In a small business with limited resources, the productivity level of both you and your employees typically has a great impact on profit. Why not take a few steps to boost your productivity? You will probably find that these steps are not only easier to do than you ever thought possible, but they will have a greater impact than you can imagine. Here are a few of my favorite tips for you.
Set Time Limits For Meetings
We’ve all been in meetings that needlessly drag on. There are many causes of this problem, but pretty much all of them can be solved by setting a time limit. In my opinion, the best thing about a time limit is that it gives the leader of the meeting a great justification for diverting away from topics that are dragging on for too long – often caused by one person who talks too much.
Turn Off Email Notifications
There is nothing more detrimental to personal productivity than constant distractions. For most businesses, email notifications are just that – distractions. Would your type of business allow for you to only check email hourly, 4 times a day, twice a day, etc.? Anything less than instant notifications will help you focus on the task at hand – ultimately, making you more productive.
Optimize Your Workspace
There are many ways to optimize your workspace for the specific tasks that you are performing in that space. My favorite? Keep it clean. Unclutter your workspace, remove distractions, and keep it that way. Make it a habit once a day (how about the end of the day) to take your workspace and all the accumulated clutter back to a default state!
Minimize Decisions By Creating Systems
I have seen research claiming that humans have a limited number of decisions that can be made effectively in a given day. Whether that is true or not, each decision we have to make can add small amounts of stress to our day. That adds up over time. Avoid having to make so many decisions by systematizing everything you can. The possibilities for systems are endless, but a few of my favorite areas to systematize are morning clothing selection, routine email responses, business maintenance tasks, and listening to voicemails and returning calls.
Set Tomorrow’s Agenda, Today
Eliminate the slow start that comes from not being prepared when you show up in the morning. End each day with a few minutes to plan out the things you need to accomplish the following day. You’ll be amazed how great it feels the next day… and how much wasted time it can eliminate!
Find Good Software and Stick With It… For Now!
Especially for those of us who enjoy technology, testing out new software can be one of the biggest time-wasters. Sure, you’re convinced that finding the right software will (fill in the blank with increase profits, make a certain task easier, etc., etc., etc.). While that may be true, I would only recommend spending time searching if you don’t currently have something in place that is effective.
Don’t Do Tasks You Aren’t Good At
I know as small business owners we are often so focused on cutting costs that we take on tasks that we should be paying someone else to do. If you are doing tasks you are not good at, you need to add up the real cost. How much longer does it take you than an expert? What more valuable activities is it taking you away from? How much stress is it adding to your life? Take all of those things into account before take on the next task that lies outside of your expertise.
Take Care Of Your Mental and Physical Health
Poor mental and/or physical health can have a negative impact on your productivity. The better you feel, the better you will perform the duties of your job. Simple steps you can take include: make sure you are getting enough leisure time, take a walk a few times a week, and continually value the relationships in your life.
I hope you found a few of these tips helpful in boosting the productivity of your small business. Don’t forget the way small, strategic changes can impact your business.