A really interesting thing happened to me late last year – I attended a course on how to better run my business and came away with the missing piece of a personal productivity issue I had been wrestling with for ages.
The course was a Practitioners Introduction to Holacracy which is a kind-of GTD for businesses, and in fact it included a half day session on GTD (Getting Things Done by David Allen) for personal productivity.
And it was at the end of this half hour that the penny dropped!
You see I had been introduced to GTD by a friend of mine and I saw the benefits so I tried it out but couldn’t make it work. And then at this training i struck gold…the weekly review.
You see GTD is about have a single trusted system for everything that you have to do; EVERYTHING!!
And I did that to the larger part but still I wasn’t any more productive.
And then at the Holacracy training Brian, our instructor, starts talking about the weekly review and how important it is to keep things moving and to stop your list stagnating.
Oh! My! God! Talk about a light bulb moment! Archimedes would’ve leapt out of the bath for this one too!
The weekly review! I didn’t remember reading that but when I went back to the GTD book there it was in plain sight! How could I have missed it and yet I did! Oh happy days!
Since then my GTD practice has improved considerably. I wouldn’t consider myself proficient yet but I’m getting there and most times when someone asks me where something is I can tell them.
But I didn’t write this about Holacracy or GTD; this post is about the missing parts. The things we omit, intentionally or other wise, that undermine our entire system.
I saw an interesting parallel between my GTD experience and the typical business and their technology implementation.
It looks something like this: we’ve all been told how computers save us time and money in our businesses so we go out and buy the latest and greatest gear full of hopes and high expectations.
We load it up with Microsoft Office and MYOB and proudly unveil it to our staff convinced that everyone will be able to leave on time or even early with all their work completed meticulously.
But it doesn’t take long for reality to creep in.
Things don’t take less time; they take more time. Staff are working past knocking off time and some are even working from home to catchup on their workload.
And then your IT consultant tells you that there’s new versions of everything and you need to upgrade every piece of software you purchased, and “are you backing up” he asks innocently (are you??)
And that’s when decay sets in. The magnificent workhorses you bought are now the proverbial albatross; an anchor around your neck.
And your staff are unhappy – they take longer to do the same work because they’re using systems they don’t fully understand and have to do the same things 2 or 3 times on 2 or 3 different program’s.
Suddenly, business isn’t as much fun as it was – stupid computers…
But there is some good news.
Just like my experience with GTD, your dreams of productivity on the workplace are only a step,or 2 away.
First of all, did you send your staff on training?
It’s not enough to just buy them some software; get them trained professionally – it’ll be worth ever cent. And chances are the first batch of trainees will learn something simple, like undo (Ctrl+Z), which quill save people hours when they accidentally delete a whole bunch of text which they then diligently re-type.
Secondly, you do need to keep up to date. New releases of software typical fix or eliminate problems with previous versions so it is important that you do keep up to date.
And, yes, sometimes you will need to upgrade your PCs too. You can’t be productive running the latest versions of Windows and Office on a PC from 1998. You might as well go back to paper and ledger book.
And finally, find out if you program’s can all to each other. This is also called “integration”.
For example, did you know that Outlook and MYOB can share contacts? So why do you want to enter them twice and possible misspell a client’s name?
We’ve worked with clients in this area in the past where their database talks to MYOB.
it adds clients and jobs in MYOB when they are created in the database so there are no errors and time can be booked to the client immediately.
Now this will all cost some money but our experience with or client that the investment is well worth it as it means they get the job done more efficiently saving them time and they can often take on new clients without additional staff as everyone is so much more productive.
Couldn’t you use some of this your business?
If you’re not sure where to start, call us now on 08 9200 4431 and we can talk about your specific requirements.