2017 is here, and like every new year it is a tabula rasa, offering the chance for us to start anew, promising ourselves that this year, yes, we’re going to be the person we want to be; more compassionate, more generous, more patient. We’d all like to be better people, living better lives. Okay, so most of us know how those resolutions end up; but what about ‘more productive’? You might know this one better as “Stop wasting time!” A day has the same 24 hours for you, for me or for Bill Gates, so how is it that some people manage to take such excellent advantage of the time, while others can only watch as it slips through their fingers?
Whether you’re a cubicle jockey or a high-flyer, knowing how to manage your time is crucial both for improving productivity and for avoiding negative repercussions such as stress. It can be stated categorically that one of the keys to being productive resides in our ability to organize our time, and productivity is the key to success.
Managing our time may seem to be a simple task but, in practice, it isn’t always so. How many times have you thought that a project would be finished on time, only to see its deadline go by as people have gotten bogged down in lesser tasks? How to avoid these time-wasting scenarios? Have you ever noticed how the list-makers at work seem to be more organized and effective than you (unless you’re a lists person yourself)? The first step to organizing our time is to plan out the steps you need to cover, particularly if it’s a new field for you. “Experts spend more time analyzing the problem…trying to ‘understand the problem’, while those with less experience go into action immediately without adequately analyzing all the elements of the problem” (Chi, Glaser and Farr, 1988).
To improve your productivity you ought to think like the experts, take a step back, look at how you use your time and plan accordingly. So, without farther ado, we present our five tips for improving productivity:
- 1. Plan out both individual and group tasks, taking advantage of the skills of each member of the group, and keeping in mind the time necessary to carry out each task and anticipating any potential problems.
- 2. Maintain oversight to ensure that specific actions are being executed and targets are being met.
- 3. Observe each employee’s performance, with respect to how they analyze the problem and taking note of the time they need to fulfill their duties.
- 4. Anticipate when internal or external factors can eat into working time. These could be factors like employees’ personal issues; distractions like incoming phone calls or “urgent” emails.
- 5. Learn how to deal with stress by following guidelines about relaxing and disconnecting occasionally from work.
But wait! What does this have to do with Integria IMS, I hear you ask. We all know that measuring any employee’s performance is a complicated task but Integria IMS provides a simple way to find out how productive a worker is, and thereby to improve that performance, if necessary.
Using Integria IMS you can map a worker’s productivity to find out when they are most productive. Monday? Tuesday? In the morning? In the afternoon? After the coffee break? Then they can work on the hardest tasks at the optimal time, when they know they are going to perform to their maximum level. For managers it’s also worth knowing what everyone’s true performance level is as it allows them to plan how best to complete each project, in function of the time invested and fitting the right employee to the right task. Done right, this simplifies individual and group planning, and leads to managing time in an efficient and more realistic manner.
On Integria IMS this is done by a system of planning, tracking and reporting on behalf of employees. Each participant inputs the hours they spend on a project, a “Workunit” in the parlance of Integria IMS, and the resulting data can be invaluable for improving efficiency. When the worker inputs their hours into the system, a series of processes are automatically executed, permitting you to evaluate and improve productivity. These processes include generating Gantt diagrams, or producing cost calculations, or receiving automatic notifications about finished tasks, among many other business applications available on Integria IMS.
Integria IMS is all this and much more. Find out for yourself at the Integria IMS website: integriaims.com.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”. Abraham Lincoln