Do you want to get more done in less time?
As a small business owner, maximising your productivity and making smart use of your time can make the difference between a thriving business and a surviving business.
But did you know that achieving high levels of productivity actually starts in your head?
That’s because your output is influenced by your daily disciplines and the questions you ask yourself.
Try asking these six questions before you start your working day and see if they help you get more done in less time.
1. Do you have a plan for your day?
Without a plan to focus and direct your working day you’re going to get distracted, end up focusing on whatever crops up and forget about the high value work you need to complete to achieve your business goals.
Ideally plan your work the night before. A list is a great way to do that.
But if you haven’t, don’t do anything until that daily to-do is sorted.
2. Have you prioritised your work?
It’s tempting to look at your to-do list and tackle the small, easy stuff first. After all, you can get those ticked off your list.
However it’s more efficient and productive to start with the right stuff.
Perhaps there’s a job on your list that you’re likely to procrastinate over because it’s difficult, is going to take a long time or because it will take you out of your comfort zone. Instead of stewing over it, do it first.
You’ll feel a lot better and your productivity will benefit for the rest of the day.
3. Have you got a deadline for each task?
Great. You have a plan and you have a list of priorities. But have you allotted time with a deadline in which to complete each task? For example have you worked out that 'Task A' will take 90 minutes and you’ll complete it between 8:30 – 10am?
If you don’t do this, you’ll find tasks will extend into whatever time you allow. That means relatively short tasks will take a lot longer and you’ll get a lot less done that you could have.
4. Do you have a way to track time spent?
I use a simple kitchen timer.
I set it for however much time I’ve allotted to a task and it makes a noise when my time is up. Knowing a timer will go off means I don’t have to think about the time. What’s more, I find myself getting all competitive trying to beat the clock, which increases my productivity further.
In addition, the SpinLessPlates software has an inbuilt project timer. It’s a great way to record how much time you spend on projects which in turn allows you to see at a glance if you’ve over or underestimated a time allocation.
5. Have you eliminated distractions?
If you want to achieve more in less time you have to tighten your focus. Having Twitter open or emails pinging is a sure fire way to lose concentration – and then you’ll waste more time trying to get back on track.
Clear your mind of everything but the task at hand. Then watch how your productivity soars.
6. Do you have everything you need to start working?
You don’t want to be faffing and wasting time hunting around for stuff.
If you know there are certain files, papers or notes you need to complete a task get them now. In fact, get yourself in a situation where you can sit tight and just get the job done.
Are you really serious about getting more done in less time?
Boosting the efficiency of your small business takes practice. It means honing your daily rituals to increase productivity, developing disciplines and committing to getting more of the high value work done.
If that sounds like something you’re keen to learn more about, sign up to my mailing list today. It’s easy to do. Simply enter your email address and you’ll receive efficiency boosting tips and practical advice direct to your in box. Can you afford not to?