Saving time is a universal desire – not just for businesses but for day-to-day life, too. Of course, when it comes to business, time is more than just an extra hour in bed or the chance to catch up on the latest Netflix binge; time is money. It makes sense, then, that business owners are always on the lookout for cutting back on wasted time.
Whether you run a small business or you’re the owner of a large company, here are eleven tips for saving crucial company time.
Understand Where the Time Goes
Your first step is understanding where the time goes. Once you know that, you’ll have an easier time figuring out how to save it. Time tracking is effective here – the next time you host a meeting or do your payroll, keep track of how much time it takes. You might discover that you spend far too much time trying to organize your week and not enough time taking action.
Use Automation Software
Technology is a time-saver in many ways, and this is especially true when it comes to using automation software. Long gone are the days where you have to manually do your payroll or maintain spreadsheets; with the brilliance of machine learning, all those arduous tasks can be completed by a machine far quicker than you could ever do them. Payroll software is particularly excellent, as it not only makes accounting faster but also reduces the chance of error.
Without deadlines, your staff will go at their own pace. Some might complete tasks quickly, whereas others might take more time than is needed. It’s important, then, to set deadlines for every project you hand out. Not only does it help ensure staff move at a reasonable pace, but it also makes organizing the workweek much easier. If you don’t know how long a task should take, speak to the person you’re giving the task to – they’ll usually have a general idea, and you can come up with a reasonable deadline time together.
Remove Distractions in the Workplace
Distractions in the workplace can suck up precious time without you even knowing it. To avoid this, keep the workplace completely focused on work as much as you can – ball games generally don’t have a place in an office. Try to keep noise levels to a minimum, too, by separating individual and collaborative workspaces.
Allow Short but Frequent Breaks
Saving time doesn’t mean cutting back on your staff’s free time. While you might want your staff to put in as many hours as possible, overworking will only lose time in the long run, as your employees will end up tired, disgruntled, and unproductive as a result of that. A solution to this is allowing short but frequent breaks. That way, your staff can get a breath of fresh air or a much-needed mid-morning snack, giving them the boost that they need to get back to work with newly founded clarity.
Avoid Unnecessary Meetings
Meetings can be a great way to communicate with your team and reach a unified clarity. That doesn’t mean you need a meeting every single morning, however. Too many unnecessary meetings will eat away at your precious business time, and more often than not, they won’t contribute much to the business other than a couple of disgruntled employees. The next time you consider calling a meeting, ask yourself – does the topic require a full-blown meeting, or can the information be given via a quick email?
Reward Speedy Work
As well as rewarding hard work, rewarding speedy work is a great way to improve overall productivity. When your staff understands that their performance is recognized when they get the job done quickly, they will be more likely to put the effort into completing tasks in good time. There are plenty of ways to reward staff who go the extra mile, such as allowing an afternoon off, offering coupons, and simple praise.
Use Time Management Tools
Time management tools allow you to keep track of your day. Using them in the workplace is particularly effective, as it will help everyone stay on track during their working hours. Often, when people know that their time is being tracked, they are more likely to get the job done quickly rather than waste time.
You might think that keeping a rigid work schedule is the best way to save time, but more often than not, the opposite is true. Remember – each staff member has a life away from work, meaning they have responsibilities other than their work projects. Offering flexibility allows them to work around those responsibilities. Plus, you are more likely to get the best work out of your staff when they are given the chance to work around their schedule.
Keep an Organized Workspace
A lack of organization can end up wasting your company heaps of time. Think about it – all that time you spend trying to locate a file might add on twenty, even thirty, minutes to an otherwise short task. For this reason, you must prioritize an organized work environment. Start by decluttering and then make sure your filing systems are as organized as possible – online filing is an excellent option (and it saves space). Influence your team to keep a clean workspace, too.
Multitasking might seem like a way to speed projects up. After all, if you’re getting multiple tasks done at once, how are you not saving time? The truth is, it can slow you down more than anything. When your mind is in multiple places at once, it becomes much harder to concentrate, resulting in confusion and a slower pace. Instead, learn how to prioritize tasks and then tackle each one individually. That way, all the important jobs will get done.
In business, saving time is equal to saving money, so use these eleven tips to ensure every minute is spent boosting your business’s growth.