Technology is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. Smartphones, computers, software, applications, and various other business devices are necessary for almost all aspects of conducting a successful business.
Because the technology components are so critical, it is imperative that they be protected to the best of your ability. Then all of the technological components can work together to organize and optimize data and create a structured routine that allows you to be more efficient and productive.
Protecting Your Technology
Technology becomes less expensive each year but it will almost certainly never reach the point where it would be considered inexpensive. It is important to consider each piece of technology as an investment that deserves to be protected.
The first step is to photograph and document any purchases and store the information in a cloud document that can easily be accessed if something is destroyed or stolen. This requires a small investment of time that will be invaluable should anything happen to your equipment.
The second step is to physically protect those items that can be protected. This means plugging devices into surge protectors that will protect from lightning strikes. It also means purchasing Apple iPhone cases as well as protective coverings for any tablets.
Digital technology protection is also important. Antivirus software, operating systems, web browsers, and other applications should be kept up to date. Passwords for devices, email, websites, and apps should be thoughtfully created to minimize the risk of being easily hacked.
Organize Your Data
One area in which people typically feel overwhelmed is in their document management. The two most obvious culprits for this particular issue are word processing documents and email.
The first step in document management is to move to a cloud based system. This mitigates the possibility of a catastrophic failure in which all documents are lost. If that isn’t possible a secure remote backup service can be used or an external hard drive that is backed up on a regular basis and kept in a secure location.
Organizing existing documents will likely require extended effort, but once a system is in place it will save a substantial amount of time going forward. One of the easiest ways to consolidate files is to create a master folder for each client or project. Within that folder create a new folder for each year. Within the year, organize projects in folders by month and then begin saving individual documents. This way it isn’t necessary to sort through multiple years worth of work to locate something recent.
Email folders should be similarly set up. When a new email arrives open it, or delete it. If the email is opened, respond to it and then file it in the appropriate folder or delete it. This will make referencing past emails easier and will allow you to be greeted each day with a clean inbox.
Create a Routine
Once your technology and data are secured it is time to leverage your technology to create a streamlined routine. Technology can be used to easily create a routine that will help make optimize each day. Morning routines are an essential component in setting up a productive day. Apps can be used to track daily tasks to help create a habit of the individual steps that make up your ideal routine.
Once work begins, there are many apps that can be installed to help set aside time to work that won’t be interrupted by email, social media, or cute cats on YouTube. There are apps for PCs and Mac devices that will block specified sites for specific time periods each day. This ensures work time is not interrupted and you can stay in flow. A wearable device such as a Fitbit can be programmed to remind wearers to get up and take a walk at certain times which has also been proven to increase productivity.
The potential of technology to make work an unmitigated success is staggering. Look for ways to implement new technological helpers to make the most of every minute.