Time is the elusive commodity that all entrepreneurs struggle to optimize. No matter the industry, the success level, the size of the business – being productive with your time is a difficult skill to master. No group feels this more than the small business owner who often has fewer resources, smaller budgets, and leaner teams to delegate tasks to. However, the real issue is how to be productive with the time that you have. The good news is Pet Butler has the tips you need to be more productive with your time during the day.
How Can I Be More Productive With My Time?
- Set goals. The first step in productivity is often overlooked. Rather than just diving in to tackle the tasks at hand, it is a good practice to take a step back and assess what’s important. Setting your goals and then mapping out how those tasks serve the purpose of achieving those goals. The ones that don’t maybe can be eliminated from your to-do list.
- Create a better to-do list. Technology can help support your productivity goals in a big way. An added benefit, many of these tech platform offer a freemium model so it’s easy on the budget. Some of the more popular tools include Asana, Trello, and Todoist. These tools can help you create views of both work and personal to-do lists as well as help you sync up with other members of your team.
- Use the resources you have. As a small business owner, you may feel like you have to do everything. That mindset got you to the place you are now – likely because you are a go-getter with a strong work ethic. However, you may need to start looking at the resources you have and outsourcing where you can streamline your efforts and get more done quickly. Do you have an employee that could step up and get the job done right? Taking the time to train staff to get done the things you need, efferently is key.
- Do less (yes less). Working around the clock can make you less productive. While it seems counterintuitive, taking a break can actually make you more productive. Working late at night or over the weekend may be unavoidable at times as a small business owner but it shouldn’t be the norm. If this kind of schedule becomes a habit, it can lead to mistakes, stress, and burnout – all things that work against productivity.
- Be realistic. When you line up the things you have to do on any given workday, keep it real. Be sure to factor in the unexpected things that always happen, like questions from employees or personal things like kids’ afterschool sports. These all take some of your time, so set yourself up to succeed by painting a true picture of what you have to do.
- Avoid distractions. Sounds easy, right? Distractions abound from social media to reactive problems that pop up in the email inbox. It takes a heightened level of discipline to battle distractions in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-technical environment. Set up blocks on time in your time management tool (see tip #2) for social media, email, returning phone calls, and then let things wait while you stay focused on the task at hand.
- Create good habits. Everyone’s work demands, personal life, and work styles are different. Working on creating good habits will look different for all of us. Here are some general tips that you can customize to your small business, your style, and your schedule.
3 Tips To Being More Productive
- Get up early. Tap into the quiet time when everyone else is commuting, sleeping, or having breakfast to get some work done.
- Skip meetings. Some businesses create a no-meeting zone on the calendar at a broad level. Others require careful consideration of the attendees before inviting them. Other small business owners delegate meeting attendance to another employee to avoid the constant churn of meetings.
- Set up your workspace. This may look like working from home away from the office, working in a different space in your office that is more conducive to focus, or even working at a shared space or coffee shop can help you tune out your distraction and get stuff done.