By Noah B. Rosenfarb, CPA, an EO South Florida member and CFO of Freedom Business Advisors, LLC
As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly looking for ways to increase my personal productivity and bring that knowledge to my clients and friends. In my work enhancing the productivity of CEOs, I’ve found the biggest gains can be achieved by implementing time management systems and calendar optimizations. However, for many people, using a few of the below technology tools can free up an hour or two a week without over committing to a structured regimen:
- Voice memos – Often, between meetings—and especially on the road—I need to communicate to someone on my team, but I don’t want to call them (I don’t usually have the time to enter into a polite exchange). In lieu of typing a lengthy email, I use the recording option on my phone to dictate my message. When finished, I can forward that voice recording to the appropriate people.
- Email signatures – Anytime I see myself typing repetitive emails, I quickly copy and paste the information into a signature file. Instead of simply having my name and contact information, I include the content for my email. This works really well if you attend a trade show, cocktail party or conference, and want to send personalized and individualized emails to those you just met. It is also great if you have a process that doesn’t fit into an auto-responder email series because it requires a manual trigger or special personalization.
- TimeTrade.com – I often schedule my own phone calls, lunches and meetings via email, without the involvement of my secretary. I think it’s more personal, and it helps enhance my relationships. That said, it can be a pain to go back and forth to find a time. TimeTrade.com lets me set certain times for those people who want to book an appointment with me. It looks at my calendar and offers times that work best, and then allows my guest to select what time works for them. I also use this on my website so prospects can schedule a 15-minute consultation with me without us having to first connect via email or phone.
- Boomerang – I use my Microsoft Outlook inbox as a to-do list, so I’m always monitoring the messages that reside there. Often, I find myself keeping a message in my inbox as a reminder that I am waiting for a reply or need to follow up at a future date. Boomerang, a product by Baydin, allows me to click on a message and have it leave my inbox for a fixed amount of time. The message then returns to my inbox when I prescribe. It’s been a really useful tool for following up in a methodical way.
- Focus@will – Getting into “the zone” of focused concentration can take time, but this custom music app is designed to increase your attention span by up to 400 percent when working, studying, writing or reading. Research has shown that it is extremely effective for two out of three people. Use a free trial to figure out which group you’re in.