We're going to be talking about repetition, time management and making sure you're making the most of your time and not doing things twice or two times. I promise I won't do that again. Sorry, not sorry. So, how do you make sure that you're not going to do the same mundane task twice?
Document Things Down!
So, how do you make sure that you're not going to do the same task twice? You're not going to be wasting time doing the same mundane task, and the way I would suggest to do that is by documenting it down. Yes, I know, no one likes doing that but we all should be. It's my main pain and, what I think really has been my main gain by being able to document so much as I do. Because once you've got stuff documented down, you don't have to do it again.
All of our computer systems and the whole way that we manage our clients, we fix a problem, if we are able to monitor for that problem, we can then create the script to make sure that problem never happens again. You might think, you know that's going to take ages. So, let's say there's a password pop up box or something like that that comes up with Outlook. We have a client call up about it. If we can work out a way to monitor for that situation that that occurred, and then stop that occurring, and we do that on a network of over a thousand machines, we have a thousand less calls.
It All Adds Up
Even though to fix the problem might only take a minute or two minutes, if I have a thousand calls come through to the call systems here, our technicians are going to have the shits and it's such a boring task. So, instead, we'll spend an hour or two hours creating a script to stop that happening. So, if we spend two hours we could've fixed that same thing 60 times. But, instead, if the total yield is higher by having a thousand endpoints being managed, then we already know that we're in a better spot. You can relate that to any task that you do.
The way that I like to manage my time and really put value on my time is, look at what I would like to earn per year then know what's realistic to be out of work. And then, know the times that you're not working you could still be getting paid that dollar figure. And, that figure could be anything. It could be $20, $50, $100, $500. For nice round numbers, let's call it $100 an hour. If you're getting paid $100 an hour, all the time, or just while you're working. Let's call it just while you're working for eight hours a day, $800 a day. $4,000 a week. If you're getting $4,000 in a week and then you realise that you're not working the full eight hours or you're doing other stuff. Or, that, I mean and isn't what you want. The amount of time that you're spending on other tasks, you gain a lot of respect to the value of what they cost you.
If you're able to be invoicing a client while you're working with them at X amount and instead, you're mowing the lawn, and that takes you two hours. That task list is getting bigger, you better off getting someone else to come in and mow the lawn. And, it's obviously different for every business and every situation. But, time management is very, very important. First things first, you need to know where you're spending your time. That's a hard one. A lot of people go, "Aw, you know, I'm just working." But, unless you're able to go down and drill down per minute, per 15 minutes, per hour, you don't really know what you're working on or how long tasks are taking you. We use internally, several tools. One is ObserveIT, another isManicTime and the final one isRescueTime. They give us input into how much time we're spending on our phones, on phone calls, in Outlook, on different websites, in different customer programmes, responding to customer requests, as well as in our own documentation systems, reviewing videos or whatever it is that we're doing.
How Are Employees Wasting Time?
We can see very quickly and very easily how much time is wasted in different tasks. You might have a policy at work where you're able to have your employees use Facebook. And, you might think, ah, it's just because I'm a cool boss, and that's what cool bosses do. Right on. Diggity cool, virtual high five.
But, in fact, looking through the data, you'll find that your employees are on there, even if it's like, oh, I'm just on there for 10 minutes. They're on there for 10 minutes, 12 times a day and they don't even realise that all of a sudden, two hours of productivity is down the drain per employee. That is the numbers that we found from real customers. They are big numbers. That's a lot of money that you're paying your staff to look at Facebook. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it. But, being aware of it at least lets you hone in and take control of the situation making it as a benefit and not a liability.
Move On to Optimising
Similar things, as soon as you can start managing your time, you can have a look at how long things are taking. So, maybe you're old school and you still on mild and you haven't moved across to zero. Or, maybe you're on zero and you're looking to get a new plugin or add on that's going to make your life even easier. Being able to see how long every task is taking around the product. So, if you're on mild and you're in there for five hours a day or six hours a day doing payroll once a week or whatever it is, you're able to see how long that's taking and then you're able to go, "Well, let's try all this other product and see how long this takes." And then, you know, straightaway, is this going to be a benefit? Maybe it's costing you more per month, but it's going to cost you less in man hours. Or, maybe it's costing you less per month, and it was going to cost you more in man hours.
Work out what works for your business but being able to measure the data is the most important thing. Time wasted is money wasted and that's ultimately wasted time that you could be spending with your family, friends, or having a beer at the pub. Whatever you want to do in your spare time, I guess.
Lists Are Very Helpful
You got to just make sure you're able to measure. If you can't measure your time, you won't be able to fix the problem. Once you know what you're spending your time on, you can then work out a method that works for you and your lifestyle to keep on top of it. So, for me, I'm a big list person. I've got everything in Outlook, I've got that in different task lists and different priority lists depending on if they're short term tasks, long term tasks, tasks that I can just do. Around the house, I've got a list of what I call beer tasks, which is tasks you can do with a beer in your hand. And then, I've got other more important tasks that you definitely want to make sure your full compass. You don't want to have a beer in your hand for some of the other tasks.
Having the lists lets you see what you want to achieve. It's really, really so fulfilling, a positive feeling. When you're having a look at this list, and you're going, "Oh, wow, look how many things I've been able to tick off of that," and you can see that you've actually done those things, makes you feel good, as well. But, you're able to plan out your whole day. You can schedule everything out and if you don't get them all done, it doesn't matter because you know you'll fully utilise working on those tasks. You also need to be able to take into account the interruptions.
Account for Interruptions
Dun, dun, dun. The naughty, devilish interruptions that cause havoc in every business. It's always interruptions that come up. And, like an aeroplane or an airline that overbooks an aeroplane, they've accounted for the fact that there's going to be people and problems and so they make sure that they're able to overcome it by overbooking the aeroplane. The same thing, if you notice that you're getting interrupted and it's an on average two hours a day, you can hone in and own those interruptions by scheduling them in and writing them into your task lists. Not as a task, but as something that you're aware that's going to happen. That way, you're not getting negative about the whole process going, "Uh, didn't get everything finished today." And, it can sometimes get the better of you.
But, being able to look at the tasks, understand what you need to do, having it very easy and written in front of you really makes things straightforward, to be able to make a difference and get some ticks in those boxes. Some days it works, some days it's just full of disruptions and interruptions. But, overall, you've got to see yourself succeeding and own your own time. And hopefully, with a bit of automation, you won't have to have double data entry. That's going to save you heaps of time. You're going down those systems and everyone is going to be fully accountable and that is gonna save you hours of time.
The Final Word
I hope you've enjoyed this. And, it's been a ripper of an episode. I've enjoyed just talking about it. I feel like it's cost me a bit of time, but it's probably saved a lot of time for everyone else. If you have enjoyed it, jump across to iTunes and leave us a review, it would be very appreciated. Stay good.
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