Tired of those long nights, stuck in the office when you could be at home tucking your kids into bed, spending time with your other half or having some time to relax after a busy day? Here are 8 of my top tips to help avoid those long nights at work.
1- Use Evernote/Trello
If you prefer working systematically from a list (or remember things you need to do in the middle of tasks) then the Evernote app/ Trello is the perfect thing for you! I personally prefer using the app version of Evernote and then the desktop version of Trello. You can add lists to both and multimedia, you can also include links, it's perfect for jotting down those ideas and then organising them- you can even schedule reminders!
2- Plan your day
You may have heard, Elon Musk plans his day in 5 minutes. Now I'm not suggesting you should do that but decide which tasks you want to tick off in the morning and then do the same for the afternoon. Also, make sure you schedule enough time for meetings (including travel time) otherwise you'll be back to playing catch up.
3- Use your to-do list
Look at your to-do list the night before and decide the three most important tasks that need sorting and put them in your daily plan. Make sure in your plans you dedicate time to complete the tasks on your to-do list that you have selected before taking on any extra work (we know how busy it can be!)
4- Organsie your phone
Organising your phone is one of the most important things (in my eyes), it's one of the things you spend most of the time using so making sure that is ordered will help in the long run. If, like me, you are obsessed with having an ordered phone and not having any background applications running this won't be a problem for you but if you have pages of applications without any order, implementing a strategy may be useful for you. Some people add their applications into relevant folders(like me) and others put their most used applications on their first page of apps and then any others they then put them in folders, I have even known people organise them using the icons colour. However, you wish to do it, including a strategy would be a great place to start to make using your phone less of a headache.
5- Organise your emails
Just like your phone organising your emails will help you out a lot! You may have tried the 'zero your inbox' strategy and found it didn't work for you, but there are other strategies to try that work well. Just like zeroing your inbox, I have folders for different things and then when I have dealt with the email I can move it into the relevant folder. The emails left in my inbox then act as a to-do list to work through. I can (if I really wanted to) add this then to my Trello to do list as work through my emails and dedicate an hour to get through them for example. This makes it more manageable and allows you to easily keep track of time meaning you can get your other tasks ticked off as well.
6- Communicate with colleagues
Duplicating data entry might be driving you mad, having to input the same information multiple times because your software doesn't talk to each other. Well, this also applies to colleagues, not communicating as well as you could be with colleagues might result in multiple people performing the same tasks. Use Trello again and have a group board, this was you can have a group to do list and allocate certain tasks to different employees.
7- Solve problems over the phone
If there is an issue, rather than sending 10 emails back and forth, why not call them? You may be able to solve this issue within 5 minutes saving both you and your clients valuable time. It also helps keep your inbox clear and can build on your relationship with your customer - adding the personal touch with customer service.
8- Custom software, of course!
You didn't think I would leave out custom software, did you?! With custom software, you have the freedom to create a system that completely understands your individual processes, can automate tasks and securely hold all the information you need in one simple admin panel. Of course, we could easily tell you all the benefits of custom software, it is, after all, a vital part of a business, however, that can wait for another blog. The reason Langley Foxall exists is so that we can help SME's improve their efficiency, so far the results for our clients have been phenomenal. I mentioned in a previous blog that one of our clients went from working 14 hours a day to running his business from the other side of the world using an iPad for three months.
The benefits of custom software are incredible and if you want a reliable system to take the weight off your shoulders contact us for a free audit, if not I hope the other 7 tips help too!