10 ways to… Cope with a demanding workload

10 ways to… Cope with a demanding workload

It can be easier said than done when you’ve got 101 things to do, but remaining organised and prioritising tasks can help you to cope while maximising your productivity. These tips are intended to help you get through.

1. Create to-do lists

Don’t keep it all in your head. At the beginning of each day, write on one sheet of paper what you need to get done and by when. Rank tasks according to importance or urgency. It will help you to structure your day and focus your mind. Setting your workload out in black and white will give you a realistic picture of which tasks you need to complete. Overestimating or underestimating workload can both have bad consequences.

2. Review your workload

Are there tasks that always get neglected? If you find you’re avoiding something regularly, could somebody else do it for you? Consider delegating tasks, either to someone within or outside of your business. If that’s not practical – you’ll just have to get on with it. Try setting aside some time each week for jobs you dislike. Once they’re out of the way, you’re free to get on with the more enjoyable aspects of running your own business.

3. Remember the 80:20 rule

It’s quite simple. To paraphrase, 80% of productivity is the result of 20% of the things we do. Try to identify the 20% that matter, and concentrate on such tasks. If possible, give more time to them, as this will enable you to be more productive.

4. Set realistic deadlines

Look at your to-do list and estimate how much time each task requires. Don’t set aside too much or too little time. Stick to your timescales. Knowing you only have a set amount of time to complete a task can keep you focussed and prevent you from dragging your feet. The end result – you get more done during the day.

5. Expect the unexpected

Inevitably, you will be faced with unexpected requests during the day – either face to face, via email or phone call. It happens to us all. When they arise, decide when they need to be done and add them to your list. If something is urgent, do it straight away, if possible. If it can wait, stay focused on what you were doing.

6. Don’t try to juggle too many tasks

This can be easier said than done when you’re a busy business owner, but the danger of trying to take on too many things at once can mean you end up doing some or none of them well. Deal with one at a time and finish each one before starting the next.

7. Don’t let your inbox dictate your day

If you get 50 mails a day, potentially this amounts to 50 interruptions. Don’t check your inbox every time you see or hear a message alert. Try turning audible message alerts off so that you are not disturbed and allocate a time when you will check your inbox, say, every half hour or hour.

8. Don’t get distracted by personal stuff

Leave checking personal emails until lunchtime or after hours. That applies to web browsing and social networking sites, too. You must stay focussed on your work.

9. Don’t just go for quick and ‘easy wins’

Just because some tasks are boring or more difficult doesn’t mean you should avoid them. It’s all about timing. Decide when tasks need to be completed and prioritise your workload on that basis. It will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you’ve completed a tough or arduous task.

10. Monitor your performance

Take a few minutes to look at your to-do lists at the end of the week. Which tasks took longer than expected? Why? How could you speed up? Do you have unrealistic expectations of your ability? Do you need help? Don’t focus solely on the negatives. Also recognise your strengths and your ability to manage certain tasks well.

Need to recover that one vital file, but you must restore the whole Business to do so?

Need to recover that one vital file, but you must restore the whole Business to do so?

Ever used a sledgehammer to open a small nut?

Probably not, but you get where we’re heading with this.

If you’ve lost your entire system and need to recover everything at once, most backup tools have you covered. But if you need to recover one specific file or folder without having to restore your entire server, a lot of tools can let you down.

Whether a single file has corrupted itself, or worst-case scenario, you’ve been targeted by a cyber-attack; there is rarely an easy way to retrieve back just that one individual file (and quickly).

You end up spending hours restoring the entire Business system, unnecessarily rebooting all your data back to how it was a yesterday, or worse, a week beforehand. Resulting in a loss of all those new and updated files in the interim.

Meaning multiple copies need to be saved and moved for them to be re-uploaded once the restoration has been complete.

A mess.

 

Is there a feature available for individual file restoration?

Yes, it’s called Granular Recovery Technology, or Granular Recovery for short. A service missed from several the leading backup vendors.

Granular Recovery is your simple solution in recovering those individual files you lost in accidental deletion, corruption or via a cyber-attack; gone are the days you must perform a full recovery.

The ability to search for important files that lie somewhere in the corner of a backup set, mark them and get them recovered, while the rest of the backup data pile remains untouched.

Swiftly providing you access back to that one file in minutes, rather than hours or days.

 

Why should we use it?

There are a variety of reasons why you should consider a backup service that has Granular Recovery built in as standard.

However, the main and most important advantage and why you should use Granular recovery, is the economy of time to restore only the objects needed, and a greater protection from mishaps and undesired data changes that can occur with a full restoration.

Therefore, a good granular restore feature saves your efforts and oodles of data!

The phrase “needle in a haystack” comes to mind, with the inevitable disappointment when you begin a task with an almost impossible feeling.

