1. Make a list of things you need to doOnce you’ve made the list, decide on an order of priority. Try to time the most important jobs for that time of the day when you know you are most productive
2. Plan to take a breakIt’s easy to lose concentration when you’ve been working on a task for a long time, and this means you’ll be far less efficient. Fit regular, short breaks into your to-do list, and stick to them. Make sure when you take a break that you get up and move away from your desk, grab some fresh air, and get a drink or snack.
3. Call rather than emailEmails have their place, as they make it easy to include a large group of people in a conversation, and you have something to refer back to in the event of a misunderstanding or miscommunication. However, calls are generally quicker and more efficient when you just need to give one person some instructions, and to make sure that what you want to get across has been understood.
4. Have an agendaMeetings can often drag on when they aren’t organised. Circulate an agenda to all attendees prior to the meeting, and stick to it. Make it clear beforehand that everyone is expected to have red the material in advance.
5. Don’t read presentationsWhen having a meeting, don’t let anyone read their presentation out – rather ensure that, since everyone has already read the material (see above), your time is spent on resolving problems and communicating next steps quickly and effectively
6. Don’t have meetings for the sake of itMeetings are important for sharing ideas and keeping a team focused. However, in small teams where everyone is working on a project together, they can be pointless as no-one will learn anything new.
7. Play to your strengthsDo the jobs that you do well, and delegate jobs to others based on their strengths too. Doing jobs that you don’t like or haven’t done before will take you longer than jobs you are used to.
8. Think about outsourcing tasksWhile all teams have a mixture of skills, there will be some gaps. If you need something done that requires a specialist skill, don’t try to do it yourself – get a specialist to do it for you. Another advantage to getting someone else to do a job for you is that you can use the time you would have spent doing it to get something else accomplished
9. Don’t hire for the sake of itIf you need help getting things done in your business, don’t think that adding someone else to the payroll is necessarily the answer. Is there really so much work that you can justify an extra salary? If it is just the odd task that you need accomplished, think about using people on a one-off, ad-hoc basis.
10. If someone does a good job, remember itIf you get someone in to do a task for you and they do a great job, keep them in mind for further tasks you may need doing. And feel free to reward them handsomely! Raj Singh is CEO and founder of task marketplace Sooqini. Image source
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