How Better Processes Can Improve Time Management & Productivity
Whether you build cars in a factory or process paperwork in an office, work is a collaborative enterprise. Someone else’s work—say, a car door handle—flows to you. You assemble the door—your personal workflow—and your work flows to someone else who attaches the door to the car.
Understanding and improving your workflows and processes empowers you to manage your time more effectively and improve your productivity.
One Step at a Time
Improving a workflow starts with breaking your work or project down into steps. Be detailed. Every step you identify is an opportunity for improvement.
Evaluate your own workflow or bring your colleagues together as a team. Ask for input from others in your work chain. Sometimes it’s also helpful to bring in an outsider for a fresh perspective or special expertise…
Workflow & Time Management
Prioritize, re-order and combine tasks to make better use of your time. Here are suggestions and examples:
- Find tasks that are neither critical, impactful or no longer needed. Review and consider what the impact would be to stop or change task. For example, are people actually reading that daily report you create?
- Overlap or combine tasks for maximum efficiency. However avoid multitasking which can slow down productivity in general. For example, if you’re producing a brochure, have the cover designed by someone else while you write the text.
- Get organized. When you are organized you are less likely to waste time and can better focus on projects.
Consider if there a more efficient way to achieve each task. One way is to use technology to automate or eliminate steps. Are you sending PDFs from your scanner to a computer in order to save them to the cloud? Devices like the Xerox® VersaLink© C405 Color Multifunction Printer can scan and save directly to the cloud. Or print directly from your mobile device using Xerox® Mobile Link.
Don’t confuse improving time management with rushing your work. That leads to mistakes and takes big bites out of productivity.
Workflow & Productivity
One of the biggest trends in productivity is scanning paper documents into digital documents (usually PDFs). Compared to paper documents in a file cabinet, digital documents are easier to save, find and share.
That is the essence of productivity—getting more work done with less time , money and effort. Documenting workflow is an opportunity to identify and replace inefficient processes. Here are a few questions you might ask:
- Are you using reliable processes? For example, are you relying on spell check to know the difference between “principle” and “principal”?
- Is your workflow tuned to the outcome you’re seeking? For example, are you using PowerPoint to design a trifold brochure when you should be using a design program like Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign?
- Are you communicating? Communication is crucial for productivity. Ensure you understand your goals and tasks so you can complete them properly and on time.
- Ensure people aren’t duplicating work. Talk to your team to identify areas that people work on together, and look for overlaps.
Do more with less effort.. For example, a Xerox® MFP built on Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology, can be programmed to scan an invoice, converted into a searchable PDF, and forwarded to accounting for review in one step.
As busy as you are, finding the time to document your workflows can be difficult, but the effort is worth it.
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