No matter what field your business is in, improving business productivity should be your top priority. If you can’t stay on top of all your business projects and company day-to-day operations, you stand to lose potential profits and returns. Not to mention, your business growth suffers. But how to do so when your business is small and has less human capital at its disposal? Read on for some tips to maximize business productivity.
1. Plan each day the night before
You know the saying “the early bird gets the worm”? Forget that. Productive people don’t start their days early in the morning, they plan and strategize how to optimize each day the night before. Such a habit isn’t difficult to cultivate. You can start with simple things like choosing which work clothes to wear tomorrow, checking tomorrow’s weather and traffic forecast, and deciding what breakfast to eat to save time. Then, you can graduate to creating a daily to-do list at work. After you are confident with a daily task list, create internal deadlines for weekly assignments and monthly or quarterly targets. If you have a lot to do, learn to prioritize – especially if your business has many sudden or unforeseen projects thrown at it.
Better time management requires time for trial and error. You will start out overestimating or underestimating how much you can do in a day, a week, a month, and so on. But do it consistently and the habit will be formed. Smart planning will make you calmer and feel more prepared, no matter how busy your schedule is.
2. Be wary of multitasking
This scenario happens often: you’re diligently working on a task, then an email notification pops up on your laptop screen. Many of us will stop working halfway to open the email. Don’t. Please don’t. Doing so will only split your focus away from your primary task. When you finally go back to your job, you have to recollect your concentration and pick up where you left off. It’s an unnecessary waste of time. Remember that not every email or message needs to be answered right away. Focus on your priorities.
3. Live a healthy life
This one may sound very basic, but unfortunately, not many business owners pay attention to it. Perhaps because work-life balance is, in a reality, very difficult to harmonize. The examples are easy. Workaholics who don’t get enough sleep. A coworker who snacks when they should be eating a proper meal. And so on.
We all want to work hard to scale our businesses, but pushing too hard will cause burnouts – and your business performance will suffer in the long term. When that happens, you won’t be productive at all. So take some time each day to do something you like, maybe take half an hour to read a novel or watch an episode of your favourite TV show. Cultivate good nutrition and sleeping habits. Encourage your team to maintain healthy habits as well.
4. Get the most out of technology
Using technology to automate tasks that were previously done manually will improve the speed and accuracy of your business. These days, there are online business productivity softwares that can enable managers to better track project progress. Technology can also provide advanced business analysis to help you gain a deeper understanding of your business performance and market trends.
On the other hand, technology can also be a distraction. Most of us have had experiences of co-workers slacking off or getting distracted by non-work related websites. Fight technology with technology. It’s easy to use internet filtering to block popular but non-work related websites.
Working hard is, no doubt, the most important method to achieve success. But it is just as important to work smart. It is the recipe to maximize business productivity without creating burnout.