What separates good business leaders from great ones? It all comes down to how they spend their time. Business owners who can squeeze more productivity out of their day will achieve more than those who don’t. These practical productivity tips can help you do more in less time:
Block out distractions and stay focused. Research has shown that it can take us fifteen minutes or more to get back to working on a task deeply once we have been interrupted. Block out time on your calendar for deep work on specific projects. If you find the siren call of social media too distracting, try using a software program like Freedom or Cold Turkey, which can block your device from the internet, or just block you from going to certain social sites.
Limit meetings. Meetings can be the death of productivity. While communication is important – even and especially at smaller companies – the longer the meeting, the less productive it will be. Try to limit meetings to once a week. To keep your staff from rambling on, have “stand up” meetings where everyone stands and briefly checks in about any road blocks they have encountered in ongoing projects.
Get the most important stuff done in the morning. Each of us has a finite amount of willpower, which is at its strongest in the morning before we get worn out with decision fatigue. Schedule your most important tasks for the morning, and get up a little earlier, if possible, to make sure they happen.
Block out time for email – and only check it during those times. Email can eat a lot of time without accomplishing much. Block out an hour mid-morning and another hour in the mid-afternoon to tackle your inbox, and stay away from it outside of those hours. Vendors and employees will get used to you checking email at those times. If there’s a real emergency, have them call you.
Outsource non-specialized tasks. As a business owner, your time is the most valuable thing your company owns. Try outsourcing non-specialized tasks like assembly, packaging, kitting, and other aspects of order fulfillment to a company like Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries. Here’s what some other business owners had to say about their experiences with outsourcing.
Always be learning! The one thing that every great business owner shares is a passion for continuous learning. Regularly attend business seminars and expert talks, and stay on top of new marketing and business strategies as they’re published.