Every day, the Internet is filled with stories about technology that promises to make our lives easier and more efficient.
In the interest of actually accomplishing this, instead of wasting lots of time reading all the tech articles, we have come up with seven tips that a busy boss can use to ease his or her heavy workload.
Smaller to-do list. There are dozens of software programs that allow you to put together daily to-do lists. Some are achingly complex and others shockingly simple. Either way you go, one mistake commonly made is overloading the lists. When you are too ambitious about your to-do lists, you will constantly fall short and eventually abandon the list. Keep the list short and vital every day and make sure you complete it. In the long-run, you'll accomplish more.
Email system. There also are dozens of email providers and stand-alone email programs. One thing is for sure, one of the biggest time wasters is inefficient email processing. Come up with a system to deal with emails once, preferably with a series of folders that triage the flow. Then, process your emails only once or twice a day instead of every few minutes. You'll be surprised how much time you save.
Synch personal and work. Many workers try to separate work and home phones, email systems, calendars, and contacts. Although such an approach can work well, it might streamline the process to use the same phones and systems and simply segregate home and work data with folders or tags. You might find carrying one cell phone instead of two streamlines your life.
Weekly review. Heavy to-do list users can accomplish much more if they clean out their lists and regroup once a week at a set time. A 30-minute to-do list tuneup every Sunday will make your Mondays start faster and add productivity to your week.
Outline. Efficient planners often use outlines to frame an upcoming project visually. That initial step helps get complicated endeavors off the drawing board. There are wonderful outlining programs like OmniOutliner (Mac) and OneNote (Windows) that can make outlines even easier to produce.
Back-up system. Make sure you are backing up both corporate and personal information on a routine basis. Most companies have such a system in place, but if a boss has important work items on a home system, it needs to be backed up there too. There are many approaches but sound practices are to use a separate hard drive for a physical backup as well as a cloud version from an online service such as Carbonite or CrashPlan.
Get a password manager. For both security and ease of use, every boss ought to be using a secure password program that allows you complex, distinct, secure passwords for online services and websites without having to remember each one. Programs like LastPass(Windows) and 1Password (Mac) use a single password to store the more complex log-ins. No more using the same, easy-to-crack password for sensitive sites.
Technology can be a time-waster or a time saver. Use it wisely and your gadgets and software will make your company operate more efficiently.