It can be hard to be productive when you have SO MUCH to do. No matter how much we feel like we’ve done, it’s never quite enough. When you’re running a small business, you need to be able to do multiple tasks throughout the day, it’s even harder when you’re a one man band. Time is an extremely valuable resource and should be treated as such.
Here we have collated some awesome productivity tips to help you get the most out of your day.
We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis according to Arianna Huffington. As a top entrepreneur, she knows her stuff. Research shows that we require between 7 and 9 hours sleep each night, though this can depend on the person. Test to see how much sleep you need to wake up bright and perky.
Sleep is one of the most important factors in productivity, if you don’t get enough sleep your brain won’t be working at it’s peak. A lot of us like to be night owls and watch a movie before we go to bed, but make sure to wind down without technology for an hour to ensure you get a good rest.
Prioritise Your Tasks
Make sure you use your time well. Reduce time on tasks that aren’t necessary and put more into what brings in your money. Prioritise your tasks by time-sensitivity to make sure you get them done in time.
If you are dreading a task, put that first! After you’ve conquered the hardest everything else seems like a breeze!
Delegate To Elevate
If you truly want your business to succeed, you need to delegate tasks that aren’t your strong point to someone who can get it done well. I know it’s hard when you have to trust other people to do your work, but it will be worth it as you will save much more time.
Write A List
This works especially well if you’re a little OCD. Write a list of all the tasks that you need to get done that day and tick them off one by one as you get them done. List the most laborious tasks first to get them over and done with.
Work On Your Communication
It can take a good 10 or 20 minutes to write an email with all your posts, but there is a quicker way! Pick up the phone and speak to employees or customers – you can even send a voice note on WhatsApp! When you add up each email, it can save you hours in the month!
Do You Really Need That Meeting?
Sometimes, we use the word meeting as an excuse for a catch up – when in reality it doesn’t benefit your business. Other times the meetings drag out as we’ve gone off topic. If you’re really stuck for time you’re going to need to cut down your meetings, or even rethink if you even need them.
Consider going for a walking meeting so something has to be discussed between two destinations. To save even more time, opt for a Skype call so you don’t even need to leave the office!
Plan Your Week Ahead
This goes alongside list making. Work out what your need to do for the week and put it somewhere in your sight near your desk. I recommend using a whiteboard with magnetic images, easy-to-use and visually appealing. This acts as a visual reminder of what you need to accomplish and can also help as a motivator.
Organise Your Emails
The average employee sends and receives 120 emails each day! That’s a lot of emails to get through in the average work day.
Create different folders in your inbox so emails are automatically filtered as they come in. You can have a folder for marketing emails, interesting articles, orders, enquiries and one for each team in your business. Though they do say a cluttered desk breeds a creative mind, having millions of emails to search through doesn’t!
Set out times during the day to go through each section of important emails. Ie Sales at 9am, Enquiries at 11am, Interesting Articles at 12:30pm and so on. This can save you huge amounts of time and can help make sure you don’t miss any emails.
We may think we’re good at handling multiple tasks at once, but we’re not! We need to stop multitasking. This sounds very counterproductive, but it’s actually impossible for our brains to multitask, it can even lower your IQ! Instead, our brain flicks from one task to another very quickly, essentially splitting the brain! If you’re trying to focus on 3 things at once you’re using all your brain energy divided by three on each task! One study has even found that 69% of us can’t focus on just ONE thing at a time due to distractions (like email or Social Media!). Over time, this makes your brain useless at filtering out the useless information thus making us less productive.
Make Use Of Your Commute
Many of us are in buses or taxis or maybe even carpooling on our commute to the office. The average commute in the USA is 25.4 minutes, however for many this is double or more. There are many tasks that you can do on the go which can save precious time. Whether it’s Social Media Scheduling, checking your emails, sorting your accounts or sending an invoice – there’s an app for that! Use the time of your commute well.
If you’re driving, you could have a dictaphone on record with you spouting ideas of blogs, or even speaking a whole blog. All you need to do is transcribe it when you get to the office. Another great thing to do is listen to podcasts related to your industry – these can give you valuable insights and tips for your business which you can then implement.
So there we have it, our top productivity tips to help you get things moving in your business. Do you have a great way of staying productive? Let us know, we’d love to hear it!