Want More Time to Spend on the Things That Count?

Here at iCEPT, we’re a bit obsessive about helping customers be more productive and save time. Everything about our e-commerce platform is designed around that goal, and we’re constantly trying to think of ways to be more efficient in our own business too. Could you and your team use more time to spend on the things that count? If so, here are some tips based on things we’ve tried-out over the past few months:

1. Track your Time 

Need more time? Try these tips

Need more time? Try these tips

To get clear on how you are spending your time, start a time log. Put a reminder in your calendar or phone, and make a note of how you’ve spent each hour of the day. For example – did you spend the last hour in a meeting? Talking to a supplier? Answering emails?  

Try keep a note of any times you were distracted away from whatever it is you were working on. At the end of the day write down all the major tasks that you accomplished. Plus any you didn’t manage to get finished (or maybe didn’t start). Look over your list at the end of the week, and you’ll get a clear idea of what needs to change. Once you get into the habit of measuring how you’re spending your time and what you’re getting done, it’s hard not to start being more effective and productive at work!

2. Talk to your Team

If you want your team to become more productive (as well as happier, more engaged employees!), the best thing to do is talk to them. Explain that you’re looking for ways to help them spend more time on the things that add value to your business, and get rid of time-wasting tasks.  They’ll almost certainly have a long list of suggestions of things that you wouldn’t have even thought of, especially if you don’t have hands-on experience of their day-to-day job. Typical complaints from e-commerce and website teams include time spent waiting for products and pages to load on website backends, re-keying data from order management systems, and time spent searching for customer details on clunky CRMs. Our customers have saved hundreds of hours each month by using a central tool like the iCEPT e-commerce platform to manage their online business in one place – just imagine what difference that kind of saving could make to your business?

3. Have Less Meetings

Nearly all of us spend far too much time in meetings! Could you cut down on the number of meetings you have, perhaps by being more efficient with email or (even better) using a collaboration tool like Campfire or Asana? Could you make the meetings you do have shorter and more productive, for example by circulating an agenda and objectives in advance?

4. Eliminate Distractions 

Most of us work in open-plan offices these days, which is great for communicating and sharing ideas. But the downside of a vibrant, busy office environment is that getting on with work that demands concentration and focus can be a complete pain. If focused work is important to you or your team, agree on a signal you can use when you want “do not disturb” time. Headphones is always a good one (whether you’re actually listening to music or not), or placing something symbolic on your desk.

5. Eradicate Email

OK so you probably can’t get rid of email altogether (wouldn’t that be nice?!) But if your inbox is groaning under the weight of too many emails, it’s time to make a change. Not only is time spent reading emails dead time, but having hundreds of unread emails in your inbox can leave you feeling stressed and anxious too. Again, a collaboration tool  or ticketing system can drastically reduce the amount of time you spend reading and answering email as a team. An informal training session on email best practice could be a good idea too – try reading this Email Etiquette for the Super Busy post for some top tips. Lastly – answering each email as it lands in your inbox is distracting and leads to wasted time. So try batching your emails and doing it twice or three times a day.

Do you have any tips or tricks of your own to share? If so, let us know! Tweet us @icept_Tweets or drop us an email - we’d love to hear from you.

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg via Compfight cc

 

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