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Does your technology improve productivity?

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This is the first of a pair of articles that will give you some tips and ideas about how technology should be working for you to get better outcomes.

Productivity graph.

Technology was developed as a ‘time-saver’, which should lead to increased productivity, but instead it seems that all that has happened is that there is a whole bunch of new time-consuming procedures.  Perhaps it would have been better if computers never been invented!

Technology is around us, and there’s no getting away from it. Today cars have on-board computers, fridges are connected to the internet, digital televisions and set-top boxes make real-time TV a thing of the past and we all have a computer in our pocket giving us instant connection to people and information worldwide.

Technology in business really excites me, and I’m always on the lookout for those systems, processes, or tips and tricks that can increase productivity, and save time. There are far too many for one article, so here’s part 1 with a few ideas that can streamline your working life.

Mobile emails

Are you a slave to your inbox? Does the incessant ping of incoming mail distract you all day (and sometimes night)? There’s a case for NOT having your email on your phone just to get some respite when you’re away from your desk, but it can also save a huge amount of time. Why not take advantage of those little gaps in the day, like train journeys, doctor’s waiting rooms, or even checkout queues to zap those easily deleted emails and leave your inbox with only the mail you want to read in it?

Sharpen the saw

Stephen Covey, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People writes about how if you’ve got to cut down a tree it’s better to spend some time sharpening your saw, than to waste time trying to chop the tree down with a tool that’s going to take much longer to complete the job. The same can be said about our technology:

  • Is there an app that will manage those manual processes that take time?
  • What about learning keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work?
  • Should that old, slow laptop be replaced?

New clients often tell us that their computers take 15 minutes each day just to boot-up. That’s sixty hours a year of downtime! There are ways to speed things up and get those hours back.

Dump the meetings

With apps like Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams or Google hangouts, do you still need to take part in time-consuming and energy-draining meetings? Explore ways that your team can work more flexibly, and try to avoid any meeting unless it has a clear purpose and where you’re sure that a meeting is the best way to solve the problem.  Think of all that travel time you’ll save too.

At IT Positive, we love working with clients who want to harness technology to increase productivity and efficiency. If you would like to chat about any of the issues raised, please contact us on 01376 653115 or contact@it-positive.co.uk

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