As a small business owner, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to check off everything on your to-do list. However, knowing the difference between “being busy” and actually getting things accomplished can be the secret to an efficient business. Here are seven productivity tips you can implement into your daily routine to make the most of every workday.
Set SMART Goals
One of the first productivity tips is goal setting. If you don’t set goals, you may lose focus of what it is you’re trying to accomplish. While this is likely not the first time you’re hearing of SMART goals, they’re important when thinking about the future of your business. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, and by ensuring every one of your goals meets these characteristics, the more likely you are to achieve them. Start by creating long-term goals for your business. Then break those up into smaller goals — things you can get done every month, week, and day. Not only does this help you track your progress and set targets, but having a plan in place also reduces the amount of time you spend on irrelevant, time-wasting tasks.
Blocking out distractions may seem like an obvious productivity tip, but it’s helpful to have a reminder every now and then. From the constant ping of emails to phone calls and random drop-ins from co-workers, the average workday is filled with distractions. Whether you’re working in the office or from home, consider closing your office doors to discourage people from barging in. You can also put your smartphone on “Do Not Disturb” mode, or turn it off altogether when you’re working on a critical task. By doing these seemingly small things, you’re gaining time back in your workday.
Prioritize & Delegate Tasks
It’s important to look at what tasks need to be done first to meet the goals you have set for your business. Organize these tasks into a list where the most critical ones are at the top. These should be tasks that require your personal attention and are critical to the success of your business. Additionally, tasks at the top of your list should be completed first thing in the morning before there is time for distractions to arise. If there are tasks on your list that do not require your personal attention, delegate them to other members of your team. This again helps you leverage productivity tips to free up time in your workday for more important and pressing matters.
Hire the Right People
Before you delegate these tasks, however, you want to make sure you have people with the appropriate skills and knowledge supporting you and your business. If you don’t believe your employees are capable of completing certain tasks, you’re less likely to delegate those needs. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to hire the right people — individuals you trust and who possess the right skills to get their job done.
Automate as Many Task as You Can
When making your list of priorities, it’s important to ask yourself if any of the accompanying tasks can be automated. For example, many businesses automate their accounting procedures by sending recurring invoices or payments. Additionally, you can also automate your social media by scheduling posts ahead of time. There are various apps and services that do these tasks for you, again giving you more time for you to focus on more critical tasks.
Create a Streamlined Set of Processes
Unclear, inefficient processes can not only lead to frustration and miscommunication, but they can lead to a loss in revenue as well. It’s important to create a streamlined set of processes for your business and employees as they ensure everyone has a clear understanding of their daily tasks and the expectations that have been set for them. Not only does this leave less room for error, but it also allows more time for you as a business owner to focus on strategic and creative thinking.
Have a Clear Line of Communication
Similarly, it’s important for your business to have a clear line of communication. In a small business, there is not much room for error, so it’s especially important that everyone is on the same page and is up to date on everything that’s happening within the business. Many organizations use chat platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams to remain in constant communication with one another. Monthly all-company meetings may also be helpful as they allow yourself and your team to sync up and give updates for each department. This helps avoid future mistakes or misunderstandings and improves productivity across your business.
It’s important to find the processes that work best for you and your business. By creating more time to get important tasks done, the more likely you are to generate revenue and run a successful business.