7 Tips to Become More Productive

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No matter how hard we wish to deny it or change it, life is short. And each of us has so many things we want to do. Yet, there never seems to be enough time.

In fact, there is more time than most of us realize; we just waste so much of it. Here are seven tips I have observed to make more of your time. Use these for business. Use these for daily life. Or use these for any specific project you want to accomplish.

Start with a plan

The chances of ending up where you want to increase dramatically when you have a plan. A plan is simply a start point, an end point and a list of steps to take to get from start to end.

Write it down. A plan in your head is fine, but it’s like mist drifting through the air. When you write the plan down, it takes on a solid state. You are more likely to follow it. That’s why to-do lists are effective.

That does not mean the plan can’t change. Sometimes, there is a good reason to change plans:

  • you get a brainstorm
  • your situation changes
  • you find out that one of your assumptions is wrong

But altering your plan for a good reason is not the same thing as letting it change due to drift.

Prioritize

You might have 50 things to do today. You might end up doing 35 of them. But will you do the 35 most important things? Or, at the end of the day, will you have still have a few important things to do?

Do the most important things first. Make sure they get done. If you don’t, you might “waste” time on less important things and run out of time to do what you most need to do.

The bigger the project, the more important it is to prioritize. As real estate agent Anita Clark puts it:

“If you take time to prioritize up front, you will not waste many hours chasing homes that are really not right for you.”

Then do the things you tend to procrastinate on. We all have those. If you do those early on, you’ll still be motivated to do the things you like at the end of the day.

So when you write it down, group items in such a way that you can tackle them most productively.

Block out time

Do one thing at a time. Sure, we can all multitask when we need to, but we are less efficient and less productive. Saying otherwise is pure bravado.

Focus and concentration on one project at a time will make you more productive. You will end up with more hours in the day.

Marginal gains on everything

Imagine if you could make very small improvements to everything you do. For instance, what if you could reduce your commuting time by five minutes every morning? That would save you 20 hours per year.

Let’s take this one step further. Let’s suppose you use those five minutes each morning to do exercise. That’s 20 hours of exercise. How many calories have you burned?

What would be the huge benefit of changing all the plates and bowls in your house to slightly smaller ones?

What would be the huge benefit of eating lunch while you worked or while you went for a walk?

What would be the benefit of increasing your freelance fee by just 25 cents per hour?

Many small changes can make a big difference in your life.

Move

If you sit all day, don’t expect to be productive. Especially in the afternoon, you are likely to lose energy. Too much and too little exercise have a similar effect on us: they tire us out.

The key is to make sure you move every now and then. Get up from your desk. Stand at your desk sometimes, if you can. Especially try to move when you feel the ebb of energy.

Harness your afternoons

Afternoons are the toughest for many people. It’s siesta time! Energy is low. Find out what you do best when your energy is low, and what you do worst.

For instance, I get easily distracted in afternoons. If I try to multi-task too much, I end up getting lost in social media and reading the Huffington Post. I do much better working on large writing projects in the afternoon.

Save for the afternoon those things that low energy effects the least. Here is the “ideal” daily schedule.

Keep track of your progress.

What you can’t measure, you can’t change. As long as progress is positive, keep going. When it stalls, look for more ways to become productive or revisit the steps above. Make whatever changes you need to keep growing more productive, or to avoid becoming less productive. Make sure you are moving toward your goals.

It’s your life. It’s your time. You can use it or waste it. You can do as much or as little with it as you wish. These seven tips are not the only ways to become more productive, but they should work for you if you apply them to your situation.

Or you could keep wasting time, but waste it more productively.

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Get Organized and Get Busy!

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I have been involved with small and solo businesses for most of my working career, and one thing I have learned is that focusing on survival is a necessity. And just like a bunch of frightened passengers tossed into a lifeboat from a sinking yacht, getting clarity on what each person should be focused on doing in a small business can be very difficult, but it is essential. Someone should be bailing, while another should be fishing, and a third should be on the lookout for boats on the horizon. Everybody looking for boats — and no one bailing — is a recipe for disaster.

This existential aspect of business execution is perhaps the key reason that few individuals survive as soloists. It is difficult to determine what is the most important thing to do next and then to execute on that, even if the task is outside your comfort zone. If the next most critical thing is to find more clients, those that are introverts will shy away. If the next thing is collecting payables, those that find discussing money difficult will defer that phone call. If the next thing is writing a long marketing piece, those that are more sociable will find an excuse to linger with a client rather than face a blank white page.

I have often characterized life as an entrepreneur as being something like jumping headfirst down an empty elevator shaft. A seriously life-threatening undertaking.

And how to pick out those entrepreneurs that are likely to survive? Just wait a short period of time, and you won’t have to guess: survivors survive. They calm their fears, make a short list of the absolutely essential things to do, and then do them.

So, we should face each day as if we are being stalked by saber-toothed tigers, cast away on an Antarctic ice floe, or lost in the Sahara. Make that list — and it should be less than three things! — and then start with number one.

KCSI and Custom Software

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Integration is the goal for all businesses seeking to use technology as an ever-increasing tool for business success. KCSI’s custom integration help your separate applications share data with each other with complete compatibility.

