S’funny. I spend a lot of time working with clients to help make their offices more productive - heck, I even spend all day yesterday teaching a class at Durham Business School on just this subject.
And here I am, new to WordPress, and I read that there are some great techniques to make your office more productive.
A kindred spirit? Um . . . not quite. It’s all great stuff to make your office (or home office) more pleasant, but I’m really not sure about productive. My top tips would be:
- Have a clear out. Go right through your PC, desk top (in-trays too . . .), filing system, everything, and THROW OUT what you don’t need for adding value for your customers.
- Of course, there’ll be stuff you need to keep, but file it appropriately. Things you use hourly should be on your desk . . . daily means the desk drawers . . . weekly is on the bookshelf / in the filing cabinet . . . and less frequently is in a archive box somewhere.
- Arrange the stuff that’s left so that it’s easy to keep tidy. See my scary ’shadow board’ posting for this.
- Focus on what’s important. Make a list every day, and concentrate on the things that matter - the high value tasks. Work to the list, not to what you feel like.
- Tame your email. Set it to pick up new messages at the most every hour, and ideally only three times a day. And while you’re at it, turn off the ‘Bing!’ “You have a new message” alerts - they’re a distraction. Let me make this clear - email is very seductive, but almost nothing important and urgent was ever done by email. When things need immediate attention, people call, or arrive at your desk with an axe in hand (or so I read onece on Dilbert).
- Automate. Look at what you spend the day doing. How much of this could you automate, with either a little cunning and macro teahcing in MS Office, or great tools like Mamut on a PC, or DayLite on a Mac?
- I liked Anne’s idea for using kitchen timers. I’ve done this myself, but after a while it can lead to a nervous tick, so be careful!