I know this is not a sexy or FUN topic to address. It is something that can improve your life if you actually set a few small goals. Let me ask you something; do you have a smartphone, like a iPhone? And I am sure you even take it to the bathroom with you; am I right? Well if that is the case, then ask yourself are you really being as productive as you could be? Most small business owners agree – there just isn’t enough time to get it all done. One thing we all have in common in the world is we all get 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. While I can’t give you more hours in a day, I can give you tips to make the hours you do have more productive and get more shit done:
1. Schedule Everything, Even Sleep
Always work from a schedule so you know exactly what you should be doing and when. This way you don’t waste precious time wondering what to do next, or get distracted wondering if you should be doing something else. It will also show you how you are spending your time, with clients, with family, etc. And will help you evaluate is this how you want to be spending your time?
2. Automate To Save Time on Repetitive Tasks
Some necessary tasks in life must get done regularly, though they don’t improve productivity, they just have to get done. Use a planning tool to schedule these activities far into the future is so helpful. I am not talking about writing them down in a day planner (what if it were stolen!). This cuts down completion time for these non-productive tasks, giving you “extra” time to work on activities that could help you produce more. I use so many softwares to automate these days. One thing that can’t be automated though, is you and how you value your time.
3. Skip Unnecessary Activities to Simplify Your Life
Stop spending time on tasks and activities that impede your efficiency and effectiveness. In the events industry, there is a networking meeting every single night it seems like. If I wanted to eat and drink for free 7 nights a week, I probably could. It’s not about that. It’s about the value that you are providing and what you are getting out out of these networking meetings.
4. Delegate Some Tasks To Focus on Those YOU Must Do
Make a list of things you have to do, things you like to do, and what you don’t want to do or you are not good at it and outsource those tasks. I promise you there is someone out there than loves doing the things you hate doing. Some activities can’t be automated or skipped, but they could get completed by someone else. Delegate them to a team member (or at home, another family member). This gives you time to focus on productive tasks only you can do. We use Wunderlist (it’s a FREE app that you can share with team members)
5. Batch Tasks to Boost Efficiency
If you have a busy family and a business, try batching to boost productivity. Statistics and reports show that completing similar tasks in “batches” improves productivity. You’re more efficient when focusing on just one repeated task for a few hours, rather than dealing with multiple distracting activities and ideas. I know, I know, I don’t feel productive until I am doing 19 things at once, but after forcing myself to focus, I achieve SO much more!
6. Scale Up Activities to Save Time Through Replication
Scalability refers to carrying out a task once, then replicating as much of it as possible for future repeated use. Scaling up activities may improve the productivity of administrative responsibilities, production operations, and even the services provided to your customers. Sharing templates with event clients is my favorite example; by sharing dropbox and google drive we reduced our emails around 300 per day!
7. Use Apps Across Devices to Keep Organized
Apps provide more than using your phone for fun and music. You won’t find much of that on my phone; rather apps that actually help improve efficiency and productivity in my personal and professional life. My only caution is to ensure that your phone, computer and iPad are syncing correctly; if not, you could lose everything.
Want to know more about How to Be a More Productive Small Business Owner; I have a book and video series on just that!
Check out my Book: Must Have APPS
Watch my Video Series: Time Management Hacks
Photo Credit: Erin Lee Allender Photography