I have written at length about life hacks and the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology, both of which can have a huge impact on businesses to improve efficiency. Another area that is different to these perspectives but linked in its general approach, is minimalism.
You will find plenty of information on the internet about the benefits of minimalism, but it is often referred to from a personal approach rather than a business one. However business owners can find huge productivity benefits in a minimalistic approach when integrated effectively into their organisation.
Minimalism encompasses a number of various voluntary practices to simplify one’s lifestyle. In business this is much the same, with the key purpose of improving efficiency within an organisation at the same time.
Based on my experience working with many different businesses, and seeing both the positive and negative ways they operate, I’ve compiled a list of the best ways to promote minimalism in business:
- Use electronic forms and documents where possible
There are a huge amount of positives here including instant backup, no lost data, multiple people working at the same time, and reduced wastage.
- Reduce your business social media exposure
- Work on quality not quantity.. less is more! There’s no point having your business listed and accessible on 17 types of social media networks if you don’t regularly contribute to them, or they don’t have any relevance to your field of operation.
- Reduce meetings
This is a MASSIVE one for me. Going to a lot of meetings may make you feel popular, but it’s not a good way to allocate your time. Before accepting a meeting invitation, ask to look at the agenda and decide whether your presence is really necessary. On the other hand, don’t schedule meetings for items that can be communicated via e-mail. Use meetings for discussions and decisions that must happen with a team.
- Turn off notifications
Unless a job requires replies within minutes, being alerted to emails frequently is not productive. Encourage staff to disable email and phone notifications to avoid constant checking and interruptions. It may take awhile to break the cycle, but eventually staff will become more productive without constant disruptions.
- Inbox Zero
Further to my fourth point, if you’re chained to your Inbox, watch this Life Zero video by Merlin Mann, the creator of 43fold
ers.com. It will change the way you operate. Inbox Zero is about reclaiming your Inbox, reclaiming your attention span and reclaiming your life.
By adopting these effective minimalistic approaches in your workplace, you can create the best environment for staff to remain focussed on the most important tasks, improving both efficiency and productivity throughout your organisation.