Thursday, December 23, 2010

Benefits of Effective Communication at Work

At the basis of every interaction in the workplace is the need for communication. Communication in the workplace is essential and effective management of it can lead to many benefits for management and employees alike. 


Business owners and management must be leaders in effective workplace communications, promoting an environment where all parties involved feel free to gather and respond to feedback and address issues within the workplace. 


Communication skills must include the ability to express messages verbally, with appropriate body language, as well as the ability to actively solicit constructive and helpful information back in return. 

Effective communication is definitely wise use of time as it can be directly linked to other positive attributes of the work environment. Let's examine some of the ways an effective communication plan can benefit the workplace: 

  • Address and dispel rumors head on before they get out of control
  • Improved morale of workplace as employees feel comfortable expressing themselves
  • Open lines of communication between management and staff, improved relations
  • Less strife and contention between staff because of miscommunication
  • Solicit positive and helpful responses to organizational concerns or issues 
  • Management places value on employee's ideas and opinions
  • Avoid many problems associated with ignoring company issues or turning a deaf ear to debilitating rumors
  • Secure a solid reputation among workers 
There are endless benefits available to organizations when time is spent on improving communications. Written forms of communication can be official memorandums, emails, posters, or announcements that are later reinforced by verbal or more personal forms of communication including workshops, meetings, seminars, or videos. Considering the nature of communication essential to your business will also aid in selecting the proper mediums to communicate with. 

Remember that effective communication skills can be directly tied to many other areas of the organization. Be proactive about your approach and optimistic about the results. Don't underestimate the amount of intrinsic value added to employee positions or customer interactions at your organization by both parties feeling they can effectively send and receive messages to you that get a desired response. Considering the amount of employee - management circumstances that could either be avoided or fixed with better communication, serious consideration should be taken in this area. 


ChrissyBiz Solutions provides clients with customized, results-driven web marketing strategies. Our primary business writing duties include: article marketing,  search engine optimized web copy, blog content, social media, press releases, and newsletters  designed to drive traffic to your website and influence buyers decisions when purchasing products and services.

Contact ChrissyBiz today to discuss the impact that web marketing copy can have on your business.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Compare - Contrast - Commit and Increase Your Productivity

Implementing all the small adjustments you have already made previously now allows you to really compare and contrast your productivity levels. But first you must commit to a schedule so that you are not continuously stuck on step 5 of this process, which is performing daily audits and making small adjustments.


Once you have committed to the way your schedule is arranged and the order in which to execute tasks, you can now see where your new journey to increase your productivity has taken you. In step one: evaluation of current productivity allows you to see where you are while this current step allows you to see where you've come. Things to consider during this stage:

Have you accomplished your goal?
Are you seeing gains in your productivity on a daily, weekly, or overall basis? (Be Specific)
Could you commit to this schedule over a long period of time?

Can you think of any other things that you need to consider during this stage? Only you will be able to analyze your specific situation, based on your service, product, and industry. Committing to the schedule will take time just as the small adjustments. Give yourself a reasonable yet realistic time frame to commit and feel comfortable. Hopefully, you have not come this far to find out that you need to start again, but if so, please begin with step 1 to see maximum results.

If you are working with a team, you must evaluate the effect of the change and communicate throughout the change process to ensure a smooth transition. You most likely will not resist your own decision to implement change, however, a workforce may not be as amicable. This must be considered beforehand as a potential business risk. As you implement the changes, your entire process becomes vulnerable unless you have safeguards in place to make sure everything runs the way it should. Change is a fragile time for any business!

For example, while you are committing to this schedule, a project could emerge that might tempt you to assume old work habits. Taking the initiative to improve your productivity should not be taken lightly and may add to your workload initially. But staying the course, implementing each step one at a time, and flexibility will make your goal to increase productivity well worth the time and effort.

Finally, after you have made a commitment to your new schedule, measuring the results is necessary. We need to make sure that the small gains we discussed earlier are turning into vast improvements over time and construct a way to measure that.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Performing Daily Audits to Increase Your Productivity

Remaining on task is going to be dependent partly upon how well your schedule is arranged. To get there, you will have to perform daily audits and make small adjustments. This could take you a week or two, may be less. All that is required is an honest look at the way you have arranged your tasks and how they are arranged in relation to others.

This step will expose areas where you have lumped activities and areas where you need to give yourself more time. This is where 30 minute time slots will prove if they need more time on your schedule or should be moved altogether.

These daily audits are a part of another important concept in business, Continuous Improvement. How smoothly your day is running can be changed during this process and most importantly, this is where you can see any positive or negative gains and assess what you can do to change them. Depending on your craft and business, big differences in your productivity may be seen just based on when you schedule certain tasks.

So what are some criteria you should use to audit your schedule?
  1. How easy is it for you to transition from one task to another?
  2. Do your transitions require physical change in location or just shift in thinking?
  3. Do you like the way your schedule is arranged?
  4. Have any changes in your life required you to change some things around?
  5. Are you seeing positive changes?
All of these questions must be considered when you perform your audits. All of them will help you take an objective look at the way your schedule is now and how it may be affecting your productivity. If you are finding that transitioning from one task to another is an issue, move it elsewhere. Schedule things together that are in close proximity OR in some cases, schedule them so that you may have a break from one task and begin one that is unrelated -- giving your brain a breather.

If you are not in love with the way your schedule is arranged, that is actually enough reason to make changes. It is your schedule and if you do not like it, you are not likely to adhere to it. Additionally, a new responsibility or external schedule shift may cause you to alter your schedule as well. Finally, do you feel positive and see positive changes in the way your workflow is going with these changes? The entire goal is to show improvement, not add more headache. Scheduling properly can make your workflow more efficient and increase your productivity. The daily audits will allow you to always make adjustments that are needed, as they come. Give yourself the flexibility to make improving your productivity an ongoing process, employing these steps systematically to see maximum results.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Implementing A Schedule and Setting New Goals to Increase Your Productivity


It would be a fair assessment to say that the most difficult parts of your journey to being more productive are behind you. To recap, the previously mentioned 7 Ways to Increase Your Productivity include 1) Assess current productivity and evaluate obstacles 2) Evaluate individual tasks / Break projects into smaller tasks and 3) Create schedule. Now you will implement the schedule you put in place, placing smaller parts of larger projects into proper time slots.
Implement Schedule and Set New Goals

Implementing your new schedule will require you to only become familiar with your time slot appointments and work on respective tasks at their appropriate times. An important component to this step is starting each task as closely as possible to the scheduled time, and ending it in the same manner. This is crucial in this stage so that you can accurately adjust your schedule to fit your needs and slowing increase your time working. That is the goal, to increase productivity overall.

Implementing the schedule and adjusting it should lead you into setting new goals for your productivity. Tip # 1, assessing current productivity, was necessary before completing this step. By knowing how productive you currently are, once tasks are scheduled, you should be able to project how productive you can be, or desire to be.

Be realistic -- but also do not make the goal so easy it requires little work on your behalf. Increasing productivity carries with it the benefit of eventually improving sales and profit. Cutting corners or being too lenient on yourself will benefit no one, and certainly not your business. The more productive you become, the easier it will be for you to commit to your routine. Practice makes perfect and this rule applies to everything. Practice spending your time wisely and you will soon perfect great time management skills.

Proper management of time is one side effect of properly implementing your schedule and setting new goals for your productivity. In one way, you are delegating your time, and in doing so making better use of it. In another way, proper delegation of your time is producing tangible benefits like increase in sales.


ChrissyBiz Solutions provides clients with customized, results-driven web marketing strategies. Our primary business writing duties include: article marketing,  search engine optimized web copy, blog content, social media, press releases, and newsletters  designed to drive traffic to your website and influence buyers decisions when purchasing products and services.

Contact ChrissyBiz today to discuss the impact that web marketing copy can have on your business.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Create A Schedule to Increase Your Productivity

By now, current productivity level has been assessed, obstacles identified and tasks broken up into smaller tasks. Now you can properly create a schedule that reflects the smaller manageable tasks that translate into larger projects. The third tip for a a more productive business is:

Create Schedule

Do you know how many business people rise everyday and work without a schedule? I have done it myself! There are essentially no confines to the amount of time they should be spending on certain tasks. The schedule will give each task a time slot. These time slots for your smaller tasks are a blueprint or road map for the entrepreneur to navigate their day.

In the AM, all "housekeeping tasks" may be scheduled while individual tasks are only given a slot, not a specific time. For example, from 6am-8am, business owner can update social media networking sites, browse internet for business news, have coffee, and make sure all materials or resources are available for the rest of the day. The best time to schedule yourself is always the day prior, AFTER you have completed the tasks you set out to do. This also works because any lingering tasks can be re-scheduled.

Creating a schedule subconsciously puts a sense of urgency in your brain . It also sets a standard by which you can judge your progress in projects and how productive you are as a whole. A task that you have scheduled in the past three weeks should be complete. However, if you are seeing that task remain on your schedule, you need to either re-evaluate the time you alloted to complete the task, or need to go back and consider what has been the obstacle in achieving that task. See, the scheduling is what brought this issue to your attention. Without a schedule, the issues that have caused the task to remain on the schedule may be overlooked or repeated in the future.

The importance of these steps cannot be overstressed. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you have no benefit of marketing, operations, and senior management. You are the accounting department and the sales representative among all the other departments. How well you can manage your time and how much you can produce in the least amount of time will translate to more sales, less stress and you operating at a higher efficiency as a whole.

