The pace of business seems to get faster every day. The good news is, the more you embrace technology to help manage your time, the more you can get done. According to a recent poll, 46 percent of small businesses plan to upgrade their broadband technology in order to increase productivity.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can squeeze more time out of your own day where and when it matters most:
At the office
For many of us, the office is where we spend the most time, so it pays to increase productivity where you work. And I hear from business owners time and again that the biggest drain on personal productivity is the dreaded email in-box. Yes, it’s time to take charge of your email once and for all!
- Consider upgrading your email server to one with greater capacity so your system will function faster and with fewer glitches. Be sure to have enough bandwidth so you’re not always waiting for files to download.
- Since email flows into your account all the time, you need to control that flow. Turn off new message alerts on your computer and your smartphone so you aren’t distracted by what’s coming in. This will let you check your email when the time is right for you.
On the go
The Pew Research Center reports that more than one-third of U.S. adults now own a tablet, almost double the rate from a year ago, and there’s good reason why. Tablets are really becoming an effective way to work.
- Using a tablet as a complement to your PC or smartphone offers the best of all worlds for a business owner—mobility and convenience, with a portable keyboard for easier typing so you can access your information at meetings in or out of the office.
- Certain apps are specifically designed for the touchpad on a tablet that can give you greater efficiencies to manage your calendar and tasks, set up meetings, hold video conferences, and share your screen.
- Many tablets are now optimized for virtual private network (VPN) network capabilities to support voice, data, and other business applications into a single private network transmitted over the Internet.
For better or worse, the days of leaving your work at the office are becoming a thing of the past, especially when you’re the owner. Even Don Draper on “Mad Men” carries a big briefcase home. (Imagine what he could do with a wired apartment.)
Your laptop or tablet alone may not be enough. Set up a wired home office that’s optimized for efficiency. With a VPN and the right tools, you can access work files securely, catch up on your accounting, or finish that presentation you’ve been working on with no distractions.
- Cloud-based phone and fax solutions can keep you in touch with the office electronically when time is of the essence. You’re able to direct calls to any phone, mobile, office, or home number and display your business number as your caller ID when making U.S. and international calls.
- Integrated web, audio and video conferencing capabilities enable you to stay in touch with clients from the comfort of your home anytime, while cloud services let you collaborate with employees by sharing files, calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes.
What tips have you found helpful to increase productivity in or out of your office? Please share them below.
*The AT&T Accelerate Your Business Broadband Poll was conducted among a representative sample of 616 principals of companies in the United States with 1 to 20 employees by Bredin Inc. in April-May 2013. The poll had a margin of error of +/-5 percentage points at the 90 percent level of confidence.