Hurry Up and Wait: Why Software Stinks
If you know me, you know that I am “catch me if you can” kind of gal (unless I’m in heels, which are exhausting). So doing things as quickly as possible appeals to me. Just like most people who bill hourly, I like to get as much done as possible in the smallest amount of time. Which is why software sucks. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s my software, internet, memory or what. All I know is that during the busiest part of my work year (yay!) my computer is going SOOOOO slow I want to chuck it out a window (boo!) It stresses me out. And I’m not the only one.
As America’s businesses look to do more with less, workers are feeling the pressure. A new survey from TrackVia just revealed 8 in 10 workers feel pressured to work faster and cited organization and dependable software as important factors for speeding up workplace productivity. In fact, a whopping 69 percent reported that software glitches slow them down.
And that’s the worst. A full 80 percent of us feel like we’re not going fast enough and that’s with wildly new efficient programs, tons of new technology and even smart phones, we still feel like we don’t have the speed to do the job. And 9 out of 10 people feel that speed is important to their job (and only like firefighters and doctors are actually right about that).
Getting organized is one of the top ways to make your workday faster and more productive. But how do you do that?
Whatever you do, do it A LOT. If there is one task that you want to shorten, do it a lot. The more you crank out content, review resumes, implement phone screens, or get to inbox zero, the better you will get at doing that thing. Eventually, it will become an automatic habit.
Set a deadline. Even if it’s a totally unrealistic one. This is the concept behind Andrew Chen’s Seven Day Product.
Building products in a very short period of time makes you really boil down what the core mechanic is. What do I mean by core mechanic? I mean the thing that you’re doing 90% of the time. On YouTube that’s watching a video. On MySpace, that’s browsing from one profile to another, or possibly commenting/writing to other people.
Setting a deadline, even if you miss it, pushes a project much farther through the pipeline than it would have otherwise gone, especially if you’re prone to procrastination.
Make a list. Yeah you’ve heard it all before, but lists really do help even the most overloaded professional make sense of their daily, weekly and monthly tasks. While it won’t allow you to be as creative as you’d like, it will allow you to move quickly through your day without getting sidetracked.
Batch processes. According to Lifehacker, doing things sporadically throughout the day is a waste of time. Don’t answer emails every time one comes in, breaking your concentration virtually every minute. Instead, save similar tasks for a dedicated block of time so that you can repeat them easily and quickly, getting into the proverbial “groove”. You’ll get these tasks done faster and easier. (See Ben Franklin’s very batched-processed schedule).