Five Questions To Increase Your Productivity Now

Five Questions To Increase Your Productivity Now

Are you busy?

OK. Silly question. If you run a small or micro business there’s no getting away from it. You’ll always have more on your plate that you can ever hope to clear.

Which raises a big problem. If your aim is to increase your productivity and grow a successful small business, what should you focus on?

If you want to get clear, here are five questions to ask…

1. Do I need to do this “easy” stuff right now?

When you’re buried in a pile of "to do" notes and you’re juggling the day-to-day decisions, dilemmas and doing in your micro business, you can feel overwhelmed.

With so much going on, it’s tempting to get busy dealing with the immediate, pressing and easy tasks. By ticking off those quick wins you may see your list shortening – but have you made real progress?

2. What’s the consequence of not doing this task?

There’s a HUGE difference between being busy and being productive. The secret is to differentiate between the two.

When deciding what to focus on, you must work out the significance of each task. Figure out what difference each task will make to your business, your customers or reaching your business goals? Get clear on this and you’ll identify what to do now, tomorrow, later or maybe never.

3. How is this task aligned to my business goals?

If you want your small business to be successful, you must spend more time on those tasks that will move your business closer to your goals. Simple.

You can do this by:

  • Shelving or deprioritising some of the non-essential “nice to dos”.
  • Scheduling a power hour into your working day.
  • Avoid distractions, boost productivity and get more done in less time.

4. Am I procrastinating?

When answering this question you have to get really honest with yourself. Your gut knows the answer.

Maybe that task feels too hard, too challenging or too difficult and so you put it off. And by giving in to procrastination, your business suffers. So take control of those negative thoughts and just get it done!

What’s more, start channelling time and attention into the bigger, more difficult, even scarier tasks, and you’ll see a step change in what your business achieves.

5. Am I applying enough pressure?

If you work for yourself you have to get good at self-motivation.

It’s all too easy to procrastinate and do something else without a boss breathing down your neck! But by letting yourself off the hook your productivity plummets. What’s more, you’ll end up feeling more stressed as goals get missed and your business fails to be as successful as you hoped.

Instead you’ve got to get super smart at planning your working day.

If you work without deadlines, there’s no accountability. So take responsibility. Build that self-discipline and set a start and finish time for each task you schedule. Your productivity will increase as a result.

Increased productivity requires you to take action NOW

When I first started out I imagined running my own micro business would give me a better balance and I’d have more time to spend with my wife and children.

That didn’t happen…

In the early days I struggled to get to grips with time and would often come home after the kids were in bed.

As you know a lack of work/life balance is very demoralising.

I experienced a big difference when I changed my attitude to time. I stopped trying to manage time and instead started to manage myself.

Questions like these kept me on track. They ensured I invested time on the right stuff and now I work less and earn more than before.

How about you? What questions keep you focused? How do you ensure you get more of the important stuff done? How do you fend off the procrastination gremlins? Let me know in the comments below.

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