When you are running a small business, productivity is crucial. You need to make the most out of the little time that you have to ensure you take care of the important things. But how do you deal with the distractions and prioritise effectively. Here are eight productivity tips for small business owners that will help.
Do The Tasks You Don’t Like Doing First
We all have tasks on our to-do lists that we know need done, but don’t want to do. Leaving them means:
- Avoiding them
- Thinking about them
- Worrying about them
- Potentially missing deadlines in relation to them
All of this makes you less productive. The solution is to do the tasks that you don’t like doing first.
Ignore Your Email
Email is a highly efficient method of communication that most small businesses would struggle to live without. But it is also intrusive. You could be doing something incredibly important but you will break away from that task to check a ping on your email. What makes this worse is that the email is often something that is unimportant. So, switch of the email notifications on your phone, log out of your email on your computer, and get on with running your business. Go back to your email when you need to check something or send an email, and schedule additional time for going through your inbox. This could be once or twice a day.
Forget About Multi-Tasking
Most cannot properly multi-task. In fact experts believe you are much more productive and effective if you focus your efforts on a single task. Once that is complete you can move onto the next one.
Make Technology Work For You
Technology should make your life easier, so abandon platforms and software systems that are inefficient, and seek out those that truly work. Also, remember that some tech applications require getting used to before they become effective.
Distractions have a significant impact on your productivity. This was measure by Microsoft. They found that it took their workers 15 minutes to get back on track once their focus was broken by a small distraction. The solution is to control distractions as much as you can, particularly when you are working on something that requires a lot of concentration.
Big Goals Are Okay, But Step-By-Step Goals Give You Focus
It is always good to think about what you want to achieve in your business but to get there you need more than the big goal – you need tiny, incremental goals that you can achieve on a daily or hourly basis. Every goal that you achieve is another step towards the ultimate objective. Completing incremental goals is also a good way of keeping motivated.
Make Systems And Automate
Most business owners have repetitive tasks that have to be completed on a regular basis. You should strive to develop systems so that you can complete these tasks faster. And where possible, automate some or all of the process.
Understand The Way You Work
Do you work better first thing in the morning, or do you need to warm up a little before you get going? Are afternoons productive for you, or are you a night owl? Understanding when your energy and concentration levels are at their highest is important to becoming more productive. When you know this you can plan difficult tasks for these times. For example, if you are at your best first thing in the morning, don’t spend that time checking emails or catching up on paperwork. Instead use it to develop marketing strategies, prospect new customers, or work on product development.