By Lina Martinez
Office admin can take up a lot of your time. It's essential to get it done, so your business stays organized, and sometimes so you're following regulations too, but it's not really what you want to do. It takes up time you could be spending on more valuable things that will help you grow your business. You might not want to be tied up by red tape or do those tedious day-to-day tasks, but they're important. Still, you can find ways to spend less time doing them or to streamline them, so you get them done more efficiently. Here's what you could be doing.
Use Templates and Automation
There are always repetitive tasks that you need to do over and over, even if they're slightly different each time. These can be incredibly time-consuming, even if they're not particularly taxing jobs. One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to make sure you don't have to do all the steps. An invoice template will ensure you don't have to create a brand new invoice each time you need to send one out. And using automatic of any kind will speed things up. For example, an invoice could automatically be generated when an order is placed.
Set Aside Admin Time
Sometimes, just setting aside some time for your admin can make a huge difference. Instead of letting it interrupt you during your day or trying to work on it in between other tasks, you can get everything done at once. You might have one period at the end or beginning of your day where you sort out any admin, send emails and generally get organized. Or you could have a few shorter sessions at different times of the day if that makes more sense for how your business operates.
Use Online Tools to Track Tasks
Staying organized can be one of the main problems with admin tasks. There can be a lot of small things to do, and it can all build up. Whether you're working alone or with a team, it's useful to have some way to keep track of which tasks need to be done. Trello is an example of an online tool you might use. It's collaborative, so everyone can see what's there and make changes. You can assign different tasks to different people and move them between to-do, in-progress, and done.
Finally, it's worth considering some professional help if the admin has become too much. As your company starts to grow, you can find you have more admin to do, but you don't necessarily want to grow your staff. There's no need to have permanent employees to do admin if you don't want or need them. You might consider a virtual assistant, who can help you out whenever you need it. They could do any admit you need them to do, from creating invoices to writing emails.
Don't let admin take over your life. It might be important for running your business, but it shouldn't stop you achieving other things.