How to become 20% more effective

Sometimes (maybe always?), it seems like there just aren’t enough days in the week. We mean, obviously, there should be at least two more days in the weekend. But what about the work week?

No, no, no. Don’t worry; we’re not proposing a six-day work week. How awful would that be?! But what if you could take some simple steps to become 20 per cent more effective? That would basically mean you’d be able to get another whole day’s work done, without spending any more time at the office.

Sound too good to be true? Well, we think it’s completely feasible. It might take a little bit of extra work to get started, but you’ll quickly see results. Here are our top tips:

  • Establish structure – Things like best practice procedures, workflows, set policies and even letter templates can save huge amounts of time. That’s because they cut back on how much you need to think about your next move, or what to write. Those decisions have already been made once, and this structure can guide your actions so you can get more done.
  • Automate – According to research from O2, workers in the UK spend around 36 days a year writing emails – that’s more than ten per cent of their time. We already mentioned that email templates could help to reduce the amount of time spent on correspondence – but automation can help even more, as it means messages can be generated and sent with the push of a button – and to multiple recipients if necessary. Of course, automation can also be used for saving you time on other activities, such as data entry and generating reports.
  • Use the right tech – The software you use can play a big part in how efficient you are. It can automate tasks and put the right information at your fingertips. But the wrong tech? Well, that can slow you down and could even lead to errors. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is trying to use Excel for everything. There’s no doubt that Excel is a great piece of software, but it’s designed for making spreadsheets, not complicated tasks like managing accounts. OnGuard’s credit management software, on the other hand, can really help to streamline your O2C processes.
  • Share data – We’ve all been there: you try to get in touch with a client about an outstanding invoice but find out they’ve moved offices and restructured. You spend 30 minutes figuring out new addresses and contact details, only to learn that someone in the sales team already had all this information. So frustrating! Having a central database where all this information is stored can really help to save time across the organisation – it prevents each department having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and can help to improve customer service since everyone will be working off the most up-to-date information.
  • Take a break – It might seem counterproductive, but taking even a short break can give your brain a chance to process information, and leave you feeling more energised and focussed. So give yourself a chance to rejuvenate once in a while. At a minimum, try to stare off into the distance for five minutes every hour when using a computer screen, and be sure to get away from your desk to eat lunch.


Find out more

If you’d like to learn more about how OnGuard credit management software can help you save time at work, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please get in touch on +31 (0)294 25 6666 or You can also keep up to date by following us on Twitter @OnGuardHQ.

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