How do you create a schedule that accurately reflects what you need to do but also allows you to get the most out of your time? You may remember that in the last post I mentioned being able to weave smaller tasks from other projects in between larger, more time consuming projects. You can essentially work on many things at the same time, without actually working on them at the same time. Perhaps sitting at your computer trying to upload your latest blog posts AND trying to market them around the web creates a lot of mistakes for you when done together. Perhaps uploading your blog should be weaved with another task, or not at all. There are undoubtedly some things you cannot weave between others -- they are too important or require too much of your attention to do so. That is one purpose for making a schedule!

Creating your schedule will take a little time because you will have to tweak it in some ways, for sure. After going through all the processes of breaking things into smaller tasks so they are manageable, you are basically going to use trial and error as you schedule your tasks so you can know which tasks belong where and the most ideal time for you to do them.

All of these tips will increase your productivity. Over the space of a couple of weeks, you will see yourself completing much more than you were before. Creating a schedule also makes you accountable for your time whereas you may not have been aware of how much time you wasted before.


ChrissyBiz Solutions provides clients with customized, results-driven web marketing strategies. Our primary business writing duties include: article marketing,  search engine optimized web copy, blog content, social media, press releases, and newsletters  designed to drive traffic to your website and influence buyers decisions when purchasing products and services.

Contact ChrissyBiz today to discuss the impact that web marketing copy can have on your business.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Breaking Projects into Smaller Tasks to Increase Productivity

The first post about improving productivity outlines exact steps in assessing your current productivity level as well as identifying the obstacles to that productivity. The second step in this process is to:

Evaluate Individual Tasks / Break Projects Up into Smaller Tasks

Small business owners that work from home (which is the primary audience for which these tips are written) can become overwhelmed by their everyday duties. When duties are taken apart and made into separate tasks that are actually part of a bigger project, completion is quicker and easier. For example: As a business writer, one duty for my day may be to "write press release" for a client. In all actuality, I need to dismantle this into specific duties like 1. brainstorm subject and catchy press title 2. gather required information 3. first compilation 4. spell check 5. send to client for proofread. Doing so will show me how productive I am throughout the day.

These individual tasks will help increase my productivity because I now have a mental picture of the individual things I have to accomplish before the project is complete, and also allows me to see other tasks I can fit in between. I am not advocating multitasking, rather breaking each duty into smaller tasks so that if there are breaks or spaces in completing the whole project, that time can be used wisely and be efficiently scheduled (more on this in a later post). In the example of writing a press release, I may spend a lot of time brainstorming the title or searching the internet for keywords but after the first compilation and it is sent to the client for approval, while the entire task is not yet complete, I am able to fit in another task from another project.

The individual tasks are also helpful in case there are legitimate reasons you have to leave your home office. While taking a family member to a doctor appointment, you can write down press release titles and possible keywords you want to incorporate. Prior to breaking the duty into individual tasks, if you are only concerned about writing the entire press release but unaware of the specific tasks involved, time spent at the doctor is not productive. The point is that you are making each moment within your workday count. When you begin to break all of your overall duties into smaller tasks, they are more manageable and easier to benchmark / measure the effectiveness of your productivity throughout the day. That 4 hour workday just increased by an additional 30 minutes just because you are prepared for your time out of the office.

While there is much debate on whether or not multitasking is effective, I would suggest that if multitasking is something you do, breaking projects into these individual tasks will greatly help you. Back to the previous example of the press release, lets add to the to-do list editing a professional document for a client. For that day, you may not be able to completely edit that doc, but in between tasks for the press release you may pick it up and begin to edit it in chunks.

The goal is that eventually the document is completely edited and the press release is done. Factoring in the inevitable presence of obstacles in your workday, you have greatly improved the amount you are accomplishing in both tasks when you evaluate the individual tasks involved in completing both projects. While neither the press release or book editing is yet complete, within 2 days the press release can be done and the book editing well on it's way. Without evaluating specific tasks for these, you may be hesitant to put off the book editing until you have more time. But more time is not what you really need, it is more efficient use of the time you have.

Waiting for the perfect work day to accomplish bigger tasks will never net anything and keep you frustrated as your bigger projects pile up. Every day has its own unique challenges and demands. Instead weave the smaller tasks of the big project into your day, even in between other tasks (in case you get bored with one task easily like myself), and you will see a dramatic increase in your productivity. Instead of not even beginning to edit that book, within 2 days you could have two chapters complete when you have already broken each project up into individual tasks.


ChrissyBiz Solutions provides clients with customized, results-driven web marketing strategies. Our primary business writing duties include: article marketing,  search engine optimized web copy, blog content, social media, press releases, and newsletters  designed to drive traffic to your website and influence buyers decisions when purchasing products and services.

Contact ChrissyBiz today to discuss the impact that web marketing copy can have on your business.