Productivity is the state or quality of producing an item. When running your own business, the most important daily goal an entrepreneur can have is to utilize as much time during the day to be as productive as possible. Here are 10 simple productivity hacks that will give any business owner an increase in productivity as well as efficiency.
1. Create Clarity With Purpose Driven Goals
Create a clear sense of purpose for you to avoid procrastination. Many times, it can be a direct result of not having a clear concise goal. Establishing tangible targets and deadlines that allow you to be focused on your overall goal eliminates room for procrastination. Instead of thinking about what needs to be done next, you can fully immerse yourself on your next task once one has been completed. One of my mentors once said that 80 percent of your results will come from why you want to do something versus how to do something. It can be easy to do a mediocre job when your why isn’t strong enough. Make sure your purpose is strong and clear.
2. Work SMARTer and Not Harder
Another hack one can use to stay productive within their business is to always make SMART goals. Remembering this acronym can help an entrepreneur stay productive within their business.
- Specific – Make sure your goals are specific and designed around your objective.
- Meaningful – Reflect on your goals can ensure that each decision being made is meaningful and is aligned with what you define as important.
- Action Oriented – Create a course of action for your goals.
- Realistic/Responsible – Make your goals reasonable within your capabilities.
- Time-Bound – Create deadlines and time frames for each of your goals.
Following these guidelines to achieve your goals will help you stay on track and make sure their establishment is being as productive as possible. For example, let’s analyze the importance of being specific with your goals. Let’s say your goal is to be rich, then what does that mean exactly? $1? $1 million? $25,000 in residual income? When do you want to achieve this goal? 1 year? 10 years? 100 years? Many new business owners I speak with have a general idea of what they want, but rarely do I meet anybody that has SMART goals. On the other hand, when I meet successful business owners, they can give you specific details of their SMART goals.
3. Parkinson’s Law
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Parkinson’s Law essentially means work fits into the time in which we give it. If we do not have defined deadlines for goals and objectives, our workload will continue to expand until our final completion deadline. It is important to create “Bright Line Deadlines”, deadlines that are adhered to prior to the completion date. This will not only eliminate procrastination but also allow for the project to fit into the time allotted. If your deadline is within one month, then make it your goal to complete the task within three weeks. You can always count on the unexpected; therefore, it’s always a good idea to try and give yourself a shorter deadline. This way you are not stressing out as you approach your deadline.
4. Focus On Non-Urgent Important Tasks
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. Important tasks directly contribute to the success of your long term goal. Urgent tasks need to be taken care of immediately but do not necessarily contribute to your overall goal. Finding a balance between an important task and urgent task will create a system that determines the efficient amount of time you need to spend dealing with both. Establishing this balance will train you to deal with unforeseen occurrences in a calm and collective way as opposed to being reactionary. There are dozens of things that are demanding our attention. Unexpected favors from friends and family, spam e-mail, notifications from social media, telemarketers, and that thing you were supposed to get done last week. Many of these distractions keep us away from the things that will have the biggest impact on our lives. We rarely seem to have enough time to complete a tutorial, read a book, have a morning meeting, go to the gym, or properly train our team. According to Stephen Covey, the author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we are more likely to get better results if we can focus on tasks that are not urgent but important.
5. Give Up On Multi-Tasking
Research has shown that bouncing from activity to activity not only causes stress but doesn’t allow the entrepreneur to give their all when starting each task. Productivity routines are a much more efficient way to handle your daily task. Identify what the most important actions are that need to be worked on daily. Schedule specific times during the day to complete these tasks. Putting an end to multitasking may be difficult in the beginning, but this will bring a significant difference in the level of productivity to your establishment. One of my mentors once said, “Energy flows where focus goes.” If you want to feel like you have accomplished something today, then focus on completing one task at a time. It is often better to have 100 percent of one task complete, then to have one percent of 100 tasks complete.
6. Turn Off Notifications
You may be reading this and believe it is a crazy idea, but yes. Please turn off your notifications. Having too many distractions such as notifications will have you focusing on other people’s agendas as opposed to your own. For example, the goal of social media is to keep you on their platform as long as possible, because it makes them more profitable. Therefore, they are going to consistently show you the most engaging content based on your clicks and browsing history. In fact, according to statista.com, we have been spending more and more time on social media every year. As of this writing, the average social media users spend an average of 135 minutes on social media.
7. Unsubscribe Regularly
Schedule at least 10 minutes of time to read emails and unsubscribe to useless emails. The general rule of thumb for email subscriptions is if you haven’t benefited from the source after two weeks, then unsubscribe. These emails are filled with agendas that don’t necessarily benefit you. They will normally consume too much of your time and reduce your productivity level.
8. Build Motivation To Stay On Track
Understand what causes you to become unmotivated and less productive. More importantly, understand what motivates you. One suggestion would be to start a contract with yourself. Set deadlines and goals and real consequences if you do not meet them. Get the courage to tell other people your goals. This way your peers can hold you accountable for your goals. This will add an additional incentive to staying motivated. Also, change your posture. Anthony Robbins, the author of Awaken the Giant from Within says that our positive physiology is a key ingredient to breaking any negative patterns. The way we carry ourselves can affect our level of motivation. Sit up straight. Speak clearly. Speak aloud. This may seem like a simple and awkward task at first, but it will result in a significant difference in your motivation. If you are motivated and energized you will have an increase in your productivity.
9. Set Boundaries and Stick To Them
It is extremely important to set forth boundaries for yourself as well as your goals. The first boundary you can set and follow through on can be your working hours. Many people start their day by reading emails immediately after waking up. This does not result in getting more accomplished or getting a head start on any task. If you set forth a standard work schedule ahead of time, you allow yourself to stay organized and to follow through with all major decisions. You should also establish a work area if working from home.
10. Build A Road Map To Success
It would be impossible for you to master all of the information given to increase productivity, but if you can implement these suggestions into a system that is unique to you, then you will notice a large increase in productivity. Some businesses may need to focus on boundaries and motivation while others may need to understand the disadvantages of multitasking. The important thing is to understand who you and your company are and take action on what you need to work on. We are told that knowledge is power; however, that is far from the truth. Knowledge is only potential power. It’s time to act right now! Even if it’s a small action that can lead you in the correct direction. So what action can you take right now that will help you become more productive?
11. Bonus Tip
Follow the 4 Ds of efficiency.
- Delete – If it’s not important, then delete it
- Defer – If it’s not urgent, defer to complete it later.
- Delegate – If someone else can do it, then hire someone to do it for you. For example, you can hire someone to help you with your website, graphics, bookkeeping, or marketing. You can get more accomplished by hiring the experts to do the job for you
- Do – If nobody else can do it, then train someone. However, if nobody can do it right now, then you have no choice but to do it yourself, but this should be your last option.
www.chavezwebdesign.com Written by Darren James