Of all the resources that companies regularly control and allocate, time is perhaps the most important. In the business world, saving time can also mean saving money, and time can often be the difference between a happy customer and an angry one, or a successful launch and a failed one. This makes finding ways to save time a priority for any entrepreneur.
To help their own companies save time, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council have implemented some productivity hacks. Each then discusses their chosen strategy, as well as what other companies can do to benefit from it.
1. Prioritize the use of an Eisenhower matrix
We implement the Eisenhower Matrix when managing projects or tasks and it has helped us greatly improve our productivity. It is a project management mechanism that has allowed us to prioritize our tasks by focusing on two important factors: importance and urgency. It’s a fairly self-explanatory model to implement in a company and doesn’t require you to do extensive training to educate your team. – Chris Klosowski, Digital Downloads Made Easy
2. Use project management tools to help you plan your week
We use a project management tool to break down recurring and project-based tasks for each team member. We require each team member to plan their week ahead and check upcoming tasks to ensure they have everything they need to execute with minimal back and forth. This type of management reduces day-to-day communication and helps us meet deadlines. – Libby Rothschild, Chief Dietitian
3. Encourage time blocking
Time blocking is the most useful strategy for maximizing productivity. To use this tactic, encourage your team to block off continuous periods of time that are pre-scheduled for high-priority tasks, and then ensure that time is spent working on those tasks. This creates blocks of meetings and blocks of free time, allowing everyone to have a schedule with extended periods of uninterrupted time to focus. – Arian Radmand, IgnitePost
4. Take advantage of asynchronous video messaging
“Loom, not Zoom” is a slogan for our team! This means we use asynchronous video messaging for everything that doesn’t require a real-time discussion. This eliminates unnecessary meetings, improves efficiency, allows for flexible schedules, and most importantly, over time, this approach has built us a library of videos that are now being used for training and support that continue to save us time. – Devesh Dwivedi, Devesh Dwivedi
5. Make sure everyone takes regular breaks
Sometimes one can focus so much on work that it reaches the point of exhaustion, which can affect work productivity. Scheduling micro-moments to step away from the daily routine and relax can help you relax and get back to your tasks. Other companies may encourage employees to take breaks, especially amid tight deadlines, to improve productivity rather than suffer burnout. – Brian David Crane, Spread Great Ideas
6. Automate repetitive tasks
Automating repetitive tasks has saved our team countless hours. We use multiple tools to take repetitive tasks off people’s hands. Things like social media posting, emailing, campaign management, and even some aspects of content production are exhausting and daunting, but they’re also absolutely necessary. We “outsourced” them to tech and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made. – Solomon Timothy, OneIMS
7. Empower your teams with project autonomy
A productivity hack that has worked for us is that we empowered our teams to design their own workflows and have end-to-end project responsibilities. Of course, we’ve clearly communicated our vision, but it’s the teams that come up with the action plan and strategies to achieve the set milestones. This has saved a lot of time as there are fewer strategic and follow-up meetings. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Shapes
8. Establish clear goals and paths
You can substantially improve company-wide productivity by setting clear goals and pathways. Some employees work well on their own, but others need structure to be most productive. Instead of saying, “I want us to get 10,000 Twitter followers,” explain how you want the team to accomplish this task. Establishing clear paths for your team will save time and eliminate doubt. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
9. Set ‘Rocks’ weekly
We are currently testing a weekly policy of setting “rocks,” or personal goals, related to projects and assignments. We then schedule a weekly meeting to discuss these rocks and whether they are feasible within a set time frame. Saves time when new clients are onboarded or we have potential opportunities that require time investments. Businesses can do the same with weekly meetings and goals. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
Time is an invaluable commodity, and businesses must make sure it is used efficiently for maximum effect. At Ikaroa, we understand the importance of productivity and have identified nine strategies that companies can use to save time.
Firstly, businesses should look towards implementing an agile workflow. This flexible model allows teams to move faster, as tasks can be completed quickly and easily. It also promotes collaboration, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete complicated tasks.
Secondly, it is important to reduce the amount of meetings. While meetings are beneficial for business operations, they can also take up a lot of unnecessary time. To save time, consider using online video conferencing or communication tools like Skype or Zoom. These allow for ‘virtual meetings’, which can often take less time than traditional gatherings.
Thirdly, setting up a well-defined project system can be beneficial. By establishing clear goals and deadlines, businesses can streamline the process and save a great deal of time.
Fourthly, businesses should learn to delegate. By shifting tasks from busy employees to those better suited to complete them, the workload can often be reduced significantly.
Fifthly, businesses should embrace automation. Automating repetitive tasks can free up more time for operations that need to be done manually. This also aligns with Ikaroa’s commitment to providing innovative solutions to help businesses achieve their goals faster.
Sixthly, making use of technological tools can give businesses an edge. Tools like analytics and project management software can help companies track their progress and make quick decisions.
Seventhly, create systems to lessen the time spent on mundane tasks. Reducing the amount of paperwork and manual processes can often save a business significant time. Ikaroa’s technology solutions are designed to help companies manage their workflow more efficiently.
Eighthly, create an environment of collaboration and respect. Fostering an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas, enabling more efficient and timely completion of tasks.
Lastly, provide clear instructions for employees and team members when possible. Unclear instructions can lead to confusion and invite excuses, wasting time and resources.
By following these strategies, businesses can save significant time. At Ikaroa, we provide leading-edge solutions that integrate with existing systems while improving on existing strategies. Our team of experienced professionals can assist businesses in their efforts to become more productive and save time.