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5 time saving tips for senior managers and company directors

Ever wondered how productive you could be with a spare hour (or two) a day? Company directors already strapped for availability will be more than familiar with the frustrations associated with the all-consuming activities that seem to hinder productivity on a daily basis; whether you’re a young business finding your feet or an established SME, time waits for no one. Yet luckily, with a few small changes, those stolen hours can be clawed back with a little forward planning when it comes to your everyday processes. Here’s five hints for company directors forever racing against the clock.

Revamp your rota system

If your business operates on a rota-based system, scheduling time for the days, weeks and months ahead can often take longer than expected – particularly if you’re still pinning print-outs to the staff notice board. Instead, there’s software to help you plan these shifts which, once mastered, could also be handled by somebody else. Deputy, for instance, makes it easy to allocate team time that can be shared in an instant via web or mobile, including a time-tracking function to streamline your payroll efforts. Similarly, HR software Papershift makes for seamless planning – giving employees remote access to select the shifts of their choosing (should you so wish them to) – as well as approving requests and confirming employee absences. All managed from a single hub, these sure-fire solutions will soon have you ditching the age-old spreadsheet.

Tap into hidden talents

How well do you know your team? It’s likely that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the people working alongside you, and chances are they’d jump at the chance to help. While this may involve some trial and error in the early days, setting your staff small challenges alongside their regular day jobs will not only save you time, but help them branch out from their existing roles: a win-win situation. Whether the social-savvy members of your team would be keen to write content for your personal LinkedIn page, or you can delegate smaller clerical and administrative tasks that are key to the everyday running of your business (but tend to mount up throughout the day), all contribute to grappling that all-important time back, even if that be just 30 minutes a day (it all adds up across the week).

Practise streamlined ERP integration

What would it look like if every arm of your business was seamlessly integrated via one central platform? Giving you enhanced visibility across the board, cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software such as NetSuite was designed to offer business leaders a time-saving, scalable solution to encompass all manner of elements; from inventory and advanced warehouse management to HR and automated accounts payable, all under one sturdy roof. With real-time access to dashboards from all departments – allowing both management and staff to drill down further for accurate insight – it’s more time spent analysing and making better informed decisions, and less time gathering the data in the first place. With automatic application upgrades as and when they happen, NetSuite also grows with your business (unlike traditional on-premises software), leaving you with little IT maintenance to worry about along the way, and thus precious time saved in the long run.

Discover your dashboard

Never underestimate the power of organisation, especially when it comes to zapping your to-do list. With apps designed to utilise the minutes of your day, you’ll soon break free of bad habits and view things differently – with a little help from a time management dashboard. Whether for your own personal activity or for improved visibility across your team, you can track goals, maximise productivity, and make time every day for the projects that really count. Task manager Todoist allows you to seamlessly organise and prioritise workflows, with the option to collaborate with others (and delegate accordingly), while Focus Booster digitises the Pomodoro Technique to help you better understand how your time is being used. AI-enabled solution Calendar even comes with a virtual assistant to help you manage everything from invitations to scheduling changes, seamlessly synching your Google, Apple and Outlook calendars for a view of the bigger picture.

Make time for breaktime

While this may seem counter-intuitive, taking short and regular breaks from the screen (whether you’ve got square eyes or a case of the rainbow wheel) is good for your health, and can help you regain your focus. Having returned to your desk, you can then approach the task at hand with fresh eyes – eliminating everything else that can be delegated elsewhere or pushed to the following day. Planning your breaks around a series of mini deadlines is a great way to stay motivated, and (if you want to be really efficient), there are apps to help you schedule in your downtime. Micro Breaks is a great way to manage these spare minutes, whether taking time to focus on your breathing, a power walk around the office, or a moment in the kitchen with that well-deserved latte; all can add up to boosted productivity – and thus a day well spent.