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Before the internet businesses communicated by telephone, mail or courier. There was also a system called the telex machine, which was a global network that was like an email system. We were also graced with the invention of the fax machine allowing us to send documents around the world. It was at this point the world started getting itself in a hurry all of a sudden. Now we strive for more efficiency and better use of our time.
Technology worked against us in many ways. It has made our jobs harder because deadlines are expected to be hit faster than ever before. Customers and managers expect instant communications. In essence, the day of waiting has gone. In fact, people are now more inpatient then ever today as if they are left to wait, they start to get stressed out.
Luckily with the invention of technology, there has been an array of solutions helping us to speed up the way we work giving us more time to increase efficiency in other areas of our work and day to day lives.
Here are 3 ways that you can use technology to increase your productivity:
Use website builders if you are a small business
If you have your own business and you are paying a web development company, updating your website yourself, or having your staff take time out of their usual routine to update the website, then that is great. You are the same as most other small businesses out there. Obviously, this does not apply to enterprise business managers as such company’s will no doubt have a dedicated web development team onboard.
To the point. Website builders save you an immense amount of time and money. Whether you own a vacation rental website or an ecommerce site, there is a website builder out there for you.
- No need to hire a web development team
- You have a support team on hand
- All coding issues are dealt with as part of your package
- Small monthly fee is much cheaper than a web developer
- User-friendly making content updates super quick
Use a File Sharing System Like Google Docs
One issue that seems to spring up a lot in the workplace is duplicate documents or older versions of a document. This could be the printed version of a Doc or electronic version. The printed version will have come from an outdated file, so we are still looking at the same issues here.
The great thing about Google Docs is that it gives you a real time version of the document. You can see who is looking at the document and see all edits being applied. You may want to initiate some user permissions on the document to make sure only certain individuals are able to edit and other can simply view the document.
As the file is in real time it can be shared with customers and employees on Google Drive. Everyone that has access to this one central file location will all be seeing the same document.
This is as opposed to having the same file stored on multiple machines, having it circulated on email, and leaving quite a large gap for error. i.e. people did not receive the email with the latest version, forgot to download the latest version, or pressed no when the document said ‘file already exists – do you want to replace the existing file’.
The time saved having to wait for people to get the right version or wait for the updated version and so on adds up over the course of a month.
- Central single file storage location
- Real time access to the latest version 24/7
- Permission can be set for edit, suggest and view
- Eliminates the need to circulate emails
- No more duplicate documents
Keep Track of Your Productivity
This may sound counterproductive at first because it means adding an additional task to your day. However, there are plenty of people that have said keeping track of their productivity or the time spent on tasks each day has helped them increase their efficiency.
So, you are probably wondering what this is all about. You get into the office or to work at 8:30am half an hour before you start. You make your coffee or drink and then get to your desk. At this point you should have a list of tasks to complete for the day. You look at the list and set yourself a goal to reach X point by the end of the day. However, at the end of the day you are not even half way.
Ever heard this before: “Where did the time go?”.
Well this is the question you need to ask yourself. There are applications out there such as Time Doctor that can help you track where the time went. It is so easy to use too, and you can install it on as many devices as you use. Therefore, if you need to perform a task that is not at your usual computer, then you can switch timing to your phone.
At the end of the day you can download the report and it tells you exactly how much time you spent working on a particular task, how many times you took a break, and idle time you did not record. The latter will need you to work out a system, so you can keep track of non-recorded times.
Now you have an answer to where your time went. You can work on each one of those tasks to see how you can improve processes to speed up efficiency. Also, leave notes as to why tasks were not completed. Were you waiting on someone else? Find reasons why jobs are not being completed. Can you plan better to give other people the chance to deliver work or information you need to continue with the incomplete task.
- You can see where you waste the most time
- You can which jobs you did not complete
- You can see when you spend too long on a task
- Helps you to identify areas to implement more efficient processes
- Fully downloadable and/or online reporting
Here you have read about 3 amazing and very simple ways to use technology to help you improve the way you work. Now please note that the idea here is not to help you get more work done – unless that is your aim. This is to help you become more efficient with your work so you save time. You can actually work less if you do it right. Most importantly, the idea is to reduce stress, which in itself will make you become more efficient.