With Granular Recovery, it makes finding that needle possible, not only possible but quite easily, along with a few others you didn’t know about either!

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.

Keeping the lights on when all else fails

Keeping the lights on when all else fails

Being able to recover from a disaster is one thing…

An IT disaster, whether that’s the loss of a few files or the outage of your entire system following a cyber-attack, can be catastrophic to the operation of your business. If you have a professional backup service in place, there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to recover and get back on your feet. But, have you ever considered the time that a full-scale recovery might take?

If you need to download backup files from the cloud, it can take hours, or even days, to get access back to your data. That’s before you start the recovery process of restoring the data & services to their rightful place, and ensuring your users successfully regain access.

As the adage says, time is money. An IT outage, however large or small, can cost you a fortune.

 

…but how can you maintain the continuity of your business operations during that downtime?

Business Continuity, (“BC”), is the often forgotten third sister to Backup & Disaster Recovery.

BC doesn’t have to be an expensive enterprise-grade solution, it should be standard operating practice, (which will likely include an IT platform of some kind), that is both commercially & technically appropriate to the way you work. Your industry, size, the types of software & data you process, and even your geography, all play a part in the style of Business Continuity process your business should adopt.

Where IT is concerned, there are several BC puzzle pieces that can come together to complete an entire continuity solution, which is designed to meet a number of likely disaster outcomes.

At a lower level; a local server failover can provide you with continuity in the event of losing the operation of your main server. At a higher level; your local server failover can be paired with a cloud-based service that offers failover to a cloud hosted platform in the event of a total loss of access to your office premises.

If your business already operates mostly, or entirely, from cloud-based services you may be not likely to have a need for a recovery failover. Your BC plan might simply be centred around users having access to IT devices and internet connectivity from an off-site location.

 

Build a plan

All businesses regardless of their size or industry should have a Business Continuity plan that factors in any number of possible disaster outcomes, and how you will respond to ensure the continuity of operations are maintained.

Your IT partner should be best placed to understand the intricacies of your business operation, and of your IT services, to support you in mapping out a suitable BC plan.

Your IT may require investment as a part of this review to ensure you are truly defended, or, you may simply require documentation, training & support for your team to be able to access and function efficiently with the existing tools you have.

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.

Wouldn’t a time machine be cool?

Wouldn’t a time machine be cool?

Got a corrupt file or wish you could revert-back changes your colleague made?

Most backup services are OK… they’ll (hopefully) have a single, up-to-date copy of your files and folders from the last working day. So, in theory, should you suffer a data loss, you’ll be able to recover the most recent copy of your data to get back on your feet.

If you’ve only lost a single file here & there, having a backup service with Granular Recovery might come in handy; however, recovering back to a file at a specific point in history would be even more useful, and here’s where most backup services don’t have your back.

Sounds a bit mad at first, but, what if last night’s copy is ‘too recent’? We’ve all been there… a file gets worked, re-worked and re-worked again… but you want to revert to version 2 and it’s now on version 6. Restoring last night’s version might get you back to version 5, but that’s not far back enough.

So, what can you do?

 

Rollback recovery for specific points in time

Running with a backup service that includes a feature called, Incremental Backup, covers this exact need. Define a custom schedule of points in time where you want to snapshot your file backup – as frequent or infrequent as you need.

If you set incremental recovery points for each day at 5pm; at any point in time in the future you’ll be able to restore all, some or one of your files from that specific date.

 

Sound like a lot of data? It is.

To enable recovery from an array of points in history, you’ll need your backup service to store a duplicate copy of all (or some) of your files & folders – for every recovery point.

Meaning the downside to the flexibility of incremental recovery is the sheer volume of backup storage space required to keep all those multiple copies of your files.

 

How can that space be managed?

To get the most from your backup storage space, incremental restoration points can be consolidated.

For example, you can opt to retain a weekly restoration point on each Friday within a month – as your space depletes, those points will be cleared keeping only the last Friday within that month.

To keep a recovery point from the last Friday of each month going back in time, you’ll still need a fair volume of storage. But when storage runs low, you can clear down those recovery points at any time.

All a balance of the usefulness & saving in time and money being able to recover incrementally vs. the cost of the backup storage space.

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.

GDPR, it’s a legal requirement to have a professional-grade backup.

GDPR, it’s a legal requirement to have a professional-grade backup.

You probably didn’t know this…

Backup and disaster recovery solutions are essential under the GDPR.

With any Business liable or responsible for the possession of important data, they must have the ability to recover any lost personal information that they hold in a timely manner.

In order to remain compliant, you must have the necessary backup and disaster recovery strategies in place and actively take the time to regularly test the integrity and the effectiveness of the solution.

This is only the start, as you’ll find out there are lot more implications to it, you’re going to need to comply with all of them.

