An article in USA Today lists these 9 steps that will free up hours in your business day:
- Making a List
- Take things off that list
- Focus and reduce interruptions
- Have meetings
- Complete stuff
- Identify what’s “urgent” and what’s “important.”
- Create systems, checklists and templates
And the last item that will save you time:
- Automate and go to the cloud
These are valid tips but ignore two critical truisms in today’s workplace: our work is collective and tasks need to have follow up and accountability. ‘Making a list’ works for buying groceries, but what you do and when you do it is dependent on the team that is impacted by your work. Making a list is an effective technique only when there is a follow up for each item on the list. ‘Have meeting’ is fine, but you need access to your team’s calendar and a task system that defines the objective and allocates the resources necessary for a productive meeting. ‘Delegate’ is imperative for a successful operation, but how do you coordinate what is being delegated to whom and when?
The simple truth is that to free up hours in your workday, and make those hours more effective, your business needs to adopt #9 and move to the cloud. ‘Making a List’ using integrated cloud apps such as StreetSmart, turns these tips into a transparent, collaborative system. ‘Making a List’ allows you to create a list, ‘Delegate’ tasks to your team, ‘Identify what’s urgent and what’s important’, ‘Complete Stuff’ by tracking the progress of each team member and ‘Have a Meeting’ by checking your teams’ cloud-based calendar, inviting them and tracking responses.
Using integrated cloud apps eliminates the need to “Create systems, checklists, and templates’ because a good cloud platform has all this built in, ready for you to customize it to meet your company’s needs.
As 2011 comes to a close, pundits like to make predictions for 2012. I will predict that the businesses that survive and prosper will be the ones that adopt the cloud in operations, sales and marketing. Small businesses need every advantage to succeed in today’s climate and the benefits of cloud computing provide you and your team the freedom to work effectively and remotely and reduce your IT costs.
Maybe that’s what Cloud 9 means.