I really enjoy my free time. I know in some circles that’s basically blasphemy, but there’s no actual benefit to pulling 12-hour days even on weekends. In fact, the longer your workday is, the less productive you are.
Sure – you didn’t choose those long days, but there’s no way you could get through your workload without them.
Well, actually you can.
Effective process management is something every business needs but few even think about. Process management makes work easier and everyone a whole lot happier.
Here at Process Street, we’re all about efficiency and automation. Good process management doesn’t just happen by accident; you have to build it and you have to maintain it.
Fortunately, there are tools for that. I’ll go over our favorite five process management tools that’ll boost your efficiency and productivity – and still make sure you get weekends off.
If you know what you’re after, feel free to skip ahead:
You’ve got a ton of work to do right now. Your to-do list is an unstructured mess of action items, and you’ve only got a faint idea how to prioritize tasks.
Luckily, there are a few (almost automatic) ways to quickly get your to-do list prioritized without much effort. In fact, you can apply one of these methods within 5 minutes and know exactly what to do next. There have been a number of methods over the years, and all have their own quirks and considerations. Which is right for you?
In previous chapters of my task management guide, I’ve taken you all the way through from writing, organizing, and planning your to-do list. Check those out if you haven’t already.
Now, I’m going to take you through a few of the ways I prioritize my tasks as a content writer for Process Street.
No process is perfect; there’s always room to improve. Unfortunately, many teams have no way to identify, test, and deploy the changes they make, meaning each tweak is a roll of the dice.
The savings can be massive, but you need a continuous improvement program to make sure that the changes you make won’t make your operations a whole lot harder.
“1 in 10 improvements save money… [each saving, on average,] $31,043 in its first year of implementation.
1 in 4 improvements save time… [each saving, on average,] 270 hours in its first year of implementation.”
– KaiNexus, The ROI of Continuous Improvement
Most successful changes will also make your employees’ jobs easier (and more enjoyable) to perform. You’ll be saving time and money, but you’ll also be getting far better value out of your current efforts and operations.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the top.
Because of this, you can now use Keep and Gmail together to create a lightweight task management system that lives inside your inbox. If you’re the sort of person who likes to start each day on to-do list / inbox zero and you’re striving to be more productive, you’ll love this.
If you look at the Wikipedia definition of a workflow, you’re probably going to get confused as I did:
“A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information It can be depicted as a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person or group, an organization of staff, or one or more simple or complex mechanisms.”
Let’s put this simply…
Workflows are the way people get work done, and can be illustrated as series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist.
Think of it literally as work flowing from one stage to the next, whether that’s through a colleague, tool, or another process. You can execute a full workflow alone (like writing, editing and publishing a blog post), or it can involve multiple people (like invoicing a client).
In this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at:
To do lists shouldn’t take hours to set up, nor should they be complicated. Every second you spend setting up your task list and preparing for the work ahead is time wasted instead of getting out there and eliminating items from your schedule.
You should be able to jot down your tasks, have just enough flexibility to work how you need to, and then get on with it. After all, aren’t to do lists meant to help improve your productivity?
Well, we here at Process Street decided to save you even more time by providing you with your ultimate to do list template list, including printables and interactive schedules.
“Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work.” – Kevin Hassett
In May 2020, White House advisor Kevin Hassett drew public ire by referring to the American workforce as “human capital stock.” US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asserted the term was not only outdated but inherently racist.
Human Capital Stock.
An ugly term w ugly history, but for many powerful ppl it‘s their most honest view of workers: human stock.
By their logic, the moment a person stops being useful to profit motive (retirement, health, etc) they are a liability. That’s the system we live in. https://t.co/ZihhtaI00W
This raised a very important question for employers: How do you measure the output of your employees without treating them like cattle?
In addition to questions about the potential for dehumanizing employees, contemporary theorists question whether or not human capital theory – a product of the mid-20th century manufacturing economy – still has a place in our 21st-century knowledge economy.
In a knowledge economy, an employee’s output is intellectual rather than physical. Human capital theory originated during what is considered a manufacturing economy. As a result, it’s optimized for measuring physical output.
At a clothespin factory, a worker’s productivity is judged by how many pins they produce a day. There’s an established length of time it should take to make a faultless pin. That pin is an example of physical output. At the end of the day, you can count that worker’s pins and have a fairly good idea of their productivity.
A knowledge worker, however, doesn’t produce physical output; a knowledge worker produces intellectual output. I’ll go into this in more detail further on, but – in terms of human capital theory – the question is: how do you know how many “pins” a knowledge worker makes per day?
Obviously, knowledge workers are still given a wage, generally factored according to their value to the company (experience, education, etc.); in other words, using the principles of human capital theory.
But is this an accurate reflection of that employee’s worth? Are knowledge workers being undervalued because their productivity isn’t linked to the number of hours they work? Should intellectual and physical output still be measured on the same scale? Can they be weighed by the same scale?
More to the point, if human capital theory has outlived its usefulness, what language should we be using to describe an employee’s value? Is it fair to consider employees part of a company’s assets?
In this Process Street post, I aim to investigate these questions and explore ways in which the 21st-century employer can assess employees in terms of company value without objectifying the individual contributions.
Who really likes answering emails? You get into work, switch everything on, and right off the bat there’s an inbox full of company memos, check-ins from your line manager, updates from colleagues, reminders for meeting after meeting after meeting…
It’s not a great way to start the day, amiright?
Well – and I am totally going to gloat about this – that’s just not how we roll at Process Street. If you’ve hung around us for five minutes, you’re probably aware that we are Slack superfans here on the Street. All of our company communication happens through Slack, and it’s been life-changing.
I’m not just saying this to stir up envy, though. Being such Slack aficionados, we’ve figured out how to use Slack features to increase productivity, improve collaboration, and just plain make our day-to-day easier.
I’ve broken them down into three easy sections, so no matter your level, you can jump straight to the tips you need – and hey, no one’s gonna judge if you want a little refresher!
This is a guest post by Hazel Bennett, a freelance writer and blogger. She has a degree in communications and lives in Northeastern Ohio. Hazel loves writing about numerous topics and showcasing her expertise with words. Follow Hazel on Twitter.
Those with anxiety know what a struggle it can be to get through each workday. Stress, nervousness, and negative thoughts can wear a person down. As the effects of anxiety begin to take over, workers can lose the focus and motivation necessary to get the job done, leading to productivity and morale problems.
The combination of a high-stress work environment and mental health challenges can result in less-than-satisfactory work performances and unhappy employees. If you’re looking for solutions to keep your company working smoothly and your staff healthy and well, this Process Street post has you covered.
Read on for information about anxiety and how to overcome it with the help of productivity-enhancing technology:
Turn your Slack Workspace into a super-tool for recurring work with our new Slack App. You can receive Process Street notifications, work on tasks, approve or reject decisions or documents, and complete checklists, without ever having to leave Slack 🤯!
Open fewer tabs, work from one place, and add more time back into your day with Process Street’s Slack App.
Sounds good, right?
That’s because it is. But, don’t take our word for it, read this post to get a quick overview of: