Starts with short-term work.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (AI) is NOT going to decrease your workload, it will allow you to work faster. To work faster and have long-term success you MUST be organized and to be organized you must start with short-term work; i.e. the building of your workflow processes and productivity systems.
There's no denying that a solid system requires a strong foundation and that building a foundation requires work and effort. Whether you do the work yourself or have someone do the work for you, there is still work to be done. Fact.
Areas Open for Optimization:
Email / Chat / Collaboration
Communications can make or break you, your team and your company. If you are unable to answer your clients, suppliers, peers and colleagues in a timely manner then changes to your communications system are a MUST. If you are a bottleneck to sales and/or projects or teams, you are losing your company money. The short-term work needed to optimize your communications is of little consequence when you compare it to the revenue you will be bringing in.
You can't change the fact that it is impossible to add more hours to your day, the trick is to find more room in those 24 hours.
The first steps are to evaluate you calendar and to see how your time is being used. From there you can make changes to how your time is planned and how you work.
Look at your calendar and evaluate how much time is being spent in meetings and how much time you have to take care of your pre-defined work, your as-it-appears work and your defining work.
Now go further into your time management and see if you are you maintaining the work/life balance that you need to keep you healthy (mentally and physically) ie are you spending the time you need to at the gym, with your family, etc.
A big help in doing this time management exercise is to set up an Unschedule. This link will take you to a wonderful post by Ray Sidney-Smith with a template and video explaining Dr. Neil Fiore's Unschedule.
Next Action / Task Management
Statics show that:
We are collaborating on twice as many projects as we were just a few years ago.
Our short-term memory is only capable of keeping 4 ideas in our brain at any one time.
If you do not have a trusted place to capture, manage and process all your commitments, tasks, ideas & projects you are probably not managing your current workflow efficiently and you most certainly will not be able to navigate the workflow that is coming your way. Setting up this system will require short-term work but the ROI is beyond belief. If you don't have the time or the expertise to do this, find someone either in your company or an email, calendar and task management specialist who has both.
Office / Work Environment
There is much to be said about having an organized and focused environment to work from; be it your laptop, your office, your car, your knapsack - or all of the above. The important thing is to work from a place where you can work efficiently, comfortably and without distraction. The goal of this short-term effort of organizing and setting up office(s) is so that when you are ready for work there is little to distract you, there are no obstacles (physical or mental) in your way. You are able to move forward in your work and processes with little or no resistance or distractions.
Start small, optimize one area at a time. If you are someone who needs to see results early in the game, chose the area that will bring you the biggest success, fastest.
If you need help moving forward or have some tips for other readers, please leave a question or a comment.