As a digital marketer running a startup, I cannot emphasize enough the value of time. By time, I do not mean the hours on the clock. I mean work time. This is the time when work is done, when productivity is achieved, a time where there is no diluted hour.
I have noted how it is so much easier to get work done before or after office hours, when it actually should be done in the time you spend in the office!
There is a major reason for that. The office is a cesspool of activity. There are external interferences in the form of phone calls, colleagues shouting across the room for some emergency information and the killer of all productive work: meetings!
According to a Human Resource survey conducted by Atlassian, employees across the globe spend time in about 62 meetings per month! That brings the number to a shade higher than 3 meetings day, considering that you work 5 days a week (which we do at 7boats). With so many meetings on the agenda, is it not a surprise that any work get done at all?
Consider the work of a software programmer or an SEO analyst for that matter. The work requires intense hours of concentration. Distraction, even in the form of formal emails or calls to attend meetings, delays the very purpose of the office: getting work done.
As a CEO, I have adopted some measures which I will discuss in brief here. These are measures taken to ensure that employees can make the best of the time they spend in the office.
As a rule, I do not allow unwanted people crowding a meeting room simply because they are part of the office. I believe in departmental meetings, unless there is a need to coordinate across departments. In that case, I bring in only those who are cogs in the wheel. No spare parts! They are at their desk working, to be called in only if there is something that affects them or calls their role into play.
This did not happen overnight! With years of being at the helm, I have learned to prepare for my internal office meetings as adroitly as I do for client meets. As a result, of this backroom preparation, I know the agenda inside out. I know the players in the arena and what role they are to be assigned. I let them know about the meeting well in advance to ensure that they are prepared and can pencil in the meeting time within the framework of their usual task. That way, no one has to leave things unfinished to attend surprise meetings.
There is another practice that I wish to deploy in the near future. Earmark a day in the week which will be a no-meeting zone. There will be no meetings that day, unless it is an absolute emergency. It is still a work in progress, I must admit. But I am committed to make that happen!
As for others who run the show, I have a couple of suggestions based on my experience. Organize your work with dates and slot them into folders. An organized workspace gets more things done than a disheveled one in the same amount of time. Even in your computer, keep the files and folders dated and labeled. It will help you cut down on time waste.
Secondly, set aside a couple of hours or more as a work-only zone. During this time, do not get into conversations with colleagues or even look at office email. Log out of in-house chat boxes and other notifications. This is the time when you work uninterrupted by anybody. You need this time to get things done and feel good about your day. For dedicated employees, wastage of time can soon get on the nerves and lead to frustration and even depression.
Finally, plan your day in advance to enhance productivity. When you enter the work zone with a plan in mind, you are better suited to achieve them. A confused or muddled mind needs some time to get into the work zone. Cut out this time and do more!
After all, in the digital marketing world, every nanosecond counts!