AccelaWork’s founder, Robby Slaughter, compared productivity in technology to that of Murphy’s Law: “If it can go wrong, it will.” Yet, he suggests there are steps that can ensure better, more efficient use of your computer.
In a guest post published on the Golden Technologies Blog, Slaughter educated readers on three separate ways they can achieve productivity despite particular shortcomings in technological understanding. Below are his tips:
- Figure out what can go wrong: If you’ve personally experienced catastrophic issues with computers, this is easy to do: just think about your worst experiences. But even if your computer productivity problems mostly take place in nightmares, it’s still not that difficult to come up with scenarios. A machine could be stolen or irreparably damaged. Files could become corrupt or go missing. Services could grind to a halt. A mission critical software feature could suddenly stop working. It’s not too tough to think of what could go wrong, and doing so is the first step.
- Take simple, preventative actions. You should rely an expert IT team and legal team to mitigate major organizational risks. But as an individual, you can give yourself a great deal of comfort by preventing major issues on your own. Make a copy of your most critical documents and put them on a USB disk inside a locked drawer at your desk. If you’re working on a major document on deadline, frequently save extra copies with the current time and date in the file name. If there’s a chance you might run out of toner and paper, always keep extra reserves in a cabinet. Take steps on your own to prevent the worst from happening!
- Look for patterns – If you find yourself repeating the same task over and over again on the computer, take note of the steps involved. You may be inadvertently taking the long way around, or a technology expert might be able to help you automate your work. If you record these patterns—and then show them off to others—you may just a smarter, faster way to work.
We’ve talked before about how automation isn’t always the solution. Just because implementing a new technology should make things more efficient, doesn’t mean that it will. You need to be smart about the way you’re approaching technological advancement in the office. Certain things can be greatly improved by bringing the newest technology into the fold. But you need to be mindful about your process and whether you’re actually doing things in the best way.
In the same sense, don’t wait until you have a problem to fix it. New technologies are ripe for unexpected problems. You need to review what could potentially go wrong before getting stuck into a system that’s going to waste a ton of time and hurt the bottom line. Imagine a new automated phone-answering system. If that system goes haywire and doesn’t route any calls through, then you’re going to have major problems in your office. But if that system goes haywire and you haven’t figured out how to shut it off before the problem strikes, then you’re going to have a much bigger disaster on your hands. It’s as simple as being smart and mindful about the processes you put in place.
Achieving productivity at work isn’t just about being organized and getting specific tasks done. It’s also about establishing workflow that leaves you prepared ahead of time for future projects, events and even problems. If you’d like to learn more about how AccelaWork can help you, reach out out our productivity consultants. We’d love to help you prepare for the worst while finding ways to improve your systems across the board.