6 Workflow Improvements You Should Make Before ChristmasAUTHOR: Kayla Matthews
Now that summer is over, and everyone has returned from vacations and getaways, there is ample opportunity again for many businesses. Lead opportunities are bound to increase after the annual summer slowdown, making an efficient workflow vital to get the most out of this period.
Thanksgiving and the general holiday season will mark another time where a slowdown typically occurs, as travel and other engagements increase in frequency for potential leads. As a result, now is an ideal time to focus on improving your workflow.
Unlike general work processes, workflows affect the movement of projects within an entire department. Making changes to your own work process can improve a project’s workflow for everyone you work with, which is often much needed as the holiday season approaches. These tips can help:
1. Avoid Multitasking
There are only so many hours to work with, so it’s easy to see the appeal of multitasking. Plus, some tasks can get boring after some time, prompting the urge to switch to another task. In reality, neuroscience research shows that multitasking can severely disrupt daily workflow.
Multitasking can lead to an increase in errors and energy use since switching from one duty to another can be draining on the mind and body. It’s better to assemble a list of tasks and not move on until what you’re working on is completed, unless instructed otherwise by a superior.
2. Prioritize the Dreaded, Difficult Stuff
If you’re not a big fan of spinach but want to eat healthily, you might make your leafy greens the first course of your meal. Since you’re hungrier at the start of your lunch break, you’ll be more likely to finish it all, and it might not taste as bad.
Similarly, you should complete your most dreaded tasks at work first. Your energy is likely to be at an all-time high upon starting work, so getting the difficult tasks done first can help power you through the rest of the day, helping eliminate dread regarding a particular task that you perceive as the obstacle between staying and leaving for the day.
3. Value Transparency and Communication
Checking in with a co-worker regarding a task you’re unclear about can save a lot more time than doing the task incorrectly. If you’re unsure about what to do or how to do it, ask for clarification.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for advice since it shows a willingness to get the job done correctly. A poor result can cause dissatisfied customers and co-workers alike, so communication and transparency are vital.
4. Keep Your Workspace Organized
Taking an entire minute to find a pen or your phone charger can add up throughout the day, sapping time away from tasks that result in excellent work and keeping you at work late.
If possible, show up to work a few minutes early each day to make sure everything is in its right place. Organize any piles of papers or items on your desk, delete unwanted emails, check your to-do list and ensure that you’re prepared for the workday before it even begins.
5. Streamline Your Workflow
Either through the help of a giant whiteboard or a workflow app collaborate with your team on streamlining your workflow.
The result will be improved task management and accountability. A visual representation of who is assigned each task, when it’s due, which tasks are a priority and which workflows are near completion can save time by eliminating confusion. A streamlined workflow is crucial for effective collaboration.
6. Take a Break or Two
Robots may be able to work nonstop without the lack of rest impacting their judgment, but humans need a break. Studies point to breaks having a positive impact on workflow and time management, with these breaks ranging from naps and meditation to nature walks and having lunch with a friend. A 15-minute walk or a period of stretching or yoga can do wonders for your energy, attitude and overall workflow.
These six tips can help you improve the clarity and effectiveness of your workflow, helping expand lead opportunities and enhance collaboration with co-workers.