolution quickly versus spending too much time off-topic because you know you have a longer period of time to accomplish a task. It’s the same trick as setting your clock ahead 15 minutes so you are always early to any appointment!
Combine creativity with physicality: When trying to tackle an issue that may require a creative solution or you are brainstorming new ideas, turn your meeting into a “walking meeting” – By activating your body and getting blood pumping you may spark creativity versus just sitting in a chair. Plus, walking while meeting ensures your scenery changes constantly which may also generate new ideas.