6 Tips For a Small Business Owner to Enhance Productivity
Small business owners have unique and special opportunities when it comes to how they complete their daily tasks. Often they can do it in creative ways; On the go, from home, or in unusual environments.
This can be both a blessing and a curse. The blessing? You don't have the typical 9-5. The curse? You don't have the typical 9-5.
It's tempting at times to procrastinate, get distracted, and generally use your time poorly when you're a small business owner. Here are some tips to help you stay on track with your time and help you accomplish your goals.
1. Work in time blocks. Devote 10 or 15 minutes to focusing 100% on a task such as answering emails or paying bills, do it without taking a break for any reason. (not even bathroom breaks. I know you can do it!) When you complete your time segment, move on to another one for another task. Breaking up your tasks into manageable time segments can help them seem less daunting and will help you stay focused. Do allow for regular short breaks in between tasks!
2. Don't mix work and downtime. Ouch. I'm so guilty of this! It's hard to shut off your brain when you don't work conventional business hours. But guess what? If you're halfway devoted to down time and halfway devoted to working, you won't do a good job with either. Pick when you're going to be working and when you'll be "off", and stick to it, barring emergencies. And I mean real emergencies!
3. Delete your social media apps, or find a timer based app to help manage usage. You knew I was gonna say this, right? There's no easier way to waste time than a "quick Facebook check" that turns into 30 minutes down a rabbit hole of looking at your ex girlfriend's aunt's photo album of her puppies. Nope. Social media usage is a must for many small businesses, but keep it under control. There are apps that will allow you to program it to only look at it for a certain time limit each day, or only during certain hours. Better yet, delete them off your phone altogether and catch up on your computer when work is over.
4. Stay hydrated and nourished. Yes, snacking steadily can be a distraction and deter you from accomplishing things. But being irritable and focused on your hunger and thirst is even worse! Try to keep a station with simple mess-free snacks and drinks near your most used work station, and carry some on the go with you as well, as you're able.
5. Take care of yourself. A stressed out, harried, frazzled person will not be productive for long. You can't pour from an empty cup. Don't goof off 24/7, but do be sure you take time to have rest and self care. You will be sharper, wiser, and better for it in the long run!
6. Tackle the hard stuff first, whether it is hard because it is your least favorite or because it actually takes a refined focus, concentration and grit to get through it. Often I find it energizing when it is done. ‘Wow, now the rest of my day is a piece of cake.’ Ask a colleague or friend for advice too, perhaps they have solutions you never thought of or have tried.
And there you have it. Just a few tips I've learned about enhancing productivity as a small business owner.