VCS Blog

13 August 2015

Top 5 Time Traps Affecting Your Work Productivity

Posted by VCS Software
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Time Traps

Productivity can have an effect on both small businesses and large businesses, especially those that do not utilize job-scheduling software. Scheduling systems help business owners stay on top of daily tasks by providing the tools necessary to organize staff. Scheduling automation also encourages better time management in employees since workers know when they are working. An added benefit is an increase in job satisfaction because all employees appreciate advance notice.

Here at VCS Software, we are constantly seeing business owners grappling with the management of their projects. So how can you avoid falling behind in a modern world where speed and connectivity are paramount? In this post we will discuss five time traps that sabotage business productivity. We will cover time traps for both employees and employers.

Employees Skipping Lunch Breaks

Many driven employees think that working through their break will help to improve efficiency. Unfortunately, this approach only has short-term benefits. When you spend an extra 30 minutes working through your lunch instead of taking a break to refresh your mind, you are robbed of the opportunity to decompress and re-evaluate your to-do list. Taking that 30 minutes to eat and relax can actually lead to a more productive second half of the day, making up for the small amount of time you spent away from the desk. It’s unfortunate that some of the hardest workers sabotage their productivity when they mistakenly assume that their marathon work sessions are improving it.

Neglecting To Set Priorities

When you are juggling work for multiple clients, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a sea of tasks and responsibilities. Picture this: you respond to an email, briskly walk over to a co-worker’s office to update them on the latest project, hop on a conference call, and then start working on a task you just remembered. Well, before you even realize it, the day is over and you still haven’t completed your important work. Writing down and organizing your priorities in advance can help you resolve this issue.

Brian Tracy, a time management expert, alludes to a Mark Twain aphorism when he discusses priorities: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” (Source). Tracy asserts that "your 'frog' is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.'" With a clear prioritization system, you can schedule the tasks that truly demand your attention.

Meetings For The Sake Of Meetings

Consider how many meetings you attend in a week. There are many businesses that have weekly meetings where the staff gets together for the sake of camaraderie. While it is great to maintain healthy working relationships, the meeting becomes an inefficient use of time if there is nothing mission-critical to discuss. If you still want to inspire camaraderie amongst co-workers, you could promote employee team-building events.

Remember that meetings should be held to either improve business processes or to resolve issues. Prior to meeting, have your managers define the objective of the meeting, the problem or process to be addressed, and the timeframe. This pre-planning will go a long way to improve the efficiency and productivity of your staff.

Checking Email Too Often

In some ways, email is becoming an issue for businesses. Many workers receive up to 100 emails a day, spending cherished time responding and organizing drafts. We’re not suggesting that you stop checking your email altogether, but it may be beneficial to scheduling when and how you check it. Try not to leave your email program open all day, because whenever a new notification appears, you will be temporarily distracted, taking you away from your train of thought.

Resisting New Systems

So many of us are deeply entrenched in a process we’ve relied on for years, which can regrettably affect our own work productivity potential. It’s easy to fall into a set routine, using a manual method that has worked for years. If you really have your sights set on maximizing productivity, it’s important to embrace newer automated systems and technology.

There are several types of automated systems that can help to improve the productivity of small and large businesses. Think about the daily tasks that are tedious and take a lot of your time during a workday. Then research automated systems that address those issues. If you are having trouble keeping track of your customers, then look into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Is some of your inventory missing? Then evaluate an inventory management system. If your employees are confused about their schedules, or you always have the wrong number of staff on hand, learn more about scheduling software.

All of these software systems are designed to cut costs and save time. Making a commitment and investment in just one new automated system will ultimately boost your businesses’ effectiveness and profit margin.

VCS Software | Scheduling Software Systems

Traditional time & attendance systems - which are still widely used today – clock the hours employees are on the job after they have worked because the hours are counted after the shift has taken place. This reactive approach breeds overspending and inefficiencies. VCS’ software systems compute data prior to shift work, so that the planned hours and positions are properly staffed. Proactive scheduling promotes a productive, compliant, and fiscally responsible workforce.

Workforce Management Solutions Expert