Becoming more productive is one way of ensuring you excel at what you do and you maximize the time you have available. If you’re in business, it’s important to be at your best and ensure your productivity is at its best. Following are some of the best productivity hacks you might want to embrace.
1. Schedule a monthly 80-20 analysis
This has proven to work time and time again. Focus on the 20% of activities that bring about 80% of your desired results.
Doing this will enable you to figure out where you should and should not be spending your time. Once you identify the highest and best use of your time, you can delegate and/or eliminate the rest. Perry Marshall's book, 80/20 Sales & Marketing, is a great read that will give you more in-depth information on how to take advantage of the 80/20 rule in your business.
2. Keep your list of priorities short
Being responsible for the success of a small business may require you to be equally attentive to your to-do list. Writing down what you should do doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the priorities you should focus on. It’s important to have a short list of priorities so you can hone in on the projects that are truly important.
3. Sideline non-urgent emails
Keeping abreast of the latest news/trends that are specific to your area of business is important. This doesn’t mean you should read every newsletter that comes into your inbox.
I realized I was falling into this trap and set up filters in Gmail to send these types of email messages into another folder. Now, I review that folder when I have time. It's been incredibly effective.
4. Restrict meetings to 30 minutes
Consider making it a habit of restricting your meetings to 30 minutes. Most issues can be addressed in and around those minutes or less. The only time I would consider extending the time is when you feel a certain issue needs extra attention. Significant amounts of time are wasted in meetings, get out of this rat trap now!
5. Dedicate downtime for yourself
This might seem counterintuitive. How can you be more productive taking time off work? If all you do is work, you will burnout at some point. You can't burn the candle at both ends forever.
Taking time off to recharge actually helps you come back to work in a better state of mind, ready to work and focused. Check out this article for more details, Take a Vacation: It's Good for Productivity and the Economy.
6. Plan your day around the times you work best
Depending on your flexibility, consider scheduling your workday according to the fluctuations you observe in regards to your energy levels and moods. This can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your productivity. Don't spend the time of day when you are most productive on unimportant tasks.
Fo example, if you tend to fade off in the afternoon, focus on your top priorities first thing in the morning when you are alert and fresh. You will be far more productive when you spend time on your most difficult tasks when you are at your peak performance level.
If you feel overwhelmed, consider delegating some tasks to another person or distributing them to other members of your team. You should spend your time on the things you are great at and delegate the rest. Delegate to people you know are better equipped to handle the tasks you need help with.
8. Avoid analysis paralysis
It's important to have enough information to make an informed decision, but after that, you need to be ready to pull the trigger. Overanalyzing leads to doubt and wasted time.
Check out this article on Jeff Bezos and his philosophy on making business decisions. It's a great read.
9. Have at least one day a week that is meeting-free
If you allow it, meetings will take up far too much of your time, which is why it’s imperative you designate at least one day a week where meetings are forbidden. Take this time to work on critical tasks, projects and goals without distraction.
I started doing this several months ago and it's amazing how much I can get done in a short period of time when there are no distractions. Give it a try.
10. Create a comfortable workspace
Take the time to personalize your workspace, make it your own. Consider personalizing your space with photos of your family members, children, and friends. If that’s not an option, personalize your desktop background.
It's challenging to be productive when you don't feel great about your workspace. Being in an environment where you feel great sets the proper foundation for you to be your most productive.
11. Make your health a priority
Always make your health a priority, without it, you have nothing. Putting your business first at the expense of your well-being is a mistake.
On a plane you are always told to put on your oxygen mask first, then help others. If you aren't in a condition to take care of yourself, you won't be able to do anything to help others or your business.
Lack of physical activity coupled with poor nutrition has been linked to low productivity, so eat balanced meals and drink lots of water.
12. Say "NO" more often
Small business owners have non-stop demands on their time. Often times, we say yes without really thinking about the consequences of it.
Anytime you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Forget about FOMO (fear of missing out) and say no more often. It will free up your time to focus on the things that really matter.
13. Get great at time management
We all have the same amount of time in a day, yet some of us get far more done in that time compared to others. It all comes down to time management. Productivity is directly related to how you manage your time. Give your attention to the important matters and don't stress about the rest.
14. Dump social media
Did you know the average Facebook user spends 50 minutes a day on Facebook? That's almost 6 hours a week!
There are some reasons to be on social media, especially from a business standpoint, but usually, social media is a complete waste of time ! If you can't give it up, at least limit the time you spend on it. The time you save can be spent being more productive and enriching your life.
15. Done is better than perfect
Do you fall into the trap of wanting everything to be perfect? If so, you're not alone. I used to be this way.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should put out substandard, low-grade work. But, nothing is perfect and spending the extra time to try making it perfect is simply a waste of time.
Know when to say when and move on.
I'm sure you can find at least a couple of these tips to implement and be on your way to increased productivity in no time. Have fun!
What tips are you going to try? Feel free to comment below and share.
Check out our FREE cheat sheet to help you catapult your marketing to the next level. Click the image below to get it now.
Header Image Courtesy of Pexels
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President & Founder of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we create marketing systems to help small businesses achieve simple, sustainable growth. We're the bridge between where you are and where you want to be.