6 Ways To Accelerate Your Workflow
Productivity is a major factor for most modern professionals. The more you can produce, the more successful you are. Often, efficiency is a priority as well. If you can streamline your activity and reduce your efforts but still produce the same results, you’re better off.
But what about workflow? The processes that you implement, the tools that you use, and the sequence of tasks that take place as you work all make a big difference. Here are a few unique and effective ways to accelerate the way that you go about your business.
1. Review Your Current Workflow
Before you start making changes to your processes or adding tools to your professional toolkit, consider how you work right now. Workflow management is a critical first step in gaining a better sense of control over your work activities.
Start your workflow acceleration efforts by giving a good, hard look at your current methods. As you do so, keep these workflow management considerations in mind:
- Make sure you understand where each process begins and ends.
- Identify what areas are more important to focus on improving.
- Look for areas of redundancy or inefficiency.
- Also, look for gaps or shortcomings in your current workflow.
- Consider how much automation you are or aren’t using.
Give your current workflow a thorough once over. Are you working too hard for results in some areas? Are other ignored areas creating issues due to a lack of attention or dated methods? Are you doing things by hand that could be automated?
Once you have a solid idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your current workflow, you can begin brainstorming specific ways to improve it.
2. Use Tech Solutions
The number one way to accelerate your workflow is to use technology. Well-applied tech has the tendency to shorten the time and effort required in many areas of business. Here are a few examples of various tech that can streamline your workflow:
- An IVA or intelligent virtual agent is a software solution that can help you reduce high call volumes for customer service and other teams.
- Automated payroll uses things like direct deposit and machine-generated pay stubs to take many a financial headache off of your plate.
- A social media management platform provides a secure and scalable tool that you can use to integrate all of your social media channels into one unified dashboard.
- Voice recognition is another great tech tool that can make even menial tasks like checking the time less intrusive to your daily workflow.
These are just a handful of the tech solutions available. Once you’ve assessed your workflow, consider where you’re spending too much time. Also, look for areas that are low on your priority list. These are prime targets for automation.
3. Incorporate OKRs
OKRs (objectives and key results) are another prime factor that can impact your workflow. Once again, this connects to your initial analysis of your current business processes and activities.
As you review each part of your workflow, it’s important to make sure that you understand where each process starts and ends. OKRs are essential to the latter part of that analysis.
If you don’t know where a process ends, it can become inefficient in no time. If you don’t have an objective that you’re working toward, it can lead to a sluggish workflow. This is true no matter how efficient you are or how many automated solutions you utilize.
OKRs can be applied to every area of work. They also work on both individual and business-wide levels. By setting clear goals, you provide an ending point to work toward. Being aware of key results to monitor can also help you avoid becoming fixated on or distracted by less meaningful statistics.
If you want to speed up your workflow, make sure to set clear OKRs for each process. They’ll help you stay focused, maintain momentum, and meet deadlines.
4. Sync Everything Up
Workflow is about maintaining a sense of continuity, progression, and forward momentum. After all, flow is literally in the word itself. When this sense of flow is disrupted, it can lead to a reduction in efficiency and a slower overall workflow.
One of the best ways to keep all of your work activities on track and move forward at a steady pace is to sync everything up. There are multiple ways that you can do this.
For example, on a personal level it’s worth investing in the habit of maintaining a work calendar and updated to-do lists. On a larger scale, workflow platforms like Trello, Asana, or ClickUp are all great ways to keep a team on the same page.
5. Improve Your Environment
Your work environment can make or break your workflow at times. That’s why an improved environment can often help to accelerate your workflow. For instance, you can:
- Clean and declutter your workspace to reduce stress and improve focus.
- Remove distractions that can interrupt your workflow.
- Get a second monitor, ergonomic chair, good headphones, and other quality office items.
It’s tempting to focus on things like goals, business processes, and tech tools, and all of those do matter. However, your environment is another critical factor that is often left out of the workflow consideration.
6. Always Be Willing to Experiment
Once you’ve improved the workflow for you, your team, or both, you don’t want to stop there. You also want to cultivate a growth-minded attitude as you move forward.
Activities and tools may help with your workflow today and yet become a hindrance tomorrow. Always be willing to experiment with your workflow. If you think something will speed things up, give it a try. If you haven’t analyzed your workflow in a while, do so and look for strengths and weaknesses.
From implementing tech solutions to setting OKRs, syncing everything up, improving your environment, and staying willing to experiment, there are many ways to accelerate your workflow. The critical step is recognizing that your workflow is an essential part of your professional life. It ranks right up there with things like productivity and efficiency.
So start reviewing your workflow today. Look for what’s working and where you can make improvements in the name of a faster flow and better results in the future.