Top 10 Tips To Maximise Productivity
Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being productive.
Your diary may be jam-packed every day but how much time do you have each week to actually work on your business?
I wanted to share some tips to help maximise your productivity so you can get the very best out of yourself and your business:
1. Plan Your Day/ Week Ahead
Sounds simple enough but I regularly come across people who don’t do this. Waking up in the morning with no clue of what the day holds is one of the worst things you can do as a business owner.
Planning the next day ahead each evening could save you a significant amount of time and energy, meaning your days are much more productive and less stressful. Just sit down and make a list of what you need to do the next day. Seriously, it will probably take you around ten mins but could end up making a world of difference to how your days go.
I do this every evening before switching off and it genuinely helps me sleep better.
2. Stay Off The Booze
You’re not an idiot. You already know what alcohol does to the body and mind so I don’t need to give you all the scary stats and info.
If you’re a regular drinker, stay off the booze for a few weeks and see how much your productivity increases. If you don’t want to stop completely, just don’t drink during the week and try to avoid getting absolutely hammered every weekend.
Your body, mind and wallet will thank you for it!
3. Remove Distractions
This is especially important if you work from home. Keep the TV off and stop checking your bloody Instagram to see how many 'likes' last night’s dinner got. You’ve got to be strict with yourself.
If you have a small child, simply remove the child….
only joking ;)
Automating certain tasks can be a total game-changer for small business owners, especially if you’re a one-man-band. Tasks to automate might include;
- Social media – social media is called “social’ for a reason but if you’re busy trying to actually run your business, it’s difficult to remember to keep your social media updated. Use an app such as Buffer to schedule your posts for the day/ week. Just don’t forget to engage with your customers when they comment on your posts!
- Responses to emails – If you send a lot of emails which say the same thing, stop writing them out each time and save a template. OK, this isn’t technically “automation”, but it will still save you time.
- Invoices/ late payments – Use a platform like QuickBooks to automatically send out recurring invoices, meaning you can spend less time on admin and more time building your business.
Do less and achieve more.
The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule states that around 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
As a business owner, focusing on the most critical 20% of your business, and delegating the other 80% will save you a significant amount of time, meaning that you can spend more time being productive, NOT busy.
Business owners spend so much time on admin which although important, is extremely time-consuming and takes you away from actually building that empire of yours.
Work out what the most time-consuming admin tasks are, and think about delegating these to someone else.
Think about it this way, if you charge £50 an hour for your services but pay a VA £18-25 an hour to do your admin, you’re going to be £25-32 an hour better off because you have more time to actually provide your services!
6. Create SPECIFIC Goals
If you don’t have goals to work towards, how are you going to stay super productive?
As business owners, we all need specific goals so we know what direction we are going in.
Don’t just write down vague goals like “build a website” because you’re much more likely to end up procrastinating or putting it off. Make your goals clear and well-defined. For example:
Tasks for this month:
1. Purchase domain
2. Purchase hosting
3. Create a WP account
4. Connect all of the above
5. Install plugins
6. Choose a theme
7. Write 8 blogs
8. Get website live
7. Watch Less TV
The average person watches TV (including streaming channels such as Netflix etc) for around 5 hours a day. That’s 1,825 hours a year!
Even if you cut down your viewing time to 2 hours per day, you’ll end up saving around 1095 hours. That is a hell of a lot more time to be productive.
8. Focus On ONE Task At A Time
Try to avoid chopping and changing between tasks and focus on one thing at a time.
The brain can only focus on so much, and even though you may think you’re getting more done by working on multiple things simultaneously, you’re wrong.
Alifeofproductivity.com words it beautifully:
“multitasking studies show that when we think we’re multitasking, we actually aren’t multitasking. It’s impossible for our brains to focus on two tasks at once—it’s actually rapidly switching between them. Instead of channelling our complete focus and energy into one task, we spread it thin, which prevents us from diving deep into any one of our tasks. When we multitask, we do a mediocre job of everything.”
9. Stop Eating Crap
Eat better and your energy levels and alertness will rise.
Plan your meals and snacks to help you avoid grabbing the first chocolate bar you see because you’re starving and need a quick boost.
Also, drink plenty of water. Your brain is composed of around 73% water. Staying sufficiently hydrated has many benefits including but not limited to:
- Increased concentration
- Better memory function
- Helps to balance your moods and emotions
10. Schedule Meetings Carefully
Do you really need to go to four meetings tomorrow or could you do one or two of them via Skype?
Have you got meetings planned all over the city when you could have probably arranged to have them in much closer proximity?
Does your meeting really need to be two hours long or do you tend to waste loads of time talking about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with why you’re there in the first place?
Stop wasting your precious time and schedule your meetings carefully.
Remember, productivity isn't about how busy you are, it's about how much you can accomplish.
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