An average workday never seems long enough to get everything done. Whether the office environment is full of distractions or work just keeps showing up out of nowhere, it might seem like important tasks always go undone. Fortunately, a few simple strategies and changes can help you improve workflow efficiency dramatically.
Workflow management is not only possible, but it’s also critical to a successful workday and overall time usage. By making a few changes to your daily routine and streamlining your tasks, you can encourage yourself and your employees to work more efficiently and encourage effective workflow management.
Take Advantage of Document Management
Outsourcing some of your busywork gives you more time to focus on high-priority tasks. For many offices, one of the worst offenders for busywork is print jobs. Keeping track of the dozens of daily printing requirements, in addition to maintaining the printer itself and keeping the printed information from being shared with the wrong people, consumes a lot of time and effort. A trustworthy document management service can take the worst of the burden off you, freeing up more time and focus for other work.
Anyone who has attempted to work a full day nonstop with no breaks knows that it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Aside from the physical discomfort of sitting at a desk for hours on end, skipping breaktimes doesn’t let your mind relax from the work you’ve been doing. Periodic breaks give you the chance to think about something else just for a few minutes. By scheduling breaks ahead of time and making sure you use that time, you can improve your overall efficiency as you return to work refreshed.
Track Time Spent on Tasks
It’s all too easy to get so absorbed in what you’re doing, productive or otherwise, that you completely lose track of time. To best combat this, use a timer to keep track of how much time you spend on every task. Whether you take a break, finish a half-completed task, or even step away from your desk to take a call, keep track of how long you’ve spent on each piece of work. You may be surprised by what you find. Where can you whittle the required time down?
Pro Tip: Improving office communication builds bridges between coworkers, as well as cutting down on wasted time waiting for a response.
According to Forbes, multitasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your mind is designed to only focus on one task at a time, so while dividing your attention is technically possible, it’s not the ideal. For some people, they face the choice between focusing on a single task and doing a great job on it, or focusing on two tasks simultaneously and doing a mediocre job on both. While multitasking may seem faster, a better use of work time overall is to focus on a single job and do your absolute best.
Room for Improvement
While your office workflow will never be quite perfect, you can optimize it as best you can and greatly increase your daily efficiency. Remember, saving time means saving money for your entire workplace. And as a business owner, keeping costs low through improving workflow efficiency is one of your highest priorities.
Join the conversation for more strategies on making your workspace more efficient for everyone.