Tips for Maximizing Your Agency’s Efficiency and Productivity

By | January 13, 2012
0    Comment(s)

Whether you are flying solo or leading a large team, the clock can be your friend and foe.

We frequently discuss efficiency and productivity as foundations for success, but you don’t need a large-scale initiative to make it happen. Better results are found in the sum of many small measures that make for more time in your day.

Below is a collection of tips to consider:

Communications

  • Get a handle on your email by flagging, filing, deleting or responding to messages as they arrive. Limit checking email to every 45-60 minutes.
  • Think before hitting send: is this something urgent, or I can group with other ideas later in the day to save time?
  • Only check email and social networks when you have 10-15 minutes to process and participate. Otherwise they are just distractions.
  • Get in a rhythm for personal social media participation and online reading, utilizing management tools where possible (TweetDeck, HootSuite, Google Reader, etc.). If you are managing for clients, help to centralize these efforts through online platforms.
  • Turn off auto-alerts.
  • Keep meetings to a minimum. Prepare an agenda for those you do have to stay on task. 

Managing Projects and Tasks

  • Always know your top 3-5 priorities before starting each day.
  • Employ project management tools and systems that help save time and consolidate communications, as opposed to just adding more layers.
  • For tracking time and projects, consider tools like Basecamp and TimeFox, which track details, and gives quick access to reports. 

Getting Work Done

  • Build agency-wide productivity blocks into daily schedules, such as 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., for the completion of large projects and detailed tasks. Avoid scheduling meetings, calls and presentations during these times.
  • When it’s time to focus on precision work, find a space away from distractions and conversations – same for your smartphone (within reason).
  • Based on personal preferences, music can help with creativity and productivity. Make the use of headphones the universal sign for “I’m focused.”
  • Commit to creating client-ready work on your first effort to avoid draining time from your coworkers for review and editing, as well as extended revision rounds with your client.
  • Set deadlines for yourself for even the smallest of tasks, and get things out of the way whenever you grab a moment. Trust that unplanned tasks will be added to your plate – but strike first by building that extra time in your day.

What About You?

What tricks and techniques have you employed to improve efficiency and productivity?