Key to running a thriving business in today's difficult economic climate is working efficiently. On any task you need to spend as little time as possible, but as much time as is necessary to get the job done. Here are some simple ideas to help you work more productively without compromising the quality of your work.
Set up standard documents. Find yourself constantly formatting the same documents over and over again? Set up templates and use these each time you need the same type of document. This not only saves you time but helps you establish your corporate image by keeping a consistent look and feel to your correspondence. You and your business will look more efficient and work more efficiently too!
Organise your data. This is where a database comes in. A well-designed database puts the information you need right at your fingertips. Never again will you have to wade through old documents to find a single date or amount. Neither will you have to browse through months of emails to find someone's contact details. Get your data organised and see how your admin bumps are smoothed out.
Establish a filing system. Whether your files are electronic or paper, set up a consistent filing system that everyone knows how to use. Then when you go to your computer or filing cabinet, you can get straight to the file you need every time. And the same principle applies to your email inbox - create folders to file your email into and use them!
Automate repetitive tasks. Say you have some software to export some data to a simple file that can be opened in Excel, and that each time you do this you want the same changes made to it. If you're making all these changes manually each time, STOP! Excel can be automated to make the changes for you so the next time you produce your data file you simply press a button and, in only a fraction of the time it used to take, you have a fully modified file ready for export. You can automate tasks across the entire Office suite, saving time and costly errors.
Take a break! Seriously, taking regular breaks can drastically increase your working efficiency. Getting bogged down in a task? Switch over to something else, make a coffee, check your emails, talk to a colleague, or even just stare out of the window for a few minutes. If you can adopt a more flexible working style you'll almost certainly find that you're happier, calmer and more productive.
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