Nobody is asking for the workweek to be longer. But at the same time, many professionals feel there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get things done! The key is to maximize your time at work so you can complete your tasks accurately and speedily.
Time management skills are just as important for your work life as they are your personal life. You already may be getting your groceries delivered and having your bills paid automatically. While these tasks don’t carry over into the office, there are other strategies to help you save time. So if you’re looking to get more hours back in your workweek, getting more done in less time, keep reading. These three time-saving tips will help you reclaim your workdays.
1. Adopt Efficiency-Boosting Tools
Due to the constant demand for greater productivity, new efficiency-enhancing tools and platforms are always coming to market. Some of these platforms can do a task on your behalf. For instance, project management tools enable you to get a full glance of a particular project’s status. Rather than reaching out to a colleague to see how a task is going, you have the information at the ready.
Contract management software is another time-saving solution; it automates many stages of the contracting process so it takes less time overall. Additionally, this software double-checks your work through each step of the contract lifecycle. You won’t need to spend time tracking each contract and where it is, as this software will do it for you. If you’re in sales or legal, this software will be particularly helpful for either following up on leads or creating and reviewing contracts.
When adopting efficiency tools, make sure to do your research ahead of time. There are hundreds of tools available today built for teams looking to save time. However, not all of them will be a right match for you. If possible, ask for a demo to see whether you like a platform’s capabilities and will get what you need out of it. If the tool ends up being more work than it’s worth, you’ll want to pass and find an alternative option.
2. Streamline Workflows
Have you ever felt bogged down by a workflow? Perhaps you feel like you’re always waiting on another team member before you can get started on your portion. This happens to most employees at one time or another. As a leader, it’s up to you to find better solutions for your team so time isn’t wasted on cumbersome steps.
In order to streamline a workflow, you need to first take a look at what it entails. Write down what each step consists of, including who on the team is responsible for it. Determine whether each step is necessary, whether the correct person is tackling it, and whether it causes delays of any kind. During this step, it can be helpful to hear from everyone on the team regarding their major pain points. From there, find ways to shave time by either eliminating steps, redesigning steps, or performing some steps simultaneously.
In addition to saving time, there are plenty of other benefits to streamlining workflows. It can be more cost-efficient, as the work is getting done quicker and more methodically. Your teammates will also likely feel more motivated — particularly if you’re able to solve a problem that has been a speed bump in their day-to-day. Enabling team members to be more productive will lead them to feel an overall sense of accomplishment.
3. Learn to Delegate
Many managers have a hard time delegating. You likely have a sense of pride in the work you’ve been doing and don’t want to give it up. Or maybe you think it’s easier to just do the task itself than explain it to someone else. Yet as a leader, delegating tasks is one of the most important management skills that you can pass on to your employees.
By delegating, you are taking an item off your to-do list and putting it on the list of someone better suited to the task. That allows you to tackle things that are more important or more worthy of your time. Delegating also enables you to work on big-picture projects that otherwise keep falling to the bottom of your priorities list.
Don’t assume that delegating is simply pushing your responsibilities off on someone else. Delegating will empower your team as employees will step up to assume some of your work. It also can create a more collaborative environment. Everyone on the team will feel more responsible for the end goal.
When Friday rolls around, the last thing you want to think about is what is still left on your plate from the week. This can make anyone, especially someone in a leadership role, feel dispirited. You may even find yourself logging on after working hours or on the weekend to try to make up for lost time. However, this is a cyclical trap that you’ll find yourself in time and time again if you don’t find better ways of working.
Saving time takes some work upfront. In the short term, implementing a new tool or reorganizing a workflow may use up some of your work hours. But the time investment now will reward you in the future, as your entire team will be more productive. Once you start thinking about time-saving strategies, you’ll likely find other ways to check more off your list in less time.
Join us on social media!