Being a small business owner is hard as you have a lot of tasks to complete but little time to execute effectively.
Below are 17 Insanely Actionable Business Productivity Tips that you can take action on, today!
Some of it may take a few minutes of your time, and the rest could take a chunk of your time.
We have listed out 17 of them. You can do at least one of them, if not all.
Just do it!
1. Beat Procrastination by Prioritizing your Tasks
Procrastination kills business productivity. We all know it way too well.
While reading this article, you could be thinking about a task that you had to do yesterday or about something in your personal life.
When you switch from the present task to do the one which you remembered, you tend to forget about the task at hand which results in mediocre business productivity.
Prioritizing your tasks helps get over this productivity killer.
However, we know its hard to figure out how to prioritize when you get overwhelmed with work.
Here’s how you can prioritize your tasks.
- Take deep breaths and stretch yourself or get some fresh air to relax.
- Get back to your desk and cut out all distractions like Social Media, email, your phone etc.
- Get a pen and paper or a small notebook
- Jot down each and every task that you have at hand. Just write down everything without any categorization or set priority.
- Choose which of these tasks are more important based on a promise date or a deadline associated to the task.
- Roll up your sleeves and get to work. (Coffee helps for an added boost to being more productive)
2. Save time by outsourcing / automating tasks
Learning is a never-ending process in life, but it comes at a cost of time which is money.
If you have a task at hand that requires are a huge learning curve, then it would make sense to outsource it.
For technology service or solution providers like us, periodical backups are crucial and a necessity for the safety of the business.
If your backup taking process is time-consuming, it would make sense to automate the process with the ideal solution for your business.
Automating and outsourcing your tasks leaves you more room for doing things that you do best and for innovating in your industry for overall business growth. How do you automate or outsource your tasks?
3. Eat that frog: Start your day with something hard
It was Mark Twain who said, “Eat a live frog every morning and the rest of the day would be much easier.”.
Obviously, he wasn’t talking about eating a “frog”.
According to Quote Investigator,
Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.
Doing your most difficult task and completing it motivates you to efficiently handle the next challenge.
Before you know it, you’ll be having a snowball effect on getting your tasks done and your motivation to strike off each task.
4. Avoid “half-work” and “pseudo-work” at all costs
Both of these terms refer to the situation where you think you are doing something and making a difference but instead you aren’t. You aren’t 100% invested in the task. We all know what “working” means. It means when you are actually doing something productive by putting in your efforts, time and most importantly dedication.
However, when you check your phone for Facebook updates and Tweets every 2 minutes while making a presentation or report, it’s not “working”; it is “pseudo-work” or at most “half work”. Avoid half and pseudo work by being more dedicated to the task at hand; it’s just a mind game
5. Commit to 10 minutes of important, non-urgent work each day
In every small or large business, every task falls in two of these four categories; important, not important, urgent, not urgent. Of course, you would prioritize the tasks which are both important and urgent. And it is self-explanatory discarding tasks which are neither important nor urgent. However, what about important but not urgent tasks? You have put them in “important” category because they are important.
Commit to 10 minutes of important, non-urgent work each day to get rid of those important tasks. It would boost your business productivity significantly.
6. Improve Your Focus by Reducing Task Switching
Most people would have you believe that switching from task to task rapidly to complete multiple tasks can help you be more productive, as it gives you the illusion of acting on multiple things.
The fact of the matter is that task switching reduces your thinking capacity as your brain has switched from one thinking process to the next.
Each task requires you to think about “what was done before”, “what needs to be done” and “How to get it done efficiently”. Due to the multiple thinking processes, you can’t truly give your 100% dedication to the said task as your mind needs to recover from the previous task(s) which you were walking on.
How to reduce task switching for improved business productivity?
- Gather all the small tasks you have like updating social media, replying to emails, support inquiries etc.
- Batch tasks of similar nature together.
- Action on each of the batches one by one.
- Bonus tip: If possible take a 5-min break between each batch of tasks to rewire your focus.
7. 10x Your Focus by Sleeping Better
We all know many midnight owls amongst who are so passionate about working on their ideas and their business to get more tasks done.
Its even more present amongst the young entrepreneurs who sleep less and work more.
Some even quote Curtis Jackson who said “Sleep? Sleep is for those people who are broke. I don’t sleep because I have an opportunity to make my dream become a reality”
The passion is strong in the statement. However, lack of good sleeping habit can drain your energy and increase stress level.
Not to mention the long list of health issues that comes along with it.
Often times people say Coffee is all you need, to be focused when you haven’t slept well, but research has shown that coffee is not an alternative to good night’s sleep.
Sleeping less and working more can provide short-term productivity boost and should ONLY be utilized as a last resort to get things done.
Here are some steps to getting a good night’s sleep.
- Switch off all mobile devices 30 mins prior to sleep
- Avoid coffee after 6 pm at all costs
- Have a cup of warm honey lemon tea prior to going to bed
- Make sure your bedroom is cold enough
8. Squash your distractions to increase efficiency.
Work distractions are unpredictable and that’s why they are harder to tackle. You need to bring out all of your creativity to kill this beast. It could be noisy colleagues, kids or even the traffic outside. As mentioned above, our brains are not designed to do multitasking and even a small thing like noisy computer fan can drastically reduce your business productivity.
Of course, you can’t stop the traffic or co-workers’ noise but you can:
- Use noise cancellation headphones to reduce these distractions.
