When you’re adopting a lean management style, you’ll soon find that loss isn’t the only thing that gets in the way of greater efficiency. Your work can sometimes get in the way of your work. You want to spend more time plotting out the next step towards growing the business, but all that admin and infrastructural upkeep is draining your time. What do you do about it?
First, you need to figure out which jobs need to be done first and which can be left until you have the important tasks out of the way. Learning to prioritise and manage your time is essential. A helpful matrix to help you break down your workload is to divide tasks by ‘important/unimportant’ and ‘urgent/not urgent’. Breaking them down into these quadrants makes it a lot easier to see where your time should be spent.
Take a closer look at the tasks that make up your workload and start looking at the methods by which you do them. Process improvement is the act of changing your methods to find the most effective but least time-consuming. In many cases, using specialised software or looking at specific steps that don’t add any value but only add more time to a task.
Not everything has to be directly your responsibility. For instance, if you’re running an IT network in the business, it might need some reorganisation or troubleshooting from time to time. Instead of grasping for answers yourself, it’s a good idea to entrust these kinds of tasks to those more experienced in the field than you. By outsourcing to services like IT support, you ensure the job is done more effectively and efficiently than you might be able to do it yourself.
There are quite a few admin tasks that are common across all industries. Sorting emails, providing support, processing invoices and payroll, etc. Altogether, they can take up a lot of your time. Which is why automation software has been created to take many of those tasks off your plate entirely. With a bit of supervision, it not only frees up a lot of your time but can result in a lot fewer mistakes caused by human error.
Some processes can’t be left to computers, however. If you need free time and the tasks are both urgent and important, you might want to consider delegating them to your team. It’s a good way to offer real experience, responsibility, and training to those ready to take it. However, you have to be aware that they will still need you to be available if they need help. You should also never think to delegate any of your core responsibilities. Don’t use your authority to pass on tasks that need you, specifically. Use common sense.
It never has to be an ‘either/or’ question. You don’t have to choose which tasks you do, just how and when they’re done. Use your head, your team, and a bit of outside help from time to time. It’ll free up a lot of effort you can spend on growing the business and making money.