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Productivity is the relationship between how much work is getting done and the way it is being completed. What this means is that it is not just the end goal of task competition that is important but also the way in which we do those tasks. After all, if you put more time and effort into completing a job that it is worth to your business, you do not have a very efficient or profitable model. With that in mind, below you will find some tactics on improving business productivity to your company's advantage.


Don’t be tyrannised by your to-do list.


Are you being terrorised by your to-do list? Sadly, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are busier than everyone else. In fact, it may mean that you are not prioritising things effectively and if this is company wide problem you are in serious trouble. Luckily, there is a way that you can manage your to-do list, rather than it being the other way around and it's by improving your folding and prioritising skills.



Regarding priorities, the first thing each day that you should be doing is setting the one single task that must get done. Yes, you need to do this before anything else, and that include checking those emails or getting caught up in water cooler conversations. The reason that this is so important is that it gives your day focus, and minimises the chance that you will end up using unessential email work as a procrastination tool.


It is also possible to use priorities on your to-do list in another way to improve productivity. This includes using a system like the Eisenhower matrix which allows you to pick your top priorities and delete ones that don't matter.


Using a system like this is psychologically helpful because it prevents mental overwhelm and makes you much more productive because the stuff that needs to get done, actually does get completed. You can find out more on how to use such a matrix in the video below, and don't forget to train your workforce, especially the managers on this to help productivity overall.



Get your IT in order.


IT is designed to make our lives easier, right? Then why does it end up making our lives so damn complicated? Well, the reason for this is twofold.


The first issue is that you are using unreliable software, hardware or service providers. If this is the case and it's stopping your company being productive, it is essential that you resolved it straight away. In fact, you can use something like this managed system services provider to boost your staff productivity which will reduce system redundancies. Using a set up like this should also help to naturally improve design and development practices as well, both of which will have a positive effect on your business's productivity overall.




The second issue with IT is that everything is so instant. Obviously, this is great if you need to speak to a customer halfway across the world. However, it's not so great regarding access to distracting media via the web, and automatic notifications of communications that can easily pull your attention from what you are concentrating on.


With that in mind, turning off notifications and batching communications tasks is a much more productive way for your business to operate across the board. You can even use apps that will monitor what you are using your time online for, or if you want to go the whole hog, block specific sites company-wide that are known to be a time sap.


Minimise meetings.


If your businesses idea of a productive afternoon has an office-wide meeting, it's likely that you have some significant issues in this area. Meetings, contrary to popular belief are hardly ever productive and therefore should be minimised in every way possible.



Some possible tactics that you can employ to do this include only having one member of staff per department present in any meeting, as well as limiting the duration of meeting to 10 minutes.


Alternatively, many companies have found success with standing meetings. That is, instead of everyone getting cosy around the table with coffee and catered snacks, attendees stand. Standing in this way then encourages anyone speaking to be as brief as possible and can increase meeting productivity significantly.


Outsource where possible.


With productivity being about the how as well as the result of a task, outsourcing is another valuable string to add to your businesses bow. After all, it is not efficient or productive for someone that has no expertise in an area to dedicated hours learning a new skill, when they could be focusing on their strengths, and you could use an outside specialist to the job instead.


Remember too, that the gig economy now means you can hire an outsourcer for just the duration of a particular project. Something that ensures you get value for money without having to find the funds to permanent employ an additional person.


Automate.


Automation is a wide area, and also has many applications in improving productivity. For example, the use of automated robots for physical manufacturing and assembly tasks is well known, and with technological developments in this field, many folks are expecting this to become the industry standard shortly.




Also, the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence can significantly reduce the need for human effort, as well as the time that a task takes to complete. Although, you will have to balance the cost of this against the improvements it results in, before deciding to go ahead.



Physical automation is a strong tactic to improve productivity.


However, using automation in such a high tech way is not the only tactic to be aware of. In fact, by creating manual habits, in the way that you work, as well as batching tasks, you can save a great deal of time and improve productivity across your entire company. Therefore it is something that employees across the board should be encouraged to do.


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