- Do not ignore these small distractions, eliminate them.
9. Strike off more tasks with Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro technique was developed back in the 1980s. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato, as the technique was inspired by a typical tomato-shaped kitchen timer. The purpose of this technique is to motivate you, align your focus and increase overall business productivity. It’s pretty simple.
- Set the timer for 25 minutes and work continuously.
- After 25 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes and repeat.
- After 4 of these sessions, take a longer break of 20 minutes.
10. Categorize Your to-do list
To-do lists can do wonders when it comes to increasing your business productivity. Not only they help managing a number of different tasks, but they also keep you motivated because crossing items off from the list is an amazingly satisfying feeling. However, if you have a cluttered to-do list with random items on it, it can backfire. There are few things you should keep in mind.
- Having a well-organised to-do list is the only way to be productive.
- A messy list is simply counterintuitive.
At Technosource we use Todoist like our life depends on it. It’s an amazing task management app and service; give it a try.
11. Immediately do any task that presents itself that would only take one minute to complete
As mentioned in the above business productivity tips, to-do lists are important and what’s more important is categorising them. However, not every task should be put on a to-do list. Adding every small task to the queue put unnecessary pressure on your mind that can result in stress which ultimately leads to less business productivity.
The rule is simple; if a task presents itself that would take one minute to complete, do it immediately.
12. Get control of your meetings
Meetings are an integral part of any business and they provide the opportunity to everyone involved to share their ideas and tackle challenges. However, in many of the cases, these meetings are waste of time as they help people achieve nothing. Of course, not all meetings are pointless but if poorly planned, they can easily reduce the overall business productivity.
Here are few tips:
- Keep your meetings short.
- Keep your meetings relevant to just one agenda.
- Make sure you notify every participant 2-3 days before the meeting so they can prepare for that.
13. Give your team ready access to the information they need
Information is power; if you keep away necessary information from your team members, you cripple them and that would drastically reduce their overall business productivity. Every piece of relevant information should be readily available and as a business owner, it is solely your responsibility to ensure that the provided information is accurate.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Encourage communication between team members and co-workers.
- Allow them to collaborate on projects they are working on mutually.
14. Be serious about team member satisfaction
If you want to increase the productivity of a team, the only way to do that is by focusing on individual members. You have to put a little effort here as everyone is different; you need to identify their needs and find out what motivates them. When your team members are happy, satisfied and highly motivated, their individual, as well as combined business productivity, would skyrocket.
Here are some tips:
- Provide them with the best tools and resources.
- You also need to value their input.
- Listen to their ideas. Not only it would provide you ideas but your employees would feel valued too.
15. Decide what’s vital versus what’s nice to do
Add every small or big task in your to-do list. It must have daily routine things like replying to clients as well as things you do on yearly basis like doing taxes. After you are done categorising your tasks; add annotations or comments stating their nature.
- Mark tasks that are essential for your business regardless of whether you like doing those or not.
- Mark tasks which you love doing but aren’t important.
You can also decide which tasks should be done by you instead of someone else because you are good at that. This would help you keep a keen eye on things as well as help you better understand which tasks are vital to your organization.
16. Happy Employees, gets more things done!
This tip is a no-brainer but its very significantly important to mention over and over again.
Since the days of the success of Apple and after making a movie highlighting it’s success there was a rise of managers and business owners who treat their employees unfairly and with complete lack of respect.
Time has shown us that those businesses don’t last for long as the employees don’t become inspired enough to be productive in the workplace.
If your team is not inspired to get things done, your business will get affected directly as a result of it.
A workplace managed by a person who doesn’t treat their employees fairly facilitate a stressful environment which kills business productivity no matter how good your infrastructure is.
Here are some ways you can nurture happy employees
- Train them so they can get better at their job.
- Treat them with respect.
- If they underperform, use empathy to understand them and help them as much as you can, to get better.
- Applaud your staff’s success, be relatively silent about their failures.
- Let go of the need for control and embrace the creativity contributed by your team.
17. Embrace Technology to Simplify Your Operations
Technology has literally improved our social and professional lives for the better. It has become an essential part of our lives that we can’t live without.
Due to this fact, it is safe to say that businesses who don’t use technology in their favour to improve their processes are soon going to be extinct.
Businesses with a lot of assets to manage and track could simplify their operations by implementing an asset tracking solution, instead of relying on spreadsheets or hand-written ledgers.
If you are a logistics company with items placed in warehouses, then a warehouse stock control solution could 10x your business productivity to effortlessly track your inventory accurately and also give you a forecast on how much more of items you need to order based on your purchase orders.
In retail businesses, a point of sale solutions (POS) can help you streamline the entire sales cycle. The significant increment in business productivity would also put a positive effect on the customers.
In addition to a POS, our in-house stocktake solution can virtually eliminate any possibility of human-error and save valuable time.
Fortunately implementing the right technology to simplify your operations is really easier than you might think.
- Pick up the phone
- Dial 1300 300 344
- Explain your problem
We’ll take it from there and improve your business productivity.
Now it’s your turn…
That’s a lot of actionable tips we shared that you can take today to improve your productivity.
You can do at least one of them, if not all.
Just do it!
If you found these tips helpful, we’d really appreciate if you would share this story on Facebook.
We’d also like to hear from you: what systems or productivity hacks are you following to be more productive.
Leave a comment and let us know.