The one success metric every entrepreneur needs to master is the art of getting things done; as it’s your ability to produce output that will determine your success. You might have heard the expression “ideas are cheap” which reinforces this point by suggesting that just because you have a good idea – doesn’t mean you will be or deserve to be successful. It’s your ability to take action on the idea and be productive.
That said, it can be incredibly hard to manage your own productivity, as it’s all too easy to get distracted or end up spending several hours deliberating on the colour scheme of your business card. If you’re wanting to optimise your output and enhance your efficiency these five productivity tips will help you on your way.
A lot of times small business owners find themselves working in the business rather than on the business; acting as everything from the receptionist to the window cleaner – rather than the leader and captain of the ship navigating the business to success.
This means that you are essentially working incredibly long hours, for potentially little pay, leading yourself into an early grave, with no time freedom to enjoy life. You are the business owner – you need to learn to delegate. Your job is to run the business. You are the captain of the ship and require a team (whether virtual or physical) to support you in your mission; the saying “no man (or woman) is an island” is particularly true for entrepreneurs.
It’s good to remember, if you don’t like the idea of letting go of the reins, that you can always outsource the grunt work (i.e. the shopping around) to someone within your team whilst you have the final say and can choose from a few handpicked options.
In terms of motivating your team, you might want to look into custom awards as the majority of people respond better to the carrot than the stick, that is to say their productivity increases upon receiving recognition and appreciation over threat.
The majority of small business owners are used to multi-tasking, and whilst this can be a great skill, it can also hamper your productivity and effectiveness. The opposite of multi-tasking then is batch-tasking. The premise being that you can decrease distraction and increase concentration by focusing on a single task at a time. Then, when you batch tasks, meaning you group similar tasks together your effectiveness increases per tasks, meaning your efficiency sky rockets.
TACKLE FIRST THINGS FIRST
World renowned expert on productivity, Brian Tracy, encourages us to tackle the most challenging, dreaded and uncomfortable task first – on the basis that once this is out the way we feel a tremendous sense of achievement and relief that we can use to build momentum, stay focused, feel increased self-esteem, and squeeze more out of each day.
DEVELOP A LASER LIKE FOCUS
As small business owners, many times, we spread ourselves out too thin across multiple projects. This approach leads to us running around, chasing our tail, and not really finishing anything because we are reacting to situations rather than deliberately responding.
BE APP SAVVY
Whatever industry you’re in, there is an app that will help streamline your productivity as a small business owner; saving you both time and money. Popular applications like Evernote are relevant for almost any small business owner.