Today's workplace is full of pulls on your focus
Emails, phone calls, text messages and social media updates bombard you continually. The mass of information available at the click of your mouse or swipe of your finger makes procrastination a global epidemic.
We know that we have tasks to do, we remember that deadline is fast approaching (this article is due today), but we still spend time on distractions that we should ignore. The Pareto Principle or 80/20 states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients, so, it is vital that you concentrate on the right tasks to get the most significant return.
One of the best ways to achieve your goals is to put them in a list. This list should not be an exhaustive list of everything you would like to do if you had an infinite amount of time, but a list of tasks that you need to complete, and that you can finish within a day of work. Once you have completed this list, then you should make a new one, finish the tasks, and repeat.
SwiftCase allows you to see your personal tasks in a list separate from those of your co-workers. Letting you sort your work by criteria of your choosing, and displaying information from them that you can decide.
Another valuable skill to learn to increase productivity is when to delegate. Delegation is especially necessary for new managers, who may not be accustomed to having this available to them. You cannot do everything, all of the time, and knowing when to farm out a task to another colleague is vital. Concentrating on the work that you need to do helps you to direct your efforts to where they are most needed, and stops you getting bogged down in basic and repetitive tasks that a more junior member of staff can handle.
SwiftCase has many features that can make delegation easier. You can even let SwiftCase handle the assignment for you, with automatic allocation based on skills, availability and geographical location. You may also reassign tasks to another member of staff at any point, or claim a job for yourself if you are feeling pretty productive.
Sometimes tasks can come to a halt due to external factors: no reply from the client, supplies on order, holidays, sickness, or just a change of priority. These tasks should come out of your list, as you cannot complete them, and their continued existence on the list will only demotivate.
SwiftCase allows you to put any task on hold while enabling to set a time for the assignment to automatically reappear in your list, as well as giving a reason as to why it has stalled.
Sometimes a task is just not worth doing; maybe it just isn't profitable. You should learn to recognise that not all customers are worth having. Saying no to customers is a difficult concept for new businesses who have spent lots of time in getting their first customers to grasp. Having a customer that is costing you money is damaging your business, and letting them down gently or suggesting an alternative supplier will help your business in the long-run.
Make sure that you workflow process can reject a task before you commit your precious resources on completing something that isn't worthwhile. Remember though, that it is just as important to track the rejection, in case the customer comes back to you again with the same request, you have your reasoning logged and can answer their questions.
The flipside to rejecting unprofitable clients is to make sure if you have highly valued clients, maybe a new client, or a very loyal client and they have asked for you to put a rush on something, that your system can handle the prioritisation. Pushing a valuable client to the top of the queue may be as a special favour, or perhaps due to a different service level agreement (SLA) that you specifically have with them.
SwiftCase can automatically prioritise client's tasks, with a five-star rating system that you can specify. Meaning that they always go to the top of the queue, making sure that you keep your best clients very happy. SwiftCase can also promote a single job as a one-off for those rush jobs that are always inevitable.
As well as prioritisation that you may choose to do for specific clients or one-off tasks, it may be that something has gone wrong, and you need to prioritise a job because it is in danger of falling outside an SLA. You need to make sure that your workflow management system can alert you to these problems and even better take action automatically.
SwiftCase operates a Red - Amber - Green (RAG) SLA management system, that warns you when a job is going to fall outside an SLA (amber), or if it has already gone over that limit (red). SwiftCase will mark these tasks with an appropriate coloured icon, and clear message to denote their current status. It can also perform automatic actions on hitting one of these states, for example, email a line manager or customer.
So, keeping your tasks in a manageable, doable, prioritised and SLA-monitored list can help you to focus on the work you need to do, so, that you are your most productive.
See how SwiftCase can help you to prioritise your tasks and increase your productivity, get your free demo now.