Industry standards improve every year, and despite the trials of a pandemic, the last couple of years have been no different. Savvy consultants know that they need to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to productivity, as the most efficient teams get the best contracts. Productivity levels are influenced by a number of factors, meaning there are multiple key areas where changing your processes could yield improvements to your workflow.
Most modern consulting businesses will already be using some form of consultant time tracking to keep on top of their workflow and provide them with the ability to measure their productivity. The right time tracking solution will provide consultants with the tools they need to accurately assess and address areas of their workflow which can be improved.
Productivity is more than just time tracking though! Alongside time tracking, lets take a look at a few keyways consultants can keep at the top of their game in 2022.
What Productivity Issues do Consultants Usually Face?
We all go through bouts of struggling with our productivity, and consultants are no exception. The nature of consulting work can be that things are less rigid and repetitive in your workflow, as each contract will have its’ own individual requirements and processes.
This can result in a lack of repeatable structure/workflow process, which can hamper productivity. After all, human beings are creatures of habit – when we are able to repeat processes, we learn to be more efficient at them over time.
Setting unachievable expectations when looking at the scope of your work as a consultant can also impact things. Consultants work with different teams and come into each project with different client expectations. Depending on the clients you end up working with, you might find yourself without a clear goal or objective, or with expectations which are entirely unachievable. Both situations will impact negatively on your productivity.
5 Ways Consultants can be Productive in 2022
So, what can we do to keep on top of our workflow, increase our work efficiency, and maintain high quality work while maximising our productivity?
Productivity can, and should, be attacked from multiple angles. Your work/life balance can impact your workflow just as much as a lack of time management can keep you working inefficiently. The tips we are about to go through will help you to assess all areas where you might find ways of improving your work.
1 - Use a Time Tracking Software
Time management as an independent worker is essential. When consultants use the right time tracking solution to track the entirety of their workday, they can quickly assess where they may be losing out on productive, profitable work time.
Using a live timer to track your work throughout the day, and categorising/organising your time according to different labels to keep track of time spent on specific tasks, as well as tracking time spend on billable versus non-billable hours, will give consultants a powerful set of data that can be used to identify areas for improvement.
The best time tracking software will provide you with a reporting feature able to use your work categories and organise your time into useful reports for quick comparison, helping you turn time tracking data into useful time management information!
2 - Go Digital
Digital platforms continue to grow in terms of interconnectivity, efficiency, and general usefulness. It may amaze you just how much your productivity can improve by using modern software solutions to manage your workflow.
Modern consultants can move their work onto a digital platform and use powerful software to keep up with the current times and make their work easier, quicker, and more effective.
Online consultant work can provide new opportunities in a post pandemic world, as more and more industries move their work out of the office and into the cloud.
Productivity can go through the roof when you start to use digital tools to reduce your admin workload, communicate instantaneously, and keep organised and on task.
3 - Set up Measurable Results
It can be difficult as a consultant to identify successful results, as measuring the impact of a consultant’s work on a business can be hard to do. But being able to take pride in work well done, and getting a sense of achievement after making a strong impact on the success of those you work with is important.
Your morale as you work is strongly linked to your productivity levels, so it’s incredibly important that you identify areas where you are able to achieve results for your clients, and then measure your success in getting those results.
Being able to look at the work you are doing and target the results you want to achieve will give you a big boost in your work drive and help you maintain long term productivity.
4 - Learn How to Work Remotely
The ability to work remotely is becoming more and more important in modern times. These days, many who were office based before the pandemic have started to work from home part or full time. For consultants, there are no guarantees on where you’ll need to be to get your work done.
The flexibility you can provide your clients with, by being able to work remotely from them while using a digital workspace to keep in close communication and collaboration regardless of where you may be, is something which can set you apart from your competitors.
And there are benefits for you too! Being a work from home consultant reduces commuting hours and lets you work within your most comfortable environment. With more time in the day and the benefit of your own dedicated workspace, your productivity will go through the roof.
5 - Collaborate and Build Partnerships
Collaboration, communication, and the ability to create meaningful partnerships amongst your work contacts is important just from the perspective of building your work brand. But it can also improve the productivity of your workflow!
Collaborating with peers is a great way to gain new insight into the workflow processes being utilised in your industry. Take the opportunity to absorb useful skills and information, and note where your own process may work better than something being done by a colleague. You can get the benefit of others’ experiences and experimentation when you leverage your partnerships to improve the way you conduct your business.