Businesses, be it big or small, are always busy.
Wheels have to keep on turning, gears need to be as fluid as they can. With that, generally speaking most business owners have a lot in their hands in terms of things to do. Sometimes we even think the list goes on!
Because of this, the time we spend with our businesses often leaves us with few to zero time to spend with our personal lives. This is one of the glaring challenges a business owner must learn to overcome.
Fear not though, I’m here to help you out claim your time back. The following are the same ones I’ve implemented within myself, as well as within my team.
And trust me when I say that our productivity has increased, and we are now able to spend more time with each of our personal lives.
Off we go!
Prepare For The Day The Night Before
The first on my list which really helped a lot in planning my day is planning it the evening before. On evenings before a workday, I normally list all the things I need to accomplish on the next day.
That way, I already have an idea on how my day would look - save from unexpected matters that need immediate attention. Doing this also gives me sort of a map to guide me which tasks are more urgent and important than the others.
What you have to do, as mentioned above, is to list all tasks that you need to accomplish on the next day. You may do it on a digital notepad such as Notepad, Google Doc, etc., or you can go old school and write it on a physical notepad such as a notebook, an organiser, or a diary.
I personally write my tasks on an organiser so I would have something handy to look at.
Make Time For New Learning
When talking about increasing productivity, we normally think of ways on how to do a task more efficiently. This is correct. However, I am a strong believer that with each new learning comes the ability to make processes more efficient.
New learning would empower you and your team. This would enable your team to come up with new strategies and techniques on how to improve and tweak your current processes, thus making them more efficient - one learning at a time.
Having said all of these, it is a must to set aside some time for new learning. Have your team allot at least an hour every week to learn new things that are related to their roles. For example, sourcing VAs can seek to learn new sourcing strategies, social media manager VAs can seek to learn new ways to edit photos or content creation tips.
As business owners, we have a lot of tasks at hand as previously mentioned. We sometimes think that these do not end. However, don’t look at this pessimistically, instead, look at it positively. The amount of tasks you do in your business means that your business is flourishing.
Naturally, you do not want these tasks to stop, instead to still keep on coming. What you have to focus on is how you would be able to handle and organise them.
The most important thing to do to handle tons of work within your business, is to avoid distractions. These distractions can be from a range of things. They can be your mobile phone, your family (if you’re working from home), outside noise, and a whole lot more.
There are different ways to avoid distractions, but what’s important is to focus on a single task at hand. Select the task that has the most importance and urgency, and focus on that one. Keep your mobile phone away for the time being. If you’re working from home, stay in a room with no one but you, close the door, and let your family know not to disturb you for a specific period. If you’re working in an office, then avoid chatting with peers.
Set Aside A Day With Zero Meetings
This may sound impossible, but this is worth doing.
All you have to do is to select the day with meetings that do not necessarily need you there. There are meetings that require you to attend, such as meetings that have you present. However, if I’m being honest there are meetings that don't necessarily need you. Meetings that only have you as a spectator.
This day will then be the day when you can focus on projects that require massive attention. You can also use this day to refresh and recalibrate your mind. Meetings are traitors which eat up your time without you noticing it. Before you know it, it’s already almost time to go home.
Setting a day with zero meetings will give you more time to focus and possibly finish your project.
Recruit Help For Recurring Tasks
This one right here was the best decision I made within my business, by far! Admittedly, there are tasks that are done on a certain frequency: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. Most, if not all of these are the ones called lesser-valued tasks. We can’t call them useless, since these tasks are still part of your business totality. We only call them lesser-valued tasks since there are more tasks which require more attention because of their urgency and significance.
Admit it or not, apart from meetings, these lesser-valued recurring tasks are the ones eating much of your time. I should know, I’ve been there before. When this happens, and you already feel like you have more important projects to focus on, then it’s about time you hire a staff. Hire someone who will help you on certain parts of your business.
A perfect example would be an Amazon business owner. Within an Amazon business, there are different parts that require your attention. The most common ones are sourcing, review and purchasing, and business administration. You hire someone for a specific role to do the recurring and time-consuming tasks you have.
Also, for Amazon business owners, this means sourcing and hiring a Virtual Assistant. This can be tedious work, since you also have to juggle your business, personal life, etc. Luckily, there are VA-recruitment firms who will source, hire and train your future superstar VA.
It is highly recommended, especially for first-time employers to partner with the mentioned firms to make hiring a breeze.
Wake Up Early
As simple as waking up an hour earlier than your usual wake up time could spell a big difference. There are a lot of things you can do in an hour. You would be able to eat your breakfast, have a conversation with your family, watch the morning news, etc. Doing these things will give a positive perspective before going to work.
The bottom line here is, no matter what you think of doing within that one hour, make it count.
Systemise Your Business
Every business owner should invest their time and effort in systemising their business. Systemising involves documenting your processes, checking for consistency, tweaking where possible, improving ineffective procedures, removing redundant steps, etc.
By doing this, you would be able to recalibrate your processes, and see what’s the most inefficient part resulting in the inefficiency of the process altogether. Additionally, once you’ve created, recalibrated, or improved your processes, make sure to trust them. Trusting means you do not skip or alter any part of the process without recalibrating the whole process itself. Trusting will only happen if you’ve already tested your process and have proven that they work.
When you have smooth flowing processes, you can be guaranteed that productivity will increase, and efficiency improvement will be evident.
Track Your Time
To be more productive means you have to be able to accomplish as much deliverable as possible. Because of that, it would be helpful if we become conscious and aware of how we utilise our time for the day. Tracking your time will give you visibility on where your precious hours went for the day.
You can do this by either subscribing to time tracking apps or software. You can also do this by creating a simple worksheet which would track your tasks as well as the time you started and ended doing them. This way, you’ll be more aware of which tasks or projects eat up much of your time. This in turn will make you see which of these tasks need to be delegated to your staff, or which processes need improvement.
Organise By Scheduling
Lastly, schedule everything! Whether you use a digital calendar or a physical organiser, plotting all your appointments, meetings, etc. will be helpful in staying on schedule.
If you do this, you would be guided with which task should be done with what time. You would also be able to manage your day a tad better since everything will be more organised.
In summary, making your tasks and projects more time-efficient is a great help in increasing your productivity. It may not be evident right away, but as time passes by, you will start to notice improvement with your productivity. You’ll start to notice that you are now able to meet due dates more often.
Also, as mentioned above, lesser-valued recurring tasks should be delegated to a staff. And if you’re in a remote work setup, hiring a virtual assistant is your best bet. If you are interested in clearing your mind on questions regarding hiring a virtual assistant, you may book a free consultation call with us. Yes you read it right. It’s for free. No strings attached.
Here Are Some Additional Resources
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