Running a business is not an easy task — it can be extremely stressful. You need to be as efficient and productive as possible.
Here are 10 productivity hacks to help you kick into gear and come out swinging as we enter Q2 of 2015.
1. Attack your least desirable tasks first.
You are going to have tasks on your to-do list that are completely undesirable at one point or another. Since they have to get done, tackle them first and get them out of the way. They will continue to be on your mind if you constantly avoid them, which will drag down your overall productivity. Get them done first, cross them off your list, and you won’t have to think about them any more.
2. Take advantage of technology as much as possible.
Look for apps and tools that can help you complete tasks more efficiently and stay organized. Don’t be afraid to try new apps or tools and see how they impact your productivity. Need some app suggestions? Take a look at this list of productivity apps to find some that could help you.
3. Systemize and automate everything you can.
Identify every moving part of your business, from your marketing process to your customer acquisition to purchase fulfillment and create ways to make every step easier. Is there a part of your business that slows you down or frustrates you? Find a way to make challenging aspects work on autopilot and it will free you up to tackle other responsibilities and make your business run smoother.
4. Knock out simple tasks as soon as they come in.
If an email or task comes across your desk that you can accomplish in less than five minutes, do it right away. If you spend time scheduling the task for later it will end up taking you longer than five minutes in the long run. This eliminates a lot of wasted time.
5. Devote time every morning to exercising.
Business owners work long hours and often sit behind computers for a majority of the day. This is a very unhealthy lifestyle, so combat this by getting some daily exercise in. Not only are people that exercise in the morning more likely to stick with it, but it also promotes higher quality sleep. A shorter quality sleep is more beneficial than a longer sleep of lower quality, and a deep sleep will make you more productive the next day. Prioritize your morning exercise just like you would a business meeting or conference call and don’t miss it for any reason.
6. Set up an “offers” email address.
Use a dedicated “offers” email address for newsletters, trials, etc. — and don’t check it as often. The less your phone is chiming with email notifications and your outlook is importing new messages, the less distracted you will be. Special offers, promotions and newsletters don’t require your immediate attention. Check your offers email a couple evenings a week as you are ending your day to stay on top of it without it interfering with more important tasks.
7. Empower your team.
When your team feels like they are all equal parts of your business it improves company morale as well as productivity. You shouldn’t have to micromanage them — if there are situations that require you to micromanage your team then you made the wrong hiring decisions.
8. Disconnect from technology during crunch time.
When you really need to roll up your sleeves and get a presentation or report done, eliminate every possible distraction. Shut down your email, forward your office calls to voicemail, switch your mobile device to airplane mode and unplug all other technology. This allows you to focus 100 percent.
9. Work outside of your office.
Try to spend one day each week working away from the office. We live in a mobile world now, making it possible to work in different creative spaces while still getting work done. This also sparks creativity and prevents burnout. You can even try extending this to all members of your team and see if your overall company productivity increases.
10. Slow down on personal social media.
Our culture has such a fascination with what is going on in each other’s lives. Taking time out of your day to check your personal Twitter and Facebook does nothing but waste time and cut into your productivity. Is seeing what everyone is having for lunch or building your business more important to you? This doesn’t apply to business social accounts or those that use their personal accounts for networking, etc.