“Productivity” is one of those buzz words we hear all the time in business. We’re supposed to be “more productive,” but what the heck does that mean, anyway? And how is that even measured?
Well, in a nutshell, being more productive means you get more done in less time, which translates to bigger profits, better relationships, and an overall greater company. And that’s something to strive for in every business!
The problem is that business owners can be so focused on being more productive, that they don’t see how their team (or they) are fast-approaching burnout. Add to that normal work/life imbalances, remote work, technology shifts, and more, and you have a real challenge ahead of you.
What you need is a strategy, some consistency, and maybe a little determination to get your business moving in the right direction. Here are ten of my favorite productivity and efficiency tips for any business:
1. Batching. Batching is extremely important when it comes to tackling a task. Batching is when you group similar tasks together, and you do them all at once rather than switching back and forth between different projects or subjects.
For example, I make a point to do all my social media posts first thing every Monday morning, so I don’t have to circle back to address Facebook or Twitter over and over.
So how do you create a batch? Make a list of all the recurring tasks you have over the course of a week. That could be conference calls, sales calls, meetings, emails, blogs, podcasts, marketing, research, or whatever else you end up doing every week, over and over. Once you have that list, put the like-items together in a batch and schedule out a time to tackle those items all at once. Even better, schedule them in a time-block.
2. Time-Blocking. Once you have your batches, assign the task batches to time blocks. A time block is a set amount of time you allot for a project. If this is emails, give yourself thirty minutes to focus on only emails. You’ll be surprised to see how many more you are able to send or reply to when you are hyper-focused on that one task.
This is an especially good method for dealing with tasks you dislike. You will be more likely to do something irritating or scary if you know you only have to do it for a set amount of time.
3. Remove Distractions. Even the best of us fall victim to Instagram Reels from time to time. Nothing is more distracting than our phones. From constant notifications to the mind-numbing escape of social media, if you’re not careful, you can whittle away your entire day on a screen.
The best way to avoid this distraction is to put your phone away, or at the very least, on silent mode.
4. Create a calendar. Most entrepreneurs and business owners rely heavily on a well-crafted schedule or calendar. How else could you possibly keep track of everything?
But I’m not just talking about a list of meetings and appointments. I’m talking about creating a schedule to track your goals over each quarter. Are there big marketing days you need to prepare for (like Black Friday or a Mother’s Day Sale)? Those plans should be made WAY before the date of the promotion.
Keep a calendar of upcoming activities that need to be done can make it easier to track and manage your overall goals. Want to make it extra organized? Try color-coding your calendar by goal, or by genre. Maybe profit goals are in green, whereas marketing appears in maroon. Customize your choices based on how your mind thinks and what you associate with each color. Green will always mean money to me….and everything else falls into alliteration or rhyming.
5. Automate. Automation is key to productivity, especially when it comes to social media, data gathering, email marketing, and other mundane tasks. If you can use an app or special software to automatically categorize or schedule your tasks, then do it!
There are so many tools that make this easier like IFTTT, Buffer, Hootsuite, and more. Yes, there can be a bit of a learning curve at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be rewarded with much more time!
6. Delegate. Delegating can be scary because no one knows your business like you, but in the end, you need to do it. Delegating allows you the freedom to work on the “big picture” items in your business, while handing-off some of the more time-consuming tasks to someone better suited.
The key is to make sure you are handing the right tasks to the right people.
- Is it time-consuming? Hand it off.
- Is it something that can be taught or duplicated? Hand it off.
- Is it something you hate? Hand it off.
7. Track Expenses. This may not seem like a productivity tip, but nothing throws your world into a spiral faster than realizing you have no cash flow in your business. Prevent this by keeping diligent books and knowing where your money is, not just come tax-time, but daily, weekly, and monthly.
A good bookkeeping software, like Quickbooks, can help you with this. You want to know what your money is doing so you can maintain your productivity and increase profitability, always.
8. Create Routines. Consistency and discipline will get you further in business (and life) than any luck or talent. One way to maintain that discipline is by setting up, and sticking to, a series of routines.
Start with a morning routine every day and finish with an evening routine. If you are really looking to increase your productivity, then the rest of your day should follow a similar routine (that’s why all that batching and time-blocking comes in handy).
9. Set Deadlines. Yes, you need deadlines! A deadline will help you stay focused and really prioritize your tasks. Missing deadlines could cost you time, money, and clients! Part of owning a business and running it well, is taking responsibility for your goals, and making sure they are met on schedule.
10. Have a plan. As the owner of a business, it’s your job to make sure things are running smoothly and running well. Having a clear plan and strategic goals will help you stay on course, even when your responsibilities seem never-ending. It gives you the drive to keep going no matter what.
At the start of every day, have a goal in mind. What steps can you take every day to make that goal a reality? What’s your weekly goal? Your monthly goal? Write it out and work towards that! Need some help making a plan? Try setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. A well-defined goal could be the key to your overall productivity and efficiency.
Are you looking for ways to make yourself or your business more productive? Find out how a coach can help you by scheduling a free consultation today!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.