7 Steps Toward Driving Small Business Productivity

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Share priorities and plans with people who can contribute to your small business productivity.

Once you understand your time usage better you can focus taking back control of your time with a few productivity tips.

In part one If You Want to Accomplish Something Become Productive Not Busy we covered the following:

  • Being Busy is Not Being Productive.
  • The definition of busy: busy includes ‘having a great deal to do’, ‘being occupied’ and even ‘being industrious’, and even ‘devoted to work’.
  • According to the definition of productivity: productivity involves “being able to generate, create or enhance goods or services”. To be productive you need to have a “material impact on something or produce something”.
  • Personal Time Analysis – Understand How Your Time Is Spent
  • A simple way of tracking your time includes taking a ‘day planner’
  • Six apps you can use to effectively track and then analyze your time usage.

Here are the Seven Steps Towards Productivity:

1.  Focus on your health: Yes, I am starting with this one because it is a fundamental element of productivity. You cannot be productive if you are burnt out, tired, stressed.

Build into your routine time to exercise, sleep and eat well. Find and establish the routines you need to maintain your health and prioritize it each day. Benjamin Franklin scheduled himself 7 hours a night for sleep. It is important that the sleep be restful sleep and not just laying in bed tossing in turning.

Taking brief naps and periods of mindful rest can also help maintain your physical and mental health.

2.  Assess your priorities: How well do you know and understand your goals?

Chasing the wrong new customer or chasing a small savings might seem a good way to make or save money but not if it costs you something else that is important, like your health or trusted relationships. Each day and every week as part of the routine you have established, put aside a short burst of time to question the importance of the things that are keeping you busy but may not be helping you advance towards your goals.

3.  Clarify and evaluate your goals: By understanding your end goals and where your activities fit into your goals you can evaluate where tasks fall in your priority list. Align each task with a purpose to determine if you should continue, alter or drop the task from your week.

4.  Build healthy routines: Routines can increase your productivity, when you establish routines that help you create good habits.

To change your ineffective routines into productive ones you need to put time in over a few weeks to make the change stick. Try creating routines that involve blocking time each day and week to complete specific tasks, to review communications and respond as needed, to regularly delete email messages, to rest, have fun, and more.

Honor time for yourself and with people who are important to you. Try to be proactive and not reactive in how you are spending your investment in time.

    5.  Manage your technology: Technology can be a blessing and a curse.

Technology can increase your productivity by allowing you to manage your communications, to-do-lists, tack activities and more. However, technology can be a time waster if you are constantly switching tools, investigating new technology or more. Source information on technology from others to identify which tools might in fact help you remain productive.

     6.  Take back your time: Treat your time like your money, save it and invest it wisely.

When you evaluate the time you are spending on various task throughout your day you increase your understanding of where your time is going. Consider time spent in tasks that do not directly lead to your end goals as costs or liabilities and then determine what your time is worth doing. Learn to say no to the things that interfere with your priorities.

    7.  Share the workload: Bring on board temporary help at home or at work and identify what tasks you can delegate.

It may be your business but you cannot always do it all. Select others’ who are more skilled or have expertise in an area, find a mentor, barter services with someone else and learn to trust others to do what is needed. You do not have to make all of these changes at once. Select one productivity tip to implement each week or even once a month. Don’t forget to share the workload in making a change from busy to productive.

Share your priorities and plans with people who can contribute to your productivity by helping you remember to think about yourself and the people who are important to you.

Related articles:

Part 1: If You Want to Accomplish Something Become Productive Not Busy

De-stress for Efficiency and a More Positive Outlook

Your Employees Can Help Move the Needle

3 Ways Small Business Owners Can Take Control Of Stress

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