Time is a fickle thing. You blink once, and it's already the end of the day. It's especially stressful for business owners in the service industry to manage time because there's so much to juggle.
When worst comes to worst, they may get tempted to use ineffective techniques to get tasks out of their hair.
We've compiled some of the most productive time-saving techniques to help you with project management, and most importantly, keep you sane.
It's easy to waste time looking for that one document that a client signed three months ago.
You can introduce a smart filing system that organizes documents using color coding or their level of importance. Such a system calls for you to invest in filing cabinets, folders, and archives to store old documents.
A better solution in this tech-oriented age is to digitize all your documents. Not only does it save time, but it also saves your coin. Digital paperwork categorizes information in a much cleaner way making all documents easy to retrieve from most digital devices.
The options are limitless with going digital. You can store payment receipts, job pictures, service history, and customer information which makes project management easier. These files are also searchable with keywords so you can retrieve documents easier and faster!
If you're extremely ambitious, you know all too well about the temptation to start working immediately when you step foot in the office. You sometimes just sit at your desk and start on the day's urgent tasks without a proper plan to follow.
This leaves you figuring out what to do after every task. It even promotes multitasking, where you switch between tasks as you go.
Research has shown that this can cause a mental block since you aren't focused on one thing. That block, paired with the time you spend switching, creates a huge time gap.
When you schedule out your daily duties, it becomes easier to transition from task to task. You also easily identify which tasks you can complete much faster, allowing you to adjust your schedule accordingly.
You might be apprehensive about making schedules because new tasks usually seem to pop up every other moment in the service industry.
There might be a sudden hitch in the field that needs your attention or an impromptu meeting with a major client. You can work around this by avoiding a tight schedule.
For example, you can put intervals of 15 minutes between each task in the schedule to allow for minor shifts. That way, if something comes up, you don't have to readjust your whole day for it.
You must be wondering what will happen if there are no interruptions in your schedule. You'll be left with these little time slots that don't help seem to be good for anything productive. Well, they are very handy for handling short tasks that don't make it into your schedule.
Making short phone calls, checking your email, and supervising the workers' progress are all tasks that could fit in these brief time windows. For instance, you won't have a backlog of emails just sitting there on Friday evening when you just want to unwind.
Automation is something that more and more business owners in the service industry are implementing, and with good reason. It takes repetitive sequences out of the equation and allows people to focus on the more important aspects of their business.
With service management software like ServiceDemand, you can automate payments, asset management, time tracking, and streamline all logistics. For example, time tracking will allow you to gauge how all employees, even remote workers, spend their time.
Such nifty software also allows you to assign jobs more efficiently since you'll know which employees are on location and are qualified for the work at hand.
As the boss, you're out there setting due dates for tasks you assign to your employees and doing the same for yourself can be a game-changer.
When a task has no due date, we often find ourselves pushing it to later. When we finally get to it, we do it sluggishly or unenthusiastically because it's been sitting there for way too long.
Set deadlines for your most important projects. It will give you more incentive to work on them, especially if you promise yourself a reward or tell other people so you can be held accountable.
More often than not, you'll complete these tasks earlier than expected. If you already have deadlines for your projects, try pushing them up as a challenge to make things interesting.
Instead of pulling everyone from their work to have a meeting, you can implement new ways of getting information around, especially since workers in the service industry are usually so spread out.
Group chats on Google Hangouts are a great starting point, but you can communicate with your team on a more intricate level if you have service management software.
Sharing documents as you chat will be a breeze, together with assigning tasks and discussing important matters. No time will be wasted arranging meetings that usually risk going off-topic.
Keeping a business running smoothly is no small feat. You might excel at it, but what happens when you want to expand or come up with fresh projects to work on? Such elements demand more time, which you're currently trying to save.
If your at this stage, set aside power hours. It can be a maximum of one hour if you don't want to overexert yourself. You'll spend this time working on new and creative ideas aimed at advancing your business.
It's good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture every once in a while. Admin days are one or two days every month that CEOs take to review their business strategy and catch up on planning.
Admin days will help keep your business streamlined as you'll take your time to go through each detail that might have been previously overlooked.
All these tips put together shave a lot of time off your schedule. You can start with your favorite and ease the rest in as time goes by. Our team has perfected ServiceDemand, which is an affordable service that has revolutionized project management by allowing businesses to automate all their processes on one platform.