If you want to work less but make more money you need to focus your productivity.
And although the following five techniques work, they require discipline.
Are you ready to commit to using them in your small business?
1. Know where you time goes:
Do you know where to invest your time to get the best results?
Here’s a simple technique that can help you find out.
First grab a sheet of paper and a pen. Split the paper into 4 sections using these titles and fill in the relevant tasks from your small business.
A. Not urgent & not important: e.g. paper shuffling, inbound sales calls, junk emails
B. Urgent & not important: e.g: general post, daily accounts (can do monthly)
C. Urgent & important: e.g. client calls, sales enquiries, client’s work
D. Not urgent but important: e.g. marketing strategies, planning, learning new things
What did you find?
Most business owners are shocked by how many of their daily tasks are in the ‘not urgent & not important’ or ‘urgent but not important’ categories.
But in which of these categories do you spend most of your time? Let’s find out…
2. Count your time:
You say there’s not enough time, but are you crystal clear how you spend time throughout your day?
Once you know where you time goes, it’s easier to refocus it and ensure you spend your working day on productive tasks that link to your business goals.
- Layout a Monday-Sunday blank time table (here’s one I used – http://goo.gl/eX5Ap ).
- Write down what you do everyday at work for a week.
- Be ruthless, don’t miss anything – e.g. commuting, personal phone calls, time on social media etc.
At the end of day 7 analyse your time sheet against the A, B, C, D categories from Step 1.
Now you can see how much time you’ve spent on tasks that don’t add anything to your business (A&B tasks) and how much time you’ve invested on those that keep your business going and moving forward (C&D time tasks).
What do you need to change?
3. Plan tomorrow before you finish work today:
If you know what you’re doing the moment you get into your business, you’ll hit the ground running.
Instead of wasting time sitting there with a coffee thinking ‘Right what should I do now? I know let’s check my email’, you’ll get right onto the tasks that will transform your small business.
You can only do this if you plan your work the day before.
But plan smart. Don’t just write a to do list. Instead allocate times to start, deadlines to finish, outline the task you’re doing and get clear on what’s involved. And always make sure your tasks directly link to your business goals.
Then sleep on it. This allows your subconscious to get to work processing what’s coming up the next day. You’ll be amazed at how your ideas flow and challenging problems suddenly get a solution.
4. Take 100% responsibility:
If you’re committed to increasing your productivity, you need to take 100% responsibility for what you spend your time on.
- Keeping your business goals in front of you.
- Hitting your deadlines instead of letting them to slip.
- Avoiding the distractions that put you behind.
- Scrapping the unnecessary stuff that eats up those valuable minutes.
5. Focus, focus, focus:
You don’t need to reply to that email now.
You don’t need to read what’s in your Twitter stream.
You don’t even need that cup of tea.
Instead you need to sit tight, stay focused and finish the work that will move your business. Got it!
What are your productivity secrets? How do you get more done in less time? Please let me know in the comments below.