Today I’m so HAPPY, but I’m also so sad that today is the last day in the “4 FREE WAYS TO INCREASE BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY” blog series! If you’ve missed out on the first three parts of this series – Calendar Batching, Outlook Rules, and Digitizing Your Life, make sure you circle back and read them here!
I always like ending blog series with a bang, so today I am going to walk you through one of the best ways to increase productivity. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this one near enough and it can truly make a shift in your business. I am soooo passionate about this topic that it has actually became the bread and butter of my business at B&L Core Group.
Of all the things that business owners, managers and entrepreneurs do, how often do you think we analyze exactly each task we’re performing and the steps to those specific tasks?
If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” then you’re probably a person who REALLY needs to utilize this tip! Now is the time to clear your mind and make room to learn about…
PART 4: PROCESS REVIEW
As boring as it sounds, process review, task review, and procedure review can make the absolute biggest difference in your business. If you are in a new role in your business, you’ve probably had to either create your own processes or ways of doing certain tasks or you’ve actually inherited the way someone else was performing different processes.
Most people just continue to do things the way they have always been done and never question WHY they are actually performing the task. The even bigger problem is that many people realize some processes and tasks are completely inefficient, but instead of taking the initiative to fix them and get them done faster, they continue doing things the same old way.
Are you sulking in your chair thinking “holy shit, that’s me?” Don’t be ashamed! We’ve all done it in one way or another and the main reason is because we think we don’t have enough time to fix it!
In the realm of productivity, finding more efficient ways of doing tasks and automating where possible is not only good for your business, it’s good for your mental health! In the long run, process improvements will reduce your stress levels and you will be able to eliminate waste, become more lean and miraculously put more time into you day. Who doesn’t want that?
You know the phrase, “You have to spend money to make money?” Well the same is true for process review. To become more efficient, you have to spend time to gain time.
In Part 3 of the series, I actually showed you a little introduction to process improvement and process review. Remember how we took a 5 step process and changed it into only 2 steps? Well, my friend, that is the goal of a lean organization. We find ways to eliminate unnecessary steps to get to our end result faster and with higher quality.
How can you do that in all aspects of your business?
Your employees can probably tell you a few tasks or processes that are inefficient. ASK THEM! Most employees want to speak up, but won’t do so unless provoked. If you don’t believe me, check out this article from Forbes.
Have a town hall meeting within your department and ask them where they see inefficiencies. You will be surprised that many of those employees already have a proposed solution to make the process more efficient. WIN-WIN!
Don’t have employees? Then I strongly encourage you to take this task audit by Kristy Smith from Virtual Elves. Kristy runs a Virtual Assistant Agency that helps small business outsource tasks so that entrepreneurs can focus on revenue generating tasks or processes that they personally need to be doing. The task audit will help you identify areas that may be a viable option for outsourcing.
I’ve personally created, edited, re-written, and collaborated on over 100 different processes over the last six years. Not one part of my job description for the company that I’ve worked for is to do any of that. I couldn’t stand the constant rework of tasks because there wasn’t a clear understanding of what needed to be done. To put it bluntly, I took it upon myself to just fix the problem instead of hearing people continuously bitch about it.
Let me tell you, you have control to become more efficient. This isn’t an overnight success story and I can personally tell you that it takes a lot of work to get it right. I’m so passionate about it, that I created this video for frustrated business people to watch and connect with.
The first part of recreating a process is process mapping. The thought of process mapping scares some people, but it is well worth the outcome and gives all invested parties more respect for other individuals or departments that they don’t fully understand. Process mapping starts with a flow chart.
You want to map out what is called your “current state” or the steps you currently take to do a task. For example, someone’s morning routine may look something like this:
That’s 10 sequential steps. Now how do we make this more efficient? The new process or “future state” might look something like this:
Do you see how we took 10 sequential steps and transform them into parallel tasks? Doing so allows us to save time. Starting the coffee before taking a shower allowed the coffee to brew while in the shower. To make this process even more efficient, we could have prepped the coffee the night before and put it on a timer. It would eliminate the need for the step completely in the morning so you could wake up and immediately shower.
Instead of waiting until the kids were dressed to start breakfast, we now wake the kids up and while they are waking up, making their beds and brushing their teeth, we are working on breakfast and drinking our coffee. Parallel tasks.
This exercise was simple. In the business world, processes are more complex and process mapping is a great way to see where there is redundancy, potential causes for rework, or complete non-value add activities that are taking up valuable time and are not revenue producing. Seeing these things at a high level on a flowchart is much easier than trying to identify these areas in pages full of text.
Over the next week, I want to challenge you to choose a process and create a current state and a future state. It can be something as simple as mapping out all of your activities in your first hour of work or something more detailed as a specific task or procedure like processing an invoice. There are potentially hundreds, if not thousands of tasks and processes that can be analyzed. It’s time that you eliminate waste to increase productivity and put more focus on revenue generating tasks. YOU DESERVE IT!
Are you ready to choose a process and begin your process map? If so, share what task or process you will be mapping in the comments below! What are your questions or concerns? If you’re stuck, book a free no-obligation strategy session with me!
She helps managers and entrepreneurs set a solid foundation for business GROWTH to be able to eliminate redundancy in your processes and get yourself set up for OUTSOURCING or hiring employees.
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