Time management. It's something we all struggle with at one point or another in every industry. Time is our most valuable and most limited resource, so it is imperative to use it wisely and utilize tools or services that can automatically increase our productivity.
Too often it feels like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. However, with a few easy adjustments to your daily flow, you'll find the time you didn't know you had.
It's no mystery that being unorganized can take up precious time when you're trying to get things done. You're constantly asking yourself questions like, "Where did I put that client's business card? Where is my latest transaction processing report? Which folder is that presentation in? Is that Narnia in the back of my desk drawer?" Organization is one of the most important factors when dealing with financial reports, customer information, and sales data for your business.
To avoid spending too much time looking for the things you need and only finding the things you don't, remember these three words: alphabetize, categorize, and chronologicalize. Okay, chronologicalize isn’t a real word, but when you organize things by category in chronological and alphabetical order, you have to be trying to lose track of them.
How many times have you been advised to get the hard stuff out of the way first? And how many times has that led to anxiety-based procrastination on getting started? If that sounds like you, those big tasks can seem discouraging at first.
Allow yourself time to gain traction by starting with a few simple tasks first. The satisfaction of getting something done, no matter how small, will encourage you to continue to get things done. Eventually, you will work your way up to that bigger project.
Redo the To-Do List
Everyone knows about to-do lists—they’re essential parts of time management 101. The sense of accomplishment you feel when you check off a box is like a tiny pat on the back. However, the mistake people make with to-do lists is writing them in the morning when they get to work. This takes up valuable time you could be using getting the items on the list done.
Instead, make your to-do list in the evening before you go home for the day. This way, you have a clearer sense of what needs to get done and you are less likely to forget that nagging voice in the back of your head. You can always keep your list with you and add to it throughout the day. Just make sure you have your initial to-do list waiting for you in the morning.
Breaks, Breaks, Breaks
While working hard is important, giving yourself a moment to reset is also important. Focusing too hard for too long will cause burnout in even the most staminal of workaholics, therefore slowing productivity. Your brain is a computer and even computers need to reboot sometimes.
By taking some down time between major tasks you can come back to your work refreshed and energized every time. So get a snack, meditate, or read that article about "Friendly Fraud" you've been meaning to get around to. Your brain will thank you.
Engage Tools & Services that Yield Productivity
We all have far too much on our plate today. Managers are wearing multiple hats to make it through each day. It's critical to delegate responsibility where you can–but only when said delegation comes with competence.
When dealing with payment processing tools, one major area of responsibility is managing and preventing fraud. When merchants partner with a robust processing platform with numerous fraud scrubbing features, this frees them up to focus on their business.
Another way to find more time and productivity is to offload some customer service responsibilities. Common functions like managing credit card authorizations or recurring charges (like those for website memberships) can easily be handled through an integrated call center partnership. This not only takes a load off of in-house operations, but also gives customers a 24/7 customer service resource they will appreciate.