Tips on Improving Your Efficiency
Effective time management is something that is typically developed over time, often via trial and error. However, efficient time management is critical to the smooth running of your tech support team. Without it, tasks will often be delayed, incorrectly implemented, or worst of all, forgotten altogether; when a large number of inbound ad hoc jobs are landing on your desk, it is scarily easy to misplace them!
Try using the tips in this article to improve your time management skills; by improving the efficiency of your day-to-day work, stress levels are lower and your quality of work is higher. This makes for a more enjoyable work environment, happier management, and an improved relationship with your clients.
Creating a comprehensive plan for your day/week/month will pay dividends in reducing time spent on unnecessary administrative tasks.
With heavy workloads and numerous jobs on the go at once, the only way to ensure that important work isn’t missed is to document your thoughts as well as planned and completed tasks.
Plan and record everything, in detail where appropriate. You never know when you may need to recall the details of a previously completed job. This information should be quickly and easily accessible, in a format that is standardized.
For IT professionals and tech support teams that use iSupport, the built-in Incident Management functionality is an excellent way to keep logs of all planned and completed work. Other tools can include list and project management apps on smartphones or tablets. For those who prefer a more traditional approach, even a notepad and pen is better than nothing!
This is one of the keys to efficient time management. One size does not fit all. Although there are fundamentals which form the foundation of efficient work, you will still need to figure out what works best for you.
Due to the nature of IT, you will undoubtedly have a number of tasks and jobs open at any one time. Although it is important to get these completed in a timely fashion, it is also important that each job receives the attention it deserves. As such, you should avoid switching between jobs too quickly; multi-tasking can often be counterproductive.
It is widely accepted that humans are most effective when they dedicate their concentration to one task at a time. Bare this in mind when planning your day!
It may seem obvious, but there are a myriad of distractions ready to throw you off your A-game. Remove these from your work day and flourish as a result. Distractions may appear in the form of emails, phone calls, coworkers, websites, impromptu meetings, etc.
Eliminating these altogether is impossible, but you can minimize their impact. Set aside time every day where you respond to your emails. Any non-critical emails that arrive outside of this time are responded to the next day.
Make it clear to your coworkers that you are working on an important task that requires your complete attention, and that you are not to be interrupted unless urgent. Listening to music with earphones is a great way to make sure you aren’t drawn in to any unnecessary conversations.
When the pressure’s on, it’s all too easy to become burned out. This leads to a noticeable reduction in productivity, which in turn develops into stress, making it even harder to complete the jobs that are coming in. Understandably, it is incredibly important to avoid this downward spiral.
Make sure to recharge your batteries when appropriate. Pushing through a task when you’re struggling could end up being counterproductive. There is nothing wrong with taking a short break from your screen to collect your thoughts, rest your eyes, and subsequently return to the job with renewed vigor; grab a coffee!
Taking a few short breaks across the day can make a large impact on your overall productivity, more than making up for the time spent clearing your head.
As we mentioned, to perfect your time management skills you will need to fully understand how you work best; there is no out-of-the-box solution. Using the fundamentals in this article as well as becoming aware of your behavior patterns, you should be able to substantially improve the amount of work you are completing each day while also keeping your stress levels to a minimum. For more tips, advice, and insights for IT professionals, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!