Some integration we have mastered:

– Customer contacts with property management system (PMS)

– Customer relationship management (CRM) with websites

– E-commerce platforms with accounting software

– E-mail applications with CRM

If you’re after web applications, they can always be customized to suit the specifics you’re seeking to fill. KCSI defines the precise functionalities currently missing from your company’s software and your business goals. Following completion, KCSI remains by your side to host, maintain and support the software.

Contact KCSI today for more information on how integration can be achieved with your business: sales@kcsi.ca

Drop-Shipping with SIMMS

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Antiquated systems rarely still hold water in today’s market of international distribution and paper-thin overhead models. Sailing vessels evolved into power-driven craft able to meet tighter schedules without having to rely on the whim of favorable winds.

Similarly, businesses with huge warehouses and large shipping staffs from the days of the Buy-Hold-Ship style have evolved to the medium-capacity and small-staffed Sell-Source-Ship style. Warehouse space is transitive because many businesses are able to drop-ship materials right from manufacturers to their customers, thereby eliminating the need for expensive storage bills and sky-high payroll responsibilities.

Contact KCSI today to learn more about how you can quickly and easily manage inventory in transit between your suppliers and your customers — join the new wave of inventory management and avoid going down with the old ship.

SIMMS: The Hosted Solution

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Many businesses have switched to Hosted Inventory Systems (cloud computing). Hosting provides access to what otherwise would be expensive software and even more expensive hardware expenses required to host the software locally.

The advantages of SIMMS Hosted are:

Data Security
IT systems need to be maintained and updated constantly. If this is not done, your data security can suffer. Software to manage your security is costly and requires expensive upgrades of its own.

SIMMS Online uses Citrix because of its inherent and trustworthy security and its maximization of bandwidth (making your connection more stable). When you connect to our servers, your data is perfectly secure.

Flexibility
If a sudden up-turn in your business occurs, you will probably need new hardware, additional (and more dedicated) internet connections and possibly a cast of IT professionals to implement and manage it all for you. Besides the costs, expansion will consume another valuable commodity: time.

With SIMMS Online all you have to do is increase your user count. You can add new users instantly.

Reduction of IT Costs
Hardware, server software and networking will continue to be tedious and complicated as new protocols and processes become standardized every year. As businesses grow they all hit a juncture where their IT infrastructure costs begin to soar.

With the Hosted option, if a server blows up then it is our problem. We take care of backups, service packs and upgrades, thus eliminating your need for in-house IT personnel.

Saving Money
Hosted services allow small and mid-size companies to have access to an IT infrastructure that they normally could not afford. Hardware, bandwidth and networking are hidden costs that all mount up.

Our Hosted services give you access to high caliber hardware and software that is usually out of the price range for smaller companies. As your users access our hosted system there is no need to purchase an expensive server and server software. You can use your existing hardware as workstations and your existing internet connections to connect.

Versatility of Platform
While SIMMS runs on Windows with Citrix, your MAC computers work perfectly to connect to our Hosted service. As SIMMS continues to evolve, it will incorporate more capability of connection with other machines using more platforms.

The Hosted version of SIMMS can benefit you for the reasons listed above and many more. Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

Make Your Work Environment More Fun

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Why not try some (or all) of these suggestions to juice up the fun at work:

  • Alternate your screensaver
  • Celebrate milestones and successes
  • Create specific interest groups
  • Fung shui your workspace
  • Games, and more games
  • Give prizes for production increases
  • Have a charity day
  • Have a movie day
  • Have a potluck
  • Have a stress ball or something else to play with
  • Have a Welcoming Committee
  • Have team-building events
  • Listen to music
  • Pick your own schedule
  • Send funny articles and cartoons around
  • Supervisor roasting
  • Take fun seriously
  • Teammate roasting
  • Use your breaks to their full advantage
  • Work for yourself, either on the side or full-time

The Superiority of SIMMS Reports

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SIMMS Inventory Management software incorporates the very best features on the market regarding its dozens of built-in and customizable reports. Using the versatile Crystal Reports interface, SIMMS’ reports permit the adjustment of layout, insertion of logos and letterheads, and the display of fields from within the SIMMS database, making reports precisely the way that users need them to be. Choices of fonts, colors, section highlighting, word art and line art make it one of the best choices available.

For the numerous analytical reports, headers, footers, section formats and more can be customized from within a standard version of Crystal Reports to have any company’s reports consistent with their own visual style and graphic image. Insertion of form data, managerial checklists or note areas can easily be incorporated into the design. Users merely export from SIMMS copies of the reports they wish to customize and then select a checkbox to tell SIMMS that they wish to use the exported and customized copies instead. Any reports that do not exist in exported form are ignored and the standardized built-in versions of those reports are used.

From accounting documents like quotes, sales orders and invoices to purchasing documents like purchase orders, transfers and stock item lists, SIMMS’ reports can be formatted to fit various sizes of printable media so that the materials users have can be employed easily. Sales slips from the Point-of-Sale module, item price labels and barcodes can all be formatted and printed to suit the user’s needs. SIMMS’ reports serve the needs of users whose needs are both big and small.

Give SIMMS 2016 a free trial today here:

http://simmssoftware.com/inventory-software/Download-Trial.aspx