ID & Do, Prioritize, EZ = Breezy, Yuk 1st, Breaks, Multi-Task, Time, Collab, Agendas, Snacks, Automation, Social Media, Email, Clutter, Heat, Say “No” + + + + + + 40 Time Wasters.
As a Small Business / Startup Owner / Manager, you only have a finite amount of time each day to get things done. But you likely have an almost endless amount of things that you’d like to accomplish. So you need to find ways to make the most of the little time you have to work with. If you’d like to get more done in less time, you need to find big & small ways to improve productivity for both you and your team. Here are some tips you can use for improving productivity at your Small Business.
Top Tips for Improving Productivity
1. Identify & Do the most Important Tasks, Delegate the Rest
Delegating Tasks to your Team can give you more time to focus on the really important items on your To-Do list – that only you should do. But first, you need to determine what those important items are. Go thru your To-Do list and identify the items that only you should do or that are essential to your operations. Then find Team members or Contractors to Outsource them -who can handle the items that don’t fall into those categories.
2. Prioritize the Items on your To-Do List
You should also go thru your list each morning – to find which items are the most urgent. The tasks that have to get done right away should go at the top. And more long-term Projects can go on a separate list so that they don’t overwhelm you or distract you from those more urgent items.
3. Finish quick & easy Tasks right away
When you have small tasks like quick phone calls or Emails that are cluttering up your To-Do list, it can help your productivity to get those things out of the way asap. Then you can focus all of your energy on just one or two important Projects throughout the
4. Get all the Least Desirable Tasks Out of the Way Before Lunch
On every To-Do list, there are items that you just don’t want to do. Anything that you’re dreading is going to cause you more stress than other tasks. So it’s best to get those things out of the way as early as possible. Pledge to complete those pesky items before Lunch – so that you can take a break as a reward for completing them.
5. Schedule Breaks & Exercise
You also need regular Breaks throughout the day to re-energize & keep your mind sharp. Instead of getting caught up in your To-Do list and just mindlessly working the day away, take a short break every 20-30 minutes thru the day to get up, then walk or stretch. Do it when you complete a paragraph, task or other item.
6. Don’t Multi-Task; Stick with One Task at a Time
Multi-tasking might seem like a great way to get more done. But most studies have shown – that trying to do two things at once can actually slow you down. So instead, stick with one task until it’s completed, then move onto the next item on your list.
7. Set a Timer for Lengthier Tasks
If you have items on your To-Do list that need to be broken up throughout the day, because they take too long to do at once, outline exactly how much time you plan to spend on those items per day. Then set a timer when you start those items so you don’t get caught up and forget to look at the other items on your list.
8. Find the right Collaboration Tool for your Team
When working with a team, you need to be able to communicate with them quickly & efficiently. That means you need an actual system that everyone can use to update their progress on different Projects – instead of relying on Emails or meetings where you need to go out of your way to ask them about those items. Project Management tools like Slack, Asana or even Google Docs can help your team collaborate and share information quickly and easily.
9. Make sure all Meetings have clear Agendas & Cut those that Don’t
Meetings can be absolutely necessary for keeping your Team on track & your Clients happy. But they can also be huge time wasters. To avoid getting trapped in unproductive meetings, make sure that every one you host or attend has a set Agenda. That way, you can be sure you’re only attending meetings that will make you more productive – instead of those that will simply waste your time.
10. Schedule Meeting-Free Days
It’s also important for you to have some days that are completely meeting free. Doing this will allow you to get back on track with any tasks that you may have fallen behind on throughout the rest of the week without getting distracted.
11. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
If you want to be productive throughout the long workday, you need to make sure that your body is up to the challenge. If you’re constantly hungry or feeling sick, you can’t hope to get a whole lot accomplished. So make sure that you always have some healthy snacks around your office. And make a habit of eating a healthy Breakfast & Lunch every day as well.
12. Identify Opportunities for Automation
As a Business Owner, there’s no point in spending your precious time on tasks that can be automated. It’s well worth it for you to invest in tech tools & software that can do simple things like schedule Social Media posts or update your Expense reports so that you don’t have to spend time manually taking care of those items.
13. Stay off Social Media during the Day
In fact, it can also be beneficial for you to stay off of Social Media (SM) throughout your work day or night for your personal accounts. And for any Business-related accounts, you should set aside time to schedule posts and respond to inquiries on SM, rather than checking those items constantly – 1st thing in morning, after Lunch & before you leave.
