A colleague of mine faced a problem; her team, driven by mission, wanted to keep working to get their important work done but the organization could not afford to pay the overtime.
Another equally important challenge management faces today; the demand by the workforce for a greater work/life balance. How is this supposed to happen when there are not enough hours in the day to get the work done?
So how can we help our ourselves and our teams get the job done in less time, avoid overtime pay and create the time for the ‘balance’ items?
The solution, we need to be more productive! What is an easy way to be more productive? The field of industrial engineering holds some secrets on how to accomplish this. Studies have shown if you can eliminate unnecessary interaction with technology you can save time.
Here are just three easy to implement time savers to reduce unnecessary time spent interacting with technology:
-Limit your number of key-strokes
-Limit your number of corrections
-Limit the number of repetitions
Today limiting the number of keystrokes isn’t just typing. The concept includes such actions as homing (moving the hand to mouse and keyboard), clicking the mouse, pointing and mental operations (deciding what to do next). Take the time to organize your interaction. Get to what you want to as fast as possible the moment you turn your device on. Learn how to shortcut to files, websites, etc. While a bit of time is required to set up these ‘pointers,’ just do it! Milliseconds add up!
Just slow down and limit multi-tasking and interruptions when you need to focus on completing a sentence, doing text, etc. Just do a simple test on the last five texts-how many times did you have to make corrections-try to eliminate having to make these corrections. It is easier and faster to get it right the first time!
In the course of the day, how many times do you have to type your email address, or physical address, or other common words and phrases? Technology has auto-fill features and plug-ins you can use and shortcuts so you don’t have to type or speak an entire phrase.
Finally, when you say I just don’t have time to “learn” how to save time by reducing this unnecessary technology interaction, make the time. Set aside just even 15 minutes a week during a less than productive time of your work day and learn some new tricks by reading a blog, watching a tutorial on YouTube, doing a quick web-search or even going to the help section on your device to learn these tricks.
Do the math! If you are spending 4 hours a day interacting with your technology and you could just be even 10% more efficient you could gain 24 minutes a day. You have gained the time to get the real work done, and maybe even enough time to take a quick walk and improve that work/life balance.