As a small business owner, the old adage that “time is money” actually proves to be very true. For this reason, it is important for a small business person to employ strategies that enhance productivity. There are eight important steps a small business owner can take to improve his or her overall productivity.
Set a Schedule
Planning is imperative if a small business owner wants to become a more productive individual. Failing to have schedule for the day (and another one with broader objectives for a week) is like taking a road trip to a new destination without a map or GPS. Absent a schedule, a person spends an inordinate amount of time improvising and getting sidetracked.
Balance Work with Play
Another cliché gets repeated a good deal because it is true: All work and no play makes a person less productive. Although it is imperative for a small business owner to work diligently, not having down or free time impacts a person’s overall productivity. Many successful small business owners include specific time in their daily and weekly schedules for activities they enjoy.
Eliminate the Clutter
Some people — including academics and other experts — have remarked that a cluttered office or desk is the sign of genius. That may be true, but clutter simply is not all well and good. A cluttered workspace impairs productivity. In order for a small business owner to improve overall productivity, that individual must take the time and make the effort to eliminate clutter from his or her life and restore (or establish for the first time, as the case may be) a sense of order in the workplace.
Get Away from It All
Virtually all small business owners have important tasks that require concerted and uninterrupted concentration. The reality is that the typical small business person rarely, if ever, has time to his or her self when he or she can most effectively tend to these types of tasks. For that reason, getting away from it all — including direct contact with other people as well as electronic connections via phones and other mobile devices — is a must of a person truly wants to enhance productivity. Indeed, a good practice is to carve out and schedule a specific time period everyday when a small business owner can tend to tasks without interruption.
Start the Day Early
Still another cliché that gets bandied about a great deal involves the benefits of being an early riser. Yet again, this concept is oft-repeated because it is true. In order to notably enhance efficiency, a small business owner should rise early in the morning, with 5:00 a.m. being an ideal time. Rather than immediately dive into a standard personal or grooming routine, take the time to tend to issues related to the business. For example, because a person is not likely to be interrupted during the early morning hours, he or she can take the time to tend to tasks that do require alone time.
Eat a Balanced Diet and Exercise Regularly
Efficiency and productivity is not merely about how, when and where work is done. Rather, a key to enhancing productivity is increasing a person’s overall energy level. This is best accomplished by establishing and maintaining a healthy diet together with a regular exercise program. As an aside, drink more water. Not bring fully hydrated reduces a person’s energy level, reducing productivity.
In this high tech age, the manner in which meetings can be conducted has increased. Nonetheless, that does no mean more meetings should be held. Rather, productivity is enhanced when the number of meetings a small business owner conducts or attends is (sharply) limited. Moreover, specific time limitations should be placed on meetings. The fact is that many issues that tend to end up in meetings can be dealt with in a far more efficient manner.
Learn to Say “No”
Finally, a small business owner increased productivity by saying “no” with regularity. The fact is that the typical small business owner fields many requests that can end up being type goblins. The reality is that many of these requests simply do not need to involve a small business owner. Productivity increases when a small business owner closely weighs and balances requests that will require some type of time commitment.