You are an office ninja: the person everyone goes to because they think you have mad skills when it comes to time management. And while that may be true, to stay at the top of your game you are always looking for new ways to save time as you work your way up towards legendary office master.
But who has time to go searching for the answers? After all, time spent searching is time lost. To save you some time, here’s a list of a few ways that you can save anywhere from minutes to hours each workweek.
Phone Minutes Matter: You probably spend a lot of time on the phone, fiddling with paper clips, doodling, or playing solitaire or Tetris on your computer. Consider that this is also a good time to organize your desk, straighten your office, perform any software upgrades or backup files on your computer, or do any of a dozen other menial tasks that pile up because you can’t do them any other time. First phone call of the day? Get that coffee going while you talk!
Automate Internal Information: If you can develop a system that allows other employees a way to answer their own common questions, that can help to reduce daily interruptions and save from minutes to hours in your schedule. Write the information once, then make it automatic on everyone’s company computer, and never have to tell anyone where the paper clips are kept again!
Summon the delegation: Of authority, that is. Just because everyone thinks you’re the best at sorting widgets does not make it true. If Jake is better than you, make it his task. Identify who in your office is best at each secondary job, and make it theirs. But if you ARE the best widget sorter, then, by all means, jump in full-force, because then you’ll save Jake some minutes he could spend on what he is best at.
Streamline regular operations: If you have graphics, pamphlets, booklets, or other often-printed items that you use as-is or with variable data, consider using a hosted web-to-print (Web2Print) service. Store all of your regular-use items there for access by you, the designer, and the printer to make any needed changes and then send them directly to press. The best part of a service like this is that every part of the printing process is handled using an automated system, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming layouts and proof approvals.
Limit Meetings: Nobody likes meetings. This may be the one thing that everyone, from receptionists to company owners, has in common. Instead of having to build a presentation, schedule a time, have every employee interrupt their work (or day off) to be there, and answer an endless string of questions that double the meeting time, consider an online meeting forum. You can cover the main points or message in a single post, set a “see by” time for everyone to read it, respond, and ask questions, and then everyone can work it into some of those free minutes that our other suggestions have created!
Hopefully, these five suggestions have given you some ideas of how to improve efficiency in your own work, and possibly even your coworkers’ tasks as well. Now go out there and earn that efficiency black belt!