 

How do we abide by the GDPR ruling & not get fined?

By following each separate implication and making sure your Business is in line!

With GDPR fines thrown at British Airways, you shouldn’t be expecting a slap on the wrists, we recommend you get your Business in order and follow all the rules.

Covering the first of many critical points involved; Having a backup recovery point is essential, regardless if you want one or not.

Whether you’re outsourcing or have other methods, you need a secure recovery point in which you can restore important data from, quickly.

You’re also going to need a process in place, for regular testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of the measures involved for ensuring the security.

Do you feel 100% confident that you could tackle incoming or concealed cyber-attacks? If not, then you should be looking for ways to strengthen your protection as you now must report any breaches within 72 hours of them occurring.

An effective way to ensure yourselves of Cyber protection, is to become Cyber Security Essentials accredited.

Data compliance is for every member of the team, whether you’re involved within IT or the legal side of the Business or not, everyone needs to be GDPR aware.

Finally, for now, Regular Data backups are vital, as well as regular Backup testing, you need to check frequently and backup your data often in order to comply, don’t get caught out at the final stage.

 

What options are available to us as a Business?

At this given time, there are many varieties of services and options available to you.

Whether you wish to Backup manually yourself, (Given the extensive implications this would be un-recommended), making sure you’re secure with multiple copies in multiple locations, ideally following our 3-2-1 Backup rule.

Or follow a secure route through an outsourced Backup provider, like us. In which we will provide a secure data Backup solution. A dedicated cloud backup, our online backup service is a secure and automated way of ensuring that your critical data is protected offsite.

Whether you’re in a vulnerable position, or just unsure of what position you are, you need to get ahead & up to date with GDPR and Data compliance, contact us for all knowledge regarding backups and obeying security.

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.

We highly recommend you follow the 3-2-1 rule.

We highly recommend you follow the 3-2-1 rule.

The issues with not following a set of rules…

Backing up your all-important Data isn’t something you should disregard; you need to ensure that your critical information will survive any unpredictable circumstance.

Too many Businesses & individuals have suffered from data loss following system failure, file corruption, accidental deletion, or even by natural disaster! Although most common of all in today’s world, will be loss through you becoming a victim to a random cyber-attack.

You may well take a copy of your files and save them to an external disk or dump a copy in the Cloud, but is that a rigorous enough backup to protect your business from total loss?

 

Which rule is best to apply?

Welcome the 3-2-1 Backup rule; a rigorous practice to cover nearly all eventualities of data loss and requirement for recovery.

An easy-to-remember structure for keeping all your private details and company data defended & recoverable should the worst happen.

At all times, keep at least THREE copies of your up-to-date data.

You can’t predict data loss, or worse, a cyber-attack. Having at least three independent backup copies of your data helps to best mitigate the risk of loss. One copy being your original file data (on your server/s or cloud storage), with a further two duplicate copies being stored in alternative locations as your backup sources.

Store TWO backup copies on unique devices or storage media.

Nothing lasts a lifetime, (asides plastic). We must all remember that storage devices will suffer a failure at some point in their life, or if they are connected to your network at the point of a cyber-attack striking, may well become infected and suffer loss too.

Therefore, to maximise peace of mind, you should always have multiple copies on unique devices, and they shouldn’t be the same product, with slim odds of corrupting at the same time.

Keep at least ONE backup copy offsite.

A simple, yet very important rule. If you follow the first two rules, you’re on the right track, but if you don’t have an offsite backup, you’re not entirely defended.

You’ve undoubtedly guessed why, if your external hard drives, disks or cloud storage are all connected to your system, whilst it corrupts, or gets attacked, it’s all infected & your multiple points of recovery are lost in one fell swoop.

Whereas if you’ve got a copy offsite, you will still have a recovery point to restore your critical systems and retrieve all your information should all else fail.

 

Why follow the 3-2-1 rule?

Given the rise in Cyber-attacks, with Ransomware hitting businesses left, right and centre, I can’t see any reason you wouldn’t want to protect your critical data.

With people often underestimating the likelihood of having a natural disaster, suffering from accidental deletion or corruption, or even the victim of a hacker. The stakes have never been so high, with your business on the line, backup is fundamental to protect livelihoods.

When applying the 3-2-1 rule, don’t forget to use a robust trusted solution, which is where we come in.

 

Want to get the best solution for your business?

At iTeam, we take a security first approach to technology – ensuring our client’s systems are best protected.

If you have any concerns, questions or simply want to explore how to better secure your business, please do get in touch with the team for a FREE demonstration, consultation to explore how exposed your business might actually be and identify actions to take.

To book a consultation or to arrange a further discussion, please get in touch via our form below, call 03330 507 690 or email Chris on cwatson@iteam.co.uk.