July 31, 2017
Being intentionally productive is something we all strive for, but often fail to achieve. After being disrupted with an email notification, an average person will need 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain their focus again.
Yet as an entrepreneur, you can rarely hide under the rock and pretend there's nothing else happening around you and no one is demanding your attention. What you can do, though, is manage and minimize those distractions for you and your team to stay on top of your agenda. The hacks below should help you do just that.
Shift to Snapchat-Styled Videos
Phone anxiety has become an actual thing, at least for most of the digital savvy types. While back in 2011, a cell phone user received or made 12 phone calls a day on average, the number has dropped to just 6 calls in 2015.
With all sorts of text/video messaging apps, email and social media as the primary mean of communication, the phone has become both a public and a business nuance. Possible prospects no longer wish to pay attention to those cold calls and as Hubspot pointed out a meager 1 percent of call colds ultimately convert into some meaningful action from a business perspective and only 28 percent of all those calls result into an engaged conversation. Despite those pitiful stats a lot of B2B businesses still pour hundred thousands of dollars into direct sales and keep complaining about low ROI.
Your team members may not like talking over the phone either. According to Fundera survey, only 6.7 percent of employees named the phone as their preferable method of communication.
The workaround here might be surprising. Michael Litt recently shared how her B2B company decided to use Snapchat-style videos to engage with both her team and their customers.
The videos they are sending to the prospects appear human and personalized, with the visual cues to steer a direct conversation. Yet, unlike phone calls, they are non-interruptive and asynchronous, meaning you can view them when you have a minute. Considering that they are distributed through email, customers do not have to adopt a new tech channel to communicate with their company.
While the experiment is still in the early stage, Litt feels positive about the outcomes. Videos offer a human connection, are efficient and do not interrupt the customer in the middle of something. She also shares weekly video updates with her team that proved to be a more efficient communication strategy and all the employees are slowly switching to sending more videos.
Add Simple Automations
Routine work is the worst enemy of productivity. That’s a well-known fact for sure. What you may not know is that knowledge workers spend 41 percent of their time on discretionary activities that could be delegated or automated.
According to another report from ServiceNow, 90 percent of managers waste their time on admin work outside their ascribed workplace duties. On average, the respondents spent over 15 hours (or two days per week) dealing with routine tasks. And less than 1 in 10 of the respondents mention using automations to improve their personal efficiency.
That’s quite staggering, right?
And while we tend to embrace new and new apps to improve our productivity, we end up wasting even more time as those tools don’t work well together or require constant re-logins and switching screens.
The simple answer to that is to start with simple automations created by apps like IFTTT or Zapier to automate the simple routines like backing up certain emails to Dropbox automatically or update/create Salesforce contacts from BigCommerce orders and so on.
Next, instead of investing in an advanced industry go-to tool, try a simple, more scalable alternative first. Apptivo offers you to build your own business back-end by choosing among the apps you need, rather than settling for the “full package”. This way you'll avoid dealing with the features you don't need at this point, or hassling with the right integration down the road.
Manage Company Culture
Happy teams are productive teams. But embracing a totally positive company culture, where there’s no place for sadness or negativity can ultimately lead to the opposite results.
No sane adult person can stay positive 24/7, which leads to suppressing negative emotions to fit the workplace culture. This, in turn, isn’t healthy in the first place.
There’s nothing wrong with being grumpy from times-to-times. As one study suggests, suppressing anger increases the risk of having a heart attack in three times. Other researchers have found that continuously suppressing negative emotions leads to emotional overeating and emotional exhaustion – the key components of job burnout and ultimate quitting.
Keeping your team happy is important, but forcing them to “fake it till you make it” will likely result in higher turnover rates and lower productivity.
Read more about building a productive team at TechCo
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