Are you too overwhelmed to be as productive as you want to be each day?
To follow are some suggestions to help:
Try Starting a Bit Early
For many small business owners, the morning is when their head is the clearest, and they have the most energy. If this is you, take advantage of the earlier hours to be more productive.
Try to avoid using this valuable time to manage tasks that don’t require a lot of bandwidth.
Examples of these types of activities are:
- Checking emails
- Filing digital assets (or paper files)
- Holding meetings
Use this opportunity to tackle tasks that require focus and many times may not be the most “fun” but could be the most critical to the success of your business.
Fine Tune Your Work Space
Many of us don’t necessarily have the dedicated space we would have at a typical office; however, there’s no reason you cannot make the most of what you have. Set up your area so that distractions are few, and you have an uncluttered space to spread out if needed.
Work with others in your home to set guidelines that work for everyone and allow you to be productive in a quiet environment. If working from home, a multi-person schedule may help everyone get the “quiet” time they need.
Emails. Emails. Emails.
We’re all guilty of immediately opening up that incoming email as soon as it lands on our computer. And then, reacting with a response that may result in another email. For some businesses, quickly reviewing email is vital as it could mean the difference between a sale or no sale.
If your business isn’t reliant on immediate sales or responses, try setting aside time in the morning, afternoon, and before you shut down. It may not be easy initially, but you will find you have so much more valuable time to manage other key tasks. Do this in baby steps first and graduate to fewer “check-in” times.
Set expectations with those that are used to a prompt response and let them know you will reply within XXXX of hours. Letting them know you aren’t ignoring them, but doing your best to be productive will make sense. If there’s an urgent situation, they can call you. But again, answering your phone should be limited too during your productive hours.
If you do not have someone answering your phones, it may be the time to ask for help. A virtual services company can help in many ways as they can intercept calls, and if something is requiring your immediate attention, they will be able to alert you.
Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk
Do you have employees or team members that work for/with you? It’s essential to set an example of good behavior when it comes to being productive.
Better yet, make it a team effort to talk about best practices for working from home or in the office. You may have some excellent advice for habits that maximize productivity, but others may do tasks more efficiently. Once you collect ideas, hold a collaboration meeting to choose the best ideas that work for everyone.
Habits are tough to break, but if you tackle one new behavior at a time, you’ll soon have more hours to do something you enjoy!