You work hard enough. And there’s a limit to how much more effort you can put into your small business. At some point, you are going to have to find a better way to get things done. With that in mind, here is a list of seven simple strategies which have proven to be effective for successful small-business owners as a means of increasing overall productivity.
Automate everything you can
Put your business on cruise control. In this day and age, you shouldn’t be scratching out checks to pay regular bills or purchase orders each month. By putting tasks on autopilot, you free yourself up to tackle more important aspects of the job.
Use technology as much as possible
This idea functions in the same way as the first by freeing your energy up for more productive activities. Stone Age hominids understood this, and so developed tools to hammer, grind, cut, make fire and so forth. To the extent that you can get tools to do work, use them. This includes software and apps, as well as hardware.
Science has spoken, and sleep, it turns out is critically important to productivity. Studies indicate that loss of sleep impairs innovative thinking and flexible decision-making. A lack of sleep also makes us work slower and makes tasks become more difficult. Additionally, naps have been found to be an excellent method of increasing mental alertness. Keep a sofa or cot in the back room and grab 20 – 30 minutes of rest in the afternoon, and you’ll be at your best for the rest of the day.
Set a time for email
Unless you’re expecting something urgent, pick a couple times during day to sit down and clear out your inbox. You’d be surprised how much of a time suck it is to respond to each message as it hits your smartphone. By setting aside time for email, you’ll be able to focus on your actual responses and spend the rest of your day undistracted by the constant ping from your inbox. If you have high-maintenance client, either explain your turnaround time or set up special notifications to alert you to their messages.
Keep plants around
This is more than simply an aesthetic improvement to the decor. Plants, studies show, contribute to improved creativity, concentration and general wellbeing. Furthermore, plant-filled rooms tend to have significantly less bacteria, which translates into less sick days.
Work outside the office
Sunshine provides important vitamins that our bodies need, get some. We live in a mobile world in which it’s easy to work remotely. Not only will you feel better, you’ll think more creatively and be less likely to burn out. Extend this opportunity to your employees and they’ll also reap the same benefits.
Hire a personal assistant
Have too much on your plate? It may make financial sense to hire an assistant to take some of the ticky-tack to-dos off your list. Make sure your time is more valuable than what you would be paying out to an entry-level worker, but if you could bring in more business with the time you spend on paperwork or managing your calendar, it may be time to make the hire. Don’t have the budget to make a full-time hire? Plenty of services like Zirtual offer virtual assistants that you can farm out occasional tasks to anytime.
Simple, right? There is no good reason you shouldn’t be doing employing these strategies already. If you’re not, what are you waiting for?
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