We live in an era where businesses have the technology and machines to move at lightning speed. So why does it sometimes feel like one of the most prevailing problems for many companies is lack of productivity?
It’s certainly a modern paradox. But there is a solution. You can make simple changes as a business to improve your time efficiency without a massive overhaul.
Here are some simple and practical steps to make your business more time efficient.
Why a Time Efficient Business Matters
Every business, whatever its structure, has limits on the time available each day.
It might be the time your team can spend at work or the time you can keep machines operating. But there is no exception to the rule that time is a finite resource for your business.
So when we talk about efficiency, we refer to how your business uses time throughout the day – how much you produce in the time you have.
A tiny improvement in this can profoundly affect your business output. In some circumstances, a more efficient business can go from making a loss to making a profit.
You need to spot time drains or bottlenecks that slow you down to become more efficient with your time.
These hamper productivity and profitability for firms but can often go unnoticed. They also happen for a variety of reasons. It might be due to a poor or old process, broken technology, or miscommunication, to name a few.
But you need a consistent way of monitoring where your time goes so you can identify the weak spots in your business. That’s where time-tracking tools can help. You can only track issues once you have the data.
So, you need a clear picture of where your employee hours go during the day. It will offer transparency.
You can use this data to compare different areas of your business, processes, and inputs like machines and IT. Once you have that, you can see where to improve things.
Improving Your Business Processes
Streamlining your business processes and workflows is a good starting point for managing your time better.
Examine your existing processes and compare times using your time-tracking tools. Taking each step, look at unnecessary friction points in your operations.
Perhaps they are duplicate steps. Or maybe you have a way you can streamline a workflow by investing in better technology.
For example, suppose you take customer orders by phone. When tracking your team’s time, you realize that this takes a large portion of their day, as they need to manually add these details into an order tracking system.
By adding an online form for your customers, you can streamline this process and reduce the time spent by your team doing data entry. Your group can work on more value-added tasks instead.
Use Tools to Improve Your Time Management
Technology is the foundation of any efficient business. You need to harness tech tools that will help boost your business’s productivity. It’s more than simply optimizing operations.
It can also put you a step ahead of competitors.
Scheduling tools are vital for time management as they will help you to see how you allocate your resources.
The most advanced scheduling tools will help you optimize that so you use resources (like people) more efficiently across your business.
The other side of scheduling time is tracking time. You need to see what people are doing and how they use their time. Time-tracking tools like ours at Time Trak Go will help you do that.
It’s web-based, making it easy for your teams to log their tasks and times. Doing this will help future scheduling priorities.
It will also provide valuable insights, like spotting where you need to make changes, like hiring a new team member. Investing in tools safeguards your investment in people. It’s vital for your business’s growth.
Time Tracking: Training Your Team to Become Time-Conscious
If you want to run an efficient operation, you need everyone on your team to be mindful of their time use.
This is about more than offering productivity tips. It’s about training your teams to put time tracking and time management at the heart of what they do.
You can train teams in best practices, like logging the time after each task, rather than letting timesheets stake up over a week. Good time tracking tools will make it easier to do this, with features such as notifications.
Getting team members more mindful about time will empower them, too. When your team tracks the time spent on a task, they’ll be able to reflect on that and help the business find ways of making that work more efficient.
Using the example given earlier in the article, a team member might inform management about the time it takes to manually input customer orders into the system.
How to Avoid the Multitasking Trap
Context switching is a well-researched phenomenon. It claims that we become less productive when switching between tasks. That’s because it takes time for our brains to focus on something new.
If you are focusing on time efficiency in your business, you need to understand the importance of this principle. You can help your teams avoid context-switching by making simple changes to your business processes.
For example, getting people to time track their tasks will encourage them to focus on one thing at a time, making it easier to log.
You are subtly giving your teams a method to become more productive without additional training and without making your staff work harder.
Turning Your Business into a Productive Powerhouse
If you aren’t seeing productivity improvements in your business that you hoped, it’s time for another approach. The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch.
You can make minor tweaks to your teams and business processes, and those little changes could significantly impact your business performance. That’s the reality of achieving a time efficient business.
For more advice on how a time-tracking solution can help you begin that work, sign up for a free trial of Time Trak Go.