Each manager practices his own techniques and templates that allow him to cope with an endless stream of managerial tasks and responsibilities for his business.
I am often asked, how do I manage to run the company and at the same time to be engaged in several projects, such as educational courses ITBursa, organizing training for IT-directors, managing conferences Outsource People, Startup Kharkiv, as well as doing my social and travel activities.
The short answer is that each working area is managed by a rather responsible supervisor, who successfully deals with lots of routinary tasks.
There are a few tricks that I actively use but rarely observe among my colleagues. Therefore I have decided to share them here. Some of them I’ve developed myself, others I’ve spied, some are trite, but they work for me and I’m happy 🙂
Record video instructions or explanations
Often we ask a customer to write a detailed description of the problem, which he faces. Sometimes we act as a customer ourselves when we order the design, layout from subcontractors, or even our employees.
In addition, we often have to explain how to do the same type of tasks, such as working with task trackers, filling reports for juniors, operating principles of your CRM system.
The solution is to write short screencasts, where you quickly explain what is necessary. What is the power of them, my dear brother or sister?
- when you press a button “record” – you’re in the flow, and you have no time to be distracted
- you can explain a rather complicated visual bug and show exactly how it happens
- it is 5-10 times faster for me to describe something using my voice and showing examples than writing texts and making screenshots
- benefit of video instructions is that your future viewer can stop anywhere and review once more the most interesting moments, which is impossible if something is shown “live”. So yes, you record once, but show different people many times.
- in Mac OS it is technically implemented in QuickTime, video can be downloaded to YouTube in closed mode. Once you’ve started the download, you immediately get the link, which can be sent to a recipient. While a recipient decides to open the link, your 2-3 minute video will be ready.
On Windows, I used to use Camtasia.
Recommend this to your customers.
Here is a recent example of discussions with the layout designer:
Save articles to PDF, videos from Youtube
Often during our daily operations, we bump into an attractive article or video that really wants to read or watch. If we postpone to read/ view it, it hangs for a long time in our tabs or notepads. One of the most convenient solutions is to save all the interesting articles in PDF, and videos from YouTube using the service Savefrom.net. Just add “ss” before the link referring to the movie.
Then, you will sooner or later carefully and fascinating view and read all Downloads without external distractions, for example when you travel or in a place with weak internet.
Until now, only a few of my friends use Google calendar to confirm the internal and external meetings of the company. Especially it is valuable to organize the first meeting with a customer from a different time zone. Folding time differences in my head, often let me down before 🙂
In my company we use Google Calendar for internal meetings, interviews, personal meetings, as well as a reminder when it’s necessary to call someone during business hours.
In order to keep synchronization of my existing meetings schedule with Google Calendar, I always keep my phone with WiFi switched on. It helps me when I wake up to plan my day including earlier fixed meetings.
Agenda before meetings
One of the worst time-wasters could be your next meeting. The best recipe for this is the lack of agenda.
Prior to each meeting, I insist to mention in http://collabedit.com/ all topics to be discussed – it is essentially a simplified analog of google docs, which was developed for online interview programmers.
Further, it only remains to make sure that the meeting’s participants do not go beyond the agenda topics and scheduled time intervals.
Sport to switch brains
Yes, you’ve probably read or heard this advice earlier. You are probably applying it! But I’ve heard so many times from the colleagues: “I do not have time for sport.” And often the reason is simple laziness or poor time management.
At the end of the day, my head is full of thoughts and usually tense. Conscience does not let me leave the workplace, because there are “so much still to be done!”.
From my experience I know, that if I keep working late, then likely the work would be productive. So three times a week, even though the “do not want” thoughts, I go to a climbing wall in my home university and completely forget about business issues in our friendly sports team atmosphere. After such workouts, clearness in my head and pleasant fatigue in my body appear, instead of today’s stress and accumulated mini stresses.
If you are in Kharkiv – ping me and I will take you with me!
Lunches with colleagues
I’m sure many have heard about the book “Never eat alone.” Far fewer people have really read it and I am not an exception 🙂
Two or three times a week I try to go for a dinner with colleagues – IT directors from our club or other experienced professionals in our field.
We are discussing the orders search options, personnel, internal problems and just talk about life. After each such meeting, I am coming up with a couple of useful ideas, as well as an understanding that not only I have some problems, but many others, unfortunately, have even worse. But often it happens contrary to when my eyes open to some points that I can implement and achieve.
Thanks to myself for work – a walk
At the hearing, and on the surface, there is an idea that you need to motivate yourself, for example, a complex piece of work done or excellent negotiations conducted. What could it be? Something delicious – well I don’t limit myself in food much. Just surf the Internet “for fun” – also is not an option.
So I try to “thank” myself with a 10-minute walk…away from skype and Gmail. It really relaxes my brain and body.
I sincerely hope that these techniques will help you enjoy the work and complete more tasks.
What techniques can you share with IT-colleagues?