What are some helpful tools or practices businesses can utilize to streamline everyday tasks and save time, money, and brainpower?
To help you save time and resources on daily tasks, we asked business leaders and professionals this question for their insights.
From learning shortcut keys to adopting agile practices, there are several ways to hone business processes to grow your organization.
Trello provides a place for all of my ideas, notes, tasks, and projects to be organized in an interactive format that can be shared with others. The boards are easy to create by dragging cards from column to column (columns represent the different stages of completion) and then adding descriptions, attachments, due dates, etc. It’s a life-saver for the unorganized.
There’s a chance to be more efficient when using shortcut keys, rather than using the mouse to navigate and click through several times. There are a variety of these keys which are used directly from the keyboard. For example, if you are working on spreadsheets all day long, then this saves you time making your day more productive. There’s a long list of useful ones to choose from. Since I use these ones daily, my favorites are CTRL+V for paste, CTRL+C for copy, CTRL+X for cut and paste, and CTRL+D to copy an equation down the sheet.
Agile is a set of practices that I utilize in two-week sprints to accomplish daily tasks. From the collaborative daily scrum meetings to the iterative process flow that incorporates feedback for constant improvement, agile helps to streamline everyday tasks, thereby saving time and resources.
Most people think that agile is mainly used for software development, but it has been great utilizing it for digital PR process flows. As part of our agile practices, we incorporated Asana rules to add some automation to our Kanban board workflow processes.
So much time can be saved by ending meetings when the main points have been communicated. Cut them short whenever possible, and make it clear when employees can sign off. If others have questions, they can stay. It shouldn’t be seen as rude or disrespectful if an employee leaves earlier than others. You do not want employees sitting in meetings all day long. Another great thing to do is have a “no-meeting day” at least once per week. Monday or Friday works best.
Notifications are extremely distracting. My advice is to turn as many off as you can. Focus on your most important tasks, and check Slack, email, or other communication tools at the same few times per day. You can set reminders for that if it helps. That way, you won’t feel like you’re always on high-alert. By always checking them, you’re creating more potential to add distractions to your day with requests from other people.
Conversational software, in many ways, was built exactly for this. Whether it’s tools like Drift for marketing, Intercom for customer service, or Paradox for recruiting, conversational technology was built to automate the BS (what we call the “boring stuff”) so people can focus on people, not software.
The key with this type of technology is to consider what you want to automate first. Which tasks in your day-to-day work life are time killers? Which ones distract you from the really important work? Can you automate those? Build out a list — whether it’s screening resumes, answering common questions, or scheduling meetings — and look for vendors that can help you take those things off your plate in a simple, seamless way.
Running a business means spending a lot of time writing — anything from emails and reports to just a quick message. Something to help save your business time and some brainpower is to integrate a predictive text software. Ours is free and will help you correct errors in real time. We also learn your typing patterns and help you save keystrokes and reduce the time it takes to draft. Finding ways to clarify your communication is definitely going to be a useful tool to streamline tasks and save time.
Consider outsourcing tasks to save time, money, and resources to support business growth. Delegating repetitive, yet important tasks to an outside party allow in-house employees to focus on the activities required for the business to succeed.
Since these duties are being outsourced, businesses can significantly reduce expenses by saving on office space, supplies, or hiring new employees to perform the tasks. Outsourcing is a great way to take mundane activities off employee’s hands so they can focus on innovation and honing new skills to give businesses industry advantage.
Organizing business workflow amongst employees can be one of the best ways to streamline tasks and save time and money. When employees are working in schedules that counteract their energy rhythms, stretch them too thin, or don’t take advantage of their skills at high energy times, they are losing productivity.
Whether this is due to meeting scheduling, task management, or hours layout, reworking your schedule to take full advantage of your employees’ rhythms can greatly increase productivity, and lower time and money needs.
A really helpful tool that businesses can utilize to streamline everyday tasks and save time, money and brainpower is Calendly. Calendly allows for quick and easy scheduling of meetings between clients, customers, and fellow coworkers. Calendly allows people to access your calendar and see when the best times are to quickly schedule a meeting. This app helps save a ton of time and energy when scheduling meetings and I recommend it to all businesses looking to streamline their calendar scheduling.
Note: There are also lots of Calendly competitors if this app isn’t what you’re looking for.
Every time a new employee joins a company there is a standard list of to-dos. There are insurance forms, employee handbooks, tax documentation, computers, and logins. Improve the first day experience and reduce the stress by automating those onboarding processes with a project or task management software. Workfront, Trello or Asana are all examples of tools that will allow you to easily reduce the work associated with bringing on a new team member.
Building a routine around batch processing has been incredible for my productivity — not only do I know what to expect most days, but I can knock out big groups of tasks pretty easily. For example, I always spend the first 30 minutes of my day reviewing and sorting emails — emergencies get answered and the rest get snoozed for later. Then, I’ll dig into product updates and offer feedback when necessary, or I might have a block of meetings. As the CEO, a lot of my day is high-level, but having a routine to follow helps me stay focused and productive each day.
Expense reporting is a very time-consuming and laborious process for both employees and Finance teams alike. Automating this process with an AI-powered expense management tool eliminate manual errors from the accounting process and saves employees tens of productive hours. Further, it enables companies to maintain pristine financial records, manage multiple corporate cards, and helps process reimbursements on time thus boosting employee experience significantly.
You’ve heard what the experts had to say, now it’s your turn.
What tips are you planning to incorporate into your business in order to streamline various processes? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.
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