14. Schedule Times to check your Email
Likewise, checking your Email constantly can lead to interruptions of work flow & distractions throughout the day. Instead, schedule a few times each day for you to check & respond to Emails. Use the same schedule as Social Media above. That way, you can give it your full attention and then stay focused on other tasks throughout the rest of the day that are important.
15. Unplug Email & SM completely when a Deadline is approaching
When you’re working on Tasks that have strict upcoming Deadlines, it may be necessary for you to buckle down even more. “But there are so many potential distractions online”. So sometimes, you can potentially get more done if you work offline for short periods of time, until you get those projects completed.
16. Get Clutter off your Desk – Peter
When you’re in the middle of an important Project, but then you get delayed, because you can’t find an important document under all the clutter on your desk, it can really throw off your productivity. And it can be difficult to even get started on some projects if you’re distracted by messy surroundings. So set up a simple Filing system and try to keep your workspace as clear as possible.
17. Turn Up the Thermostat
If you and your employees are uncomfortable, then you’re probably pretty likely to get distracted or make mistakes in your work. So studies have shown that warm office temperatures — even those that go up to around 77 degrees — can lead to increased productivity.
18. Change your Surroundings when you feel Stuck
When you get into a creative rut, no amount of productivity tools or hacks can help you magically have better ideas. But a change of scenery can sometimes work wonders. So when you’re having a hard time focusing or coming up with ideas, take your work home or to a local coffee shop – instead of trying to force creativity in your office. You can also put it aside and do something else for a few hours – to re-set your creative – to allow a whole new approach to the task or project to come thru.
19. Say “No” to Opportunities & Requests that don’t fit with your Mission – Rosa
When you take on extra projects that don’t fit with your main purpose, it can be a huge drain on your resources. It might be difficult to say “no” to your associates, friends, clients/customers or other collaborators. But focusing only on the most essential activities can ensure that you and your Team stay as productive as possible.
20. Give your Team a clear Direction from the Start
As a leader, you can only get so much done on your own. But your Team can help you accomplish much more, if you let them. However, if your Team/Staff needs to constantly come to you to ask questions or get the okay to move ahead on projects, it can halt your productivity and theirs. Instead, give them clear instructions for their specific duties & projects – so that they can work more independently and only come to you or other managers when it’s absolutely necessary.
40 biggest Time Wasting Activities
- Reading Email too often during the day
- Participating in too many online communities
- Procrastinating jobs you don’t want to do
- Looking at your Social Media channels too frequently during the day
- Text messaging too often
- Watching YouTube videos on the spur of the moment
- Randomly surfing the web
- Accepting too many jobs at one time. Just say NO
- Multi-tasking, instead of sticking to the most important Task & finishing it
- Complaining or talking about other people
- Blaming other people for making mistakes
- Not reading Manuals/Instructions when you start using new Products or Software
- Daydreaming, instead of taking a break to re-charge
- Pondering too long over inconsequential Decisions. Get a 2nd opinion or 3rd
- Searching through Clutter for missing documents or other items. Organize !!!
- Being excessively Neat. More creative is more important
- Doing work yourself that could be delegated to others
- Micro-managing the people who work for you. Encourage them & you’ll be pleasantly surprised
- Allowing subordinates & team members to dump problems on you that they ought to be solving on their own. As in sports, return hit
- Changing priorities unnecessarily. Stick to them until finished
- Not taking steps to limit interruptions
- Writing letters, memos, reports that could be written by a secretary or assistant
- Failing to set goals & objectives
- Failing to make a daily plan
- Failing to set priorities
- Managing by crisis, instead of routine
- Planning or managing meetings poorly
- Not creating or maintaining a good Filing system
- Misplacing files, etc, by not putting them where they belong
- Using outdated methods, instead of latest & most efficient
- Failing to automate processes that could be automated to save time
- Getting involved in personal conflicts
- Personal insecurity
- Poor communications or poor listening habits
- Too many personal activities & personal phone calls during business hours
- Having too many people involved in decisions. Limit to key p
- Not finishing one thing before starting another
- Taking or making unimportant telephone calls
- Spending too much time on phone calls
- Doing unimportant or unneeded tasks (busy work) over priority work.
Comments: Do you know of any other ways to improve Productivity?
fm Small Biz Trends 3/21 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more Info, click on Productivity.