Do These 5 Easy Things Today to Be More Productive Tomorrow
As a small business owner, do your goals include becoming more productive? If so, these five tips and techniques may make a difference.
Schedule Sleep and Exercise First
Prioritizing non-business activities such as sleep, exercise, spiritual practice, and time with family and friends may improve your physical and emotional well being. And, being both physically and emotionally healthy can lead to a more productive day. For example, one MIT study found that exercise helps us better process information. A University of Arizona study found sleep-related symptoms negatively impacts daily productivity.
Schedule non-business activities in your digital or paper day planner before anything else. Then when business calls, you’ll be in the best physical and mental state to work efficiently and increase workplace productivity.
Track Your Daily Energy Levels and Distractions
Your energy levels rise and fall throughout the day, although energy level patterns may vary from person to person. At the same time, the level of distractions around you also varies. This combination can significantly enhance or impede your productivity.
Recently, 75% of respondents to a study by online course provider Udemy said they get more done and are more productive when workplace distractions are reduced. And yes, this includes social media.
Record your energy level as high, medium, or low every couple of hours during the day. While doing so, make sure to note when distractions to your workday are highest. Then simply rearrange your workday so you’re performing tasks requiring high concentration when you’re feeling energetic and distractions are low.
Batch Your Tasks
Although being more productive means getting more done in a day, performing several tasks at once (multi-tasking) could actually hinder your memory and reduce your productivity. According to recent findings from the Stanford Memory Laboratory, you may boost your productivity by scheduling your time to avoid multi-tasking and incorporate batching, performing similar tasks together in one time block.
Consider your typical weekly or monthly tasks and how they could be batched.
Template, Replicate and Automate
To maximize the impact of batching on productivity, create a template to cut the time required to perform each batching activity. For example, filling in a report template may save time versus creating one from scratch. You may be able to replicate the time savings by using the outline template as a base for other similar activities, such as writing case studies or white papers.
Today’s business world is full of repetitive tasks. Automating those tasks can boost productivity, helping you get more done in a shorter time. According to a 2017 study, 69 percent of surveyed workers say that automation’s biggest benefit is in reducing time spent on repetitive tasks. Study your own repetitive tasks, such as data entry, creating reports, and even paying bills. Look for opportunities to use technology to automate those tasks, such as setting up recurring bill payments through online banking. The more you’re able to automate, the less chance you have of wasting time.
Delegate or Dump
What are you doing that someone else could do instead? And what are you doing that could be scrapped entirely?
When you delegate important tasks to other team members, you free up time to tackle other tasks, increasing your personal productivity and earnings. In a Harvard study of law firms which practice delegating routine work to associate lawyers, partners earned between 20-to-50 percent more than they would have without delegating the work. These partners can take on more clients and produce higher quality work on difficult cases without the distraction of the more routine cases.
Review your most recent “To-Do” lists and identify at least three activities that can be delegated or dumped. Then allocate the time saved for growing your business, pursuing new clients, or developing new product lines.