If emails, social media, texting and paper are inhibiting your workplace efficiency, you are not alone. With the average professional, receiving 100 to 300 emails per day, texting multiple times, managing one to five social channels and taking in a few pieces of mail, you can see how these channels can be a real time suck.
Now imagine you are celebrity and multiply your communication tenfold. How do they manage? By taking the advice of Justin Kiosky, Founder of the O.C.D. Experience, whose cliental includes Ms. Kardashian.
Here are his four main tips, sprinkled with a few of my own, specifically aimed toward a typical office professional dealing with the big four productivity killers.
Dealing with Digital Clutter Overall
Backup everything to a server or the cloud.
It’s important to have a backup system in place. Depending on the confidential nature of the data, you will want to have it on a private server or release it to the cloud. If your backup is to a local server, decide whether the backup will be daily, weekly or monthly. If your redundancy is to the cloud, sync company documents automatically. This process will give you peace of mind if something happens to your business.
My tip: Backup as much information to the cloud. For the highly confidential or sensitive data, consider an off-site server rental.
Ways to Handle Email
Fix your inbox.
One of the biggest time burners for workers are keeping too many emails and then not being able to find what they are looking for in a timely basis. Here are four processes that work:
- Implement Inbox Zero.
This means things need to be dealt with as they are opened. Either file the email in a specific folder for archival purposes, respond or delete it.
- Flag important emails or color code them.
If an email needs to be dealt with but you don’t have the time right now, be sure to flag it. If it should be filed away as a record, use color categories.
- Unsubscribe or block senders.
If you are getting unwanted emails, take a moment to get off a mailing list or block unwanted notifications.
- When at your desk, only check your email at the top of the hour.
Most individuals receive notifications immediately. It’s rare that emails must be dealt with then and there. Close your email system after you file or deal with them and wait for 50 more minutes or so to do it again.
My tip: As quickly as possible, get your inbox under control. Unsubscribe to all email lists that are not relevant to your work. Get in and out of your inbox ASAP and either respond, delete or file each one.
Ideas for Social Media/Texting
Implement an electronic communications policy.
It should contain how often individuals can be on their social media accounts, what they can and cannot post about your business and how much texting is appropriate. Be sure to have implications for violation of this policy.
My tip: Hire an outside agency to write your policy as they know what works and what doesn’t. It’s important to have a way to effectively monitor and enforce it.
What about Paper?
Scan and Shred Everything.
When the paper comes in, do one of the following actions:
- Recycle it, if it’s not confidential (i.e. junk mail)
- Shred it, if it’s confidential but no action is required (i.e. personal letter)
- Scan and then shred it, if it’s important and confidential (i.e. tax returns, receipts)
As you scan things, make sure to index the information properly by putting it in folders. This will save you immense time when looking for something. The shredder should be near the scanner to save time.
In addition, tackle your filing cabinets. According Kiosky, 95% of the information stored in these units is dated and useless.
My tip: Designate one day a month as “purge day.” Obtain enough recycle bins, scanner rentals and shredder rentals to do the job. During that time, start to tackle your filing cabinets so the task doesn’t become so overwhelming.
Getting a handle on digital clutter will establish workflow order and should gain back hours in each worker’s day. Start slowly but continue the implementation process through proper training, clear guidelines and disciplinary actions.
Hartford Technology Rental Can Help Clear Clutter
Need to rent a scanner, shredder or server? Call us at 888-520-5667 or request a quote online. Our technical staff will help you select the right equipment to meet your office needs and help clear the clutter!