Running your own business has its own set of unique challenges, but one of the biggest?
This is important for companies of all sizes, but especially important for small business-owners and entrepreneurs. With limited time, resources, and man-power, one’s productivity output can make or break a business.
As a small business-owner myself, I’ve come up with 6 easy changes that have helped me up-the-ante in my day-to-day productivity levels.
Set daily goals
Having long and medium-term goals is great; launch your website, triple your social media following, close 5 new client deals. Reaching those goals is what will make your business successful in the end. However, focusing too much on the bigger objectives can become overwhelming and seem virtually impossible. Set yourself daily goals; ones that are realistic, manageable, and necessary to reach your larger ones. Crossing these off your to-do list will not only feel satisfying, but inch you closer and closer to your future objectives.
Practice your decision-making
One of the biggest hurdles I’ve had to get over during the earlier phases of running my business was my indecisiveness. What should my pricing be? Should I hire a web designer? What are the best colours for my business cards? It’s been two days, should I send a follow-up email? Whether you realize it or not, these micro-moments of hesitation drain you of both time and energy. Practice making smaller, less important decisions within 30 seconds, and don’t look back. Once you get in the habit, you will see your decisiveness reflect in more complicated circumstances, eventually giving you more time to focus on implementing those decisions.
For some people it’s losing themselves in an avalanche of emails. For others it’s catching up on the latest episode or 10 of their favourite soap opera. Whatever the scapegoat may be, these sneaky little thieves can rob you of some seriously valuable business-time. Make a list of the things that you know rob you of your time and put it somewhere visible. As soon as you find yourself falling back into these traps, snap out of it! Take a look at your daily goals and make a plan of attack!
Get the important stuff done early
For a majority of people, the most important tasks can also equate the most stressful or time-consuming. Get these out of the way in the morning. We are proven to be most productive earlier in the day, when are bodies and brains are well-rested (make sure you’re getting enough sleep!) and in optimal shape for productivity. Ticking these off your agenda will act as motivation for the remaining, more trivial, tasks.
Multitasking…it doesn’t work
Have you ever tried reading a book and listening to a podcast at the same time? Go ahead, give it a shot and tell me how it goes. Chances are not too well. It’s impossible for us as humans to give 100% of our focus on two of these relatively challenge tasks at the same time. Back in the days multitasking used to be a trait considered admirable, but nowadays? Fuggedaboutit. It is far better to spend your brainpower on one task, do it well, and move on to another. Not only will it improve the quality of your work, but it will also decrease the amount of time you spend getting things done.
Take frequent breaks
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but don’t underestimate its importance! Walking away from work sounds counter-productive, but it’s necessary to disconnect and recharge throughout the day, especially if you want to perform at your peak levels. Take a walk, meet a friend for lunch, listen to an episode of your favourite podcast. Whatever you do to disconnect, do it often and do it without guilt. (Just don’t let it turn into a time-robber!)
When it comes to being productive, small changes lead to big results. And remember, working hard does not always mean working smart. Give these 6 tips a shot and surely you’ll begin to see your ¨smart¨ work pay off.