If you’re an executive or manager looking to improve your personal efficiency, Thinc Strategy’’s Chief Technical Officer, Kelli Snider, has you covered. Over her time at Thinc, she’s learned a few tips and tricks that anyone can use to increase their overall performance and save time. Check out her top four efficiency tips:
1. Excel Formatting
Developing your fluency in Excel is critical for anyone working in the C-suite at a company. One of the best skills to learn is how to mirror the formatting of one column to another with the “paint” feature. To use the “paint” feature, follow these steps below:
- Click the column header of the column that has the formatting you want to mirror
- Click the paintbrush icon on your home tab
- Click the column you want to apply the formatting to, and you’re done!
Besides using the paint feature to easily transfer formatting from one column to another, you can also format the sheets the end-users may want to print by going into “page set-up” and selecting the appropriate options.
2. Excel Saving Best Practices
If you want an end-user to see a certain sheet after they open an Excel workbook, start by placing your cursor on cell A1 (far top left cell). Next, hit the save button while you have the sheet you want the end-user to see pulled up on your screen. By saving your Excel workbook this way, the Excel book will open on the correct sheet.
This saving method is a small way to improve the client experience (or internal experience) when sending excel files. Opening an excel workbook in the middle of the book and halfway down the sheet creates confusion and wastes time.
3. Time Tracking for Direct and Indirect Labor
Professional service firms (even Thinc) track labor costs under two buckets: direct labor and indirect labor. Direct labor is all your employees’ time entered for project hours, whereas indirect labor is time entered for non-project-related activities, such as marketing, administration, and PTO.
Did you know direct labor for one company is considered indirect labor for another, depending on the client type? For example, in an accounting firm, time tracked for accounting is typically direct labor, whereas, in an engineering firm, time tracked for accounting would be indirect labor. When clients talk about direct labor, they are referring to the time team members spend on client or project-based work.
With so many offices becoming remote or hybrid, it’s important to always remember that confidentiality should be a non-negotiable priority. If you work in open spaces or travel for work, be mindful of information being overheard or seen. These are some privacy tips to keep in mind:
- When in a co-working space, never talk about a particular client in the open space. Instead, use a private office or conference room.
- When traveling, be mindful of talking about work/clients with co-workers or taking calls where others can overhear. You should also be mindful of wandering eyes when traveling on a plane.
- Plane travel is an excellent time to break out the laptop and get some work done, but be mindful of those around you being able to see client-specific information. Since you never know who might be sitting next to you, it’s best to play it safe.
Turn to Thinc Strategy for All Your Business Productivity Needs
If you want to boost your entire team’s efficiency and performance, Thinc Strategy can help. Our business development consultants can evaluate your business and create a performance improvement strategy. With our team in your corner, you can receive business needs assessments, financial reviews, feasibility studies, and organizational performance recommendations. We also offer leadership team development services to help your C-suite and other key staff members hone their leadership skills.