Happy New Decade from the Team here at Nimbus!
We are back in full swing and ready to help you gain momentum and make 2020 your best year yet!
To get the most out of this year, we thought to start off by giving you some productivity tips. Because let’s face it, starting back at work after a nice long holiday is not the easiest thing! At least for most people. So, here are 4 ways you can effectively boost your productivity in 2020 and help you remove that mental block.
1. See the Big Picture
All work should always start with a higher-level conversation about your goals and what you really want to achieve in life. And then, work backwards from there.
Start with the BIG question. What do you really want for your life right now? What are your goals?
For example – Would you like to achieve a greater level of excellence in your work? Do you want to be happier and more relaxed? Do you want your team to excel?
Define your goals, then break them down into smaller units of measurement – monthly, weekly and daily.
Monthly – On the first day of the month, sit down and ask yourself, “What do I want for THIS MONTH. Based on where I am right now, what are the major goals that I need to work on this month – on myself, in my relationships, and in my career contributions.
How do I need to show up? How do I need to develop those relationships? And what could I give and deliver this month?”
Weekly – Each and every week, block out some time to focus on what is important to you.
Ask yourself, “What are my weekly priorities and due dates? What are the important conversations I need to have? Am I scheduling some creative time for myself?”
Daily – Do this in the morning before checking in to the world – sit down with your journal or calendar and ask yourself, “Ok, what must happen TODAY? What 3 things must I move forward or achieve today, so that I know I am gaining some momentum towards my bigger goals?”
Doing these regular check-ins with yourself is really powerful.
After you’ve done your daily, weekly and monthly planning, schedule your other tasks around this. And this is where prioritisation comes in.
2. Prioritise like a Genius
Whether you have a clear to-do list of things to tick off or your approach is to tackle tasks head-on in random order, the following quadrant from Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, will help you get your priorities on track.
On one of the quadrant axes, you have Important vs Not important. And on the other, you have Urgent vs Not urgent.
Important and urgent – These are crises and pressing problems. For example, there is a zombie invasion, and you need to get the zombies out of the office. It is critical for your production capability.
Important and not urgent – These are activities that spark opportunity and revolve around strategy and planning. E.g. You not only plan on how to deal with the zombies but also plan how to effectively avoid a zombie attack.
Urgent and not important – Interruptions and busywork. Things that need to get done but are not that important. E.g. The zombies are knocking at the door and distracting you from outside your window, but they can’t come in. It’s annoying, but not life-altering.
Not important or urgent – Activities that are trivial and wasteful. E.g. You play a zombie computer game where you shoot the zombies. It’s not important and not urgent, you purely do it for entertainment.
Now, make a list of all your tasks, even the routine ones, and allocate each of them in the appropriate quadrant. You will gain greater clarity on the priority of each and what you can do to work smarter.
Then – focus on managing your pressing problems, avoiding interruptions and busywork, limiting the trivial and wasteful, and giving more airtime to opportunity creating activities – the things that will spark creativity and really move your business forward.
In the work environment, when it comes to determining priorities in your document workflow, the In-Tray feature in Nimbus helps you filter all your important tasks, so you can stay on top of things.
The In-Tray view shows you which documents need to be reviewed or signed and if new file conversations were received. It becomes your virtual to-do list.
3. Delegate like a Pro
Where possible, delegate tasks that don’t require your unique capability to execute them. Or while you are busy with the task, use the opportunity to train someone else to do it. Then, once the person is capable of doing it themselves, hand the task over and give them full responsibility for it.
Even if they make minor mistakes along the way, the time you eventually free up for yourself will be worth so much more.
Holding on to certain tasks will cause your business to stagnate and not grow. So why not harness the opportunity to empower someone else along the way and make more room for yourself? And if you are the only person in the department, this might mean looking at hiring another person or outsourcing some tasks.
In Nimbus, you can easily delegate incoming tasks to other team members by simply commenting on the document and including them in the conversation, or by selecting a pre-defined workflow status which will alert the appropriate person. Delegation made simple!
4. Declutter and Organise – Marie Kondo Style
Marie Kondo, the Japanese decluttering and organising guru gives the following tips to simplify your life and increase productivity:
1. Categorise and group similar items together, and
2. Storing frequent-use items within your reach.
These principles will not only help you to become more organised in your home and office environment, but also in your document management system.
Your Document Management System is the house you have chosen for your documents to live in.
In Nimbus, you are able to categorise your documents with document categories and meta tags, essentially grouping them together. So that when a search is performed for a certain category, related documents can easily be found across multiple folders.
The new bulk-update of Documents and Client Properties feature also allows you to tag and retag multiple documents, categorising them all at once and saving loads of time!
Storing frequently used documents within your reach is also a great time-saver. In Nimbus, this can easily be done by creating a View for your favourite documents.
Similar to the In-Tray view where you only view documents to be actioned, you can create custom views based on the document name, date, author, category, and many more fields. Calling up a saved View will show these documents with a single click!
We hope these tips have sparked some ideas and will help you to be more productive during 2020.
If you would like to see these and other great time-saving features in action, sign up for a demo below and let us show you how Nimbus can boost your productivity with at least 5 Hours per Employee per Week.