6 Ways to Increase Efficiency in the Workplace from Sleep to Supply Chain Management
There’s nothing wrong with summer hours and a more casual atmosphere. But summer might be the perfect time to try out a few of these ideas on making the time you do spend at the office more valuable. Developing some new habits and getting more organized will pay dividends all year.
Here are six tactics based on my experience, and some business reading I’ve done lately. They range from specific operational procedures like time tracking and supply chain management to more personal considerations like controlling social media usage and sleep habits. See if any strike a chord with you.
- Control Your Day. Most of us have an idea of what we want to accomplish, but we let phone calls, emails, visits from co-workers, etc. dictate how we actually spend our day. The best way to make progress on your most important tasks is to prevent less important things from stealing your time. Set aside time to check email and return phone calls, and respond to urgent needs. But don’t let them turn your workday into a pinball game. Take control and keep it.
- Eliminate Interruptions. This is closely related to the first one, but let’s be specific. If we get a “ding” every time we receive a text, voicemail or email, it is human nature for to go retrieve the message instantly. But obviously, it invites schedule disruption, breaking your train of thought and often making a response your top priority. Why? Most of these “notifications” are less-important matters than what you are already working on. Turn off those dings or other sound effects, and check messages at a schedule time. Your main projects deserve the bulk of your attention.
- Do What’s Important, Not What’s Easy. Lots of management training courses talk about this one. Important projects have longer time frames. It’s easy to set those projects aside, promising yourself you’ll get back to them when you can devote more time, after dispensing with “hotter” tasks. Instead, you’re forever putting out fires that arise, and crossing lots of small things off your to-do list. It feels like you’re accomplishing a lot, but the most important things get little or no attention. That’s a good way to lose business and harm profitability. Give yourself deadlines, forcing you to make progress on the truly important work you should be doing, where the stakes are higher.
- Don’t Hesitate to Delegate. Many of us feel like asking others to do things (even if it’s their job) is somehow demeaning or imposing on them, so we do it ourselves. In other cases, we are afraid to ask for assistance from co-workers in situations where their expertise or availability would be helpful in keeping a project moving. In the best organizations, “teamwork” is not cliche. They thrive through collaboration and communication inside and out. You are not a hero when you do things other should do, or could do better or quicker. Efficiency is good for everyone.
- Get Enough Sleep. Speaking of “heroes”—you probably know someone who claims they do just fine on four or five hours of sleep. Maybe you yourself like to think your near “all-nighter” averted a disaster. Maybe, but that’s a dangerous belief. Brains need rest, period. Without it, they are not as creative, responsive, or effective. So instead, come to the office bragging about how much sleep you got. Because that’s when you’ve made yourself more valuable to the organization and every colleague who depends upon it.
- Don’t Reinvent Wheels. Look for ways to standardize and formalize procedures to save time and money. Supply chain management is a perfect example. Instead of stepping out of your element to research, shop, reorder and restock printed materials, get your print supply chain flowing with efficiency. The same applies to choosing, sourcing, and acquiring promotional products. Print supply chain management allows to develop a plan, make smart choices in advance, and simplify (and save on) the entire process.
Increase Efficiency in The Workplace with a Phone Call and Supply Chain Management
I’d love to hear your thoughts about these ideas, and any other suggestions you have on being more efficient. We’ve built our business on helping people run theirs more efficiently.
We’re especially good at number six and supply chain management. Reach out to me or get in touch with one of our award-winning sales reps for a print and promotional product supply chain management review.