Winning teams don't change. Or, there's no reason for change when everything is working as expected. That's how most people look at their work. Well, it's okay if it's really true. But don't you sometimes feel like your day passed with lightning speed and you hardly managed to do half of the things you wanted to? That you're leaving work already stressed about having to do even more work tomorrow? These are the four most common time-eaters which are behind such days:
1. You don't know what to do first
Do you have to make five phone calls today, prepare an endless presentation, meet a client on the other side of the town, and squeeze in lunch somewhere in between?
Long-term planning is key but coping with everyday tasks is when it comes to the crunch. Put down and sort your tasks for a couple of days in advance. Note priorities, urgencies, and the people involved. You will save yourself from a lot of stress and it's going to be easier to identify potentially risky situations.
2. You keep forgetting
You forgot to send an email. Okay, that happens. You forgot to send a quote to client. That shouldn't happen, but ok. It's completely normal to forget something from time to time, but if it happens to you often, especially at work, you are heading towards a big problem.
Sticky notes everywhere from a computer display to a coffee mug are okay, but they do have their flaws (what if there is a gust of wind?). Take a step forward and note your tasks using a suitable online tool. You'll always have them at hand, and you'll receive notifications so that you don't forget anything again.
3. You waste your time at meetings
It always starts well. Everybody talks to the point and the meeting goes smoothly. Out of the blue, during a couple of minutes, one or two questions change the course of the meeting towards some marginal topic. Suddenly, nothing constructive is being discussed, and all you're hoping for is to be dealt the seven of hearts in Solitaire.
Those meetings where nothing is resolved aren't only useless but also eat away your time. Think about this problem in advance – write meeting minutes, decide the next steps directly at the meeting, and immediately delegate tasks to the members of your team.
4. You are losing: files, emails, and time
You know the feeling – you need to find a certain pdf to forward it to a client. You know you have it somewhere, but you don't know exactly where. You ask your colleague, and she says it's in some email thread. The detective work and a tedious safari in the jungle of received and sent messages begins.
Looking for this needle in a haystack may take anywhere from one minute to one hour, which could've been spent in a much better way. Using a file-sharing tool will give you a designated space, where you can keep all files related to a project in one place.
Don't be afraid of technology, it's here for you. These situations are common and they are killing productivity at many a work desk. The good news is that there are great apps to solve each of these problems, which will boost your productivity. Have you identified yourself in more than one scenario? In that case, it looks like it's time for a more comprehensive team management tool that will offer everything in one place. One of them is our Beenia, which we've created for all-over-the-place teams. Try it for yourself and you'll see.