If you want to develop and grow your small business you need to embrace habits that enable you to get more done in less time.
Inefficient working, caving into distractions and procrastinating on the high value tasks will erode your confidence and undermine your business’ potential.
Which means you need to work smarter, tighter and more efficiently.
And that means squeezing every last ounce of output from each working day because let’s face it, time is your most valuable (and finite) resource.
To help, here are five smart productivity tools with the potential to raise your output through the roof.But don’t take my word for it. Try them for yourself and see…
1. Get more stuff done with lists
Heading up this top five is simple lists. Whilst there are a multitude of software solutions, I think you can’t beat pen and paper.
- Make a list of your business goals so you’ve got something to aim for.
- Break up the long-term picture with lists of your monthly targets.
- Plan your week with a detailed list of to dos.
- Prioritise your daily list of tasks locked in with a completion deadline.
Then happily tick off jobs when they are completed. Your confidence will soar as more stuff gets done, you’ll have a visual record of the progress you’ve made, and you’ll find yourself starting and finishing more stuff as you get the productivity bug.
2. Control your schedule with a diary
Don’t try to keep important meetings, deadlines and appointments in your head. Instead get your schedule organised with a diary and clear your mind for valuable thinking space.
What’s more, by having commitments recorded all in one place, you’ll find you can maximise your time away from your office by looking at how you can combine appointments, fit in networking meeting, or even brainstorm your next marketing strategy.
If you’re working smart, you’ll always find something to do that moves you closer to your business goals.
3. Work from anywhere with Google Docs
Get your business in the cloud and take advantage of some of the remarkable features available for FREE through Google Docs.
This cloud app means you can work from anywhere with an internet connection. You don’t even need to use your own computer or laptop.
In fact, Google Docs is one of the reasons I was able to continue to run my business whilst taking a family holiday in Florida. In addition, if more than one person needs to work on or edit a document, Google Docs allows you to do it effortlessly. You can even track changes.
4. Discipline your time with a timer
I’m committed to ensuring I work on those high value tasks that will grow my business.
When you are spinning so many plates it can be easy to get side-tracked and distracted by the easy stuff and get sucked into the busyness of the day-to-day pressures.
Each day I timetable a power hour where I work solidly on a specific task (that I’ve identified and scheduled in advance). During this hour I remove all distractions. No emails, social media, phones call… just 100% concentration on the task at hand.
I use my iPhone or a kitchen timer to block out the hour.
Simply set it for a specified period of time and then discipline yourself to sit tight and focus until the beeper goes off. And if you want an online tool, check out.
5. Invest in a CRM that works with your micro business
Countless businesses are so overwhelmed with time hungry administration tasks that they miss out on sales because they forget to follow up leads.
A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is an invaluable tool to help organise your contacts, keep track of your live enquiries, monitor quotes and get clear on your most valuable customers. What’s more, a good CRM will have comprehensive reporting capabilities to help you track sales, monitor your time and identify your referral sources.
It’s an effective way to rev up your efficiency and stay in control of your management data.
SpinLessPlates is a clever CRM and small business management tool built by me. It’s easy to use and specifically designed for use with your small or micro business.
You can take it for a 30-day trial run when you click here: Small Business Software. There’s no obligation and no credit card details are needed.
Give it a go to see how it could improve your productivity.
Which productivity tools do you swear by? How do you get more done in less time? What do you think of CRM systems? Do you prefer tech solutions to pen and paper?
Please let me know in the comments below.