Do you struggle with Productivity? Are you unsure what IT systems you should have in place? Would you like some insight into what may work as an alternative to the traditional systems? Well then, this might just be the post for you!
Productivity, a measure of the efficiency of production, can also be referred to as a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input. It is the ratio of what is produced to what is required to produce it. Usually this ratio is in the form of an average, expressing the total output divided by the total input.
A misunderstood buzzword
Productivity has become quite a buzzword in recent years, and is often referred to in terms of time management, stress management, employee assessment and self-development. It is clear that we can only be as “productive” as we believe, and it is often mistaken for effectiveness, whereas it is merely a measure of efficiency.
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker
This is one of the many reasons that people often fail to be as effective as they intend to. I have discovered it is more than the WAY we do our daily tasks, be they business or personal based. It has as much to do with HOW we tackle those tasks. With this in mind I began to explore the value of changing my IT strategy in terms of doing computer, online and personal tasks (like writing this blogpost).
I had been operating with a laptop and large external screen for working in the office, and then taking said laptop with me as I travelled or worked away from the office (in training for example). However, most of my training is with Microsoft systems, and as I use mainly Apple products, this posed a major problem, which I solved by buying a Netbook to take with me on the days I needed Windows. I had previously tried virtual PC and VMWare with little success.
It’s amazing what technology throws up for us. With the onset of BootCamp, Tablets and the App Store, my IT systems have been transformed. I now carry an iPad (that fits in my handbag), laden with productivity Apps for when I am away from the office, and all of the tools I need to manage my email, calendar and contacts and create documents in a space that I specifically don’t have to secure (the “cloud”).
So what are the major benefits to re-addressing our IT systems as a small business?
- We can move our work to the cloud (or iCloud)
- We (and our Accountant) can manage our books remotely
- We can access email, calendar and contacts through the cloud
- The cloud can be infinitely safer for the small business owner
- The iPad and certain other tablets allow for complete productivity
- A tablet / phone is far lighter than the lightest notebook
- We do tasks in shorter spurts than previously, and tablets allow quicker access to apps
Another major breakthrough for me personally was the fact that an iPad can only display one app at a time. This has completely cut down on having 20 tabs open in my browser, and allows me to focus on one task at a time.
So while looking for productivity tools to download, I realised that actually the iPad itself is a supreme productivity tool, in terms of effectiveness. [I have yet to find the perfect solution to allow me work with both OS systems, without using a separate machine to the iPad. The Netbook still has a spot in the office for now, and also fits in the handbag]
Have you changed the way you manage your IT systems as a small business owner?
Please share your suggestions below…