Want to maximize your time, and your employees’ time so that you can all work smarter rather than harder, while still building a strong and successful business? Check out these smart small business productivity hacks and feel the stresses and strains of daily business life fall away…

Make lists

You might think that making lists is just another thing to add to your current burdens, but although they may take a little time to produce, once you have not only a to-do list, but a list of priorities, working life becomes a whole lot easier. The key is to structure your daily to-do list with the highest priority tasks at the top and the least urgent at the bottom, That way, you will always be focusing on the important stuff – you can get to the non-urgent tasks as and when there’s a little time to do so.

Start with the hardest task

It’s also a really good idea for you and your employees to start the day working on the hardest task or the tasks you hate most., That way, you get it out of the way and the rest of the day doesn’t seem so stressful. You’ll all be less likely to procrastinate – putting that awful task off – and as a result, your productivity levels will rise.

Don’t try to do everything yourself

As a business owner, one of the best things you can ever do for yourself and your business is to learn the art of delegation. Whether you outsource your printer services to an IT company or have one of your employees meet that easy client in your place, there are probably a million things you’re doing yourself that someone else could be doing, thus freeing you up to concentrate on the stuff you’re really good at, and the same is probably true of many of your employees. The key is to get good at working out which tasks will be best performed by which person and delegating them accordingly.

Schedule email time

How much time do you waste each day by having a quick look at your emails? Many of us check our emails every few minutes just out of habit and it can take us away from more important tasks and waste our time. It’s far better to schedule a couple of time periods – one in the morning and one late afternoon – where you can check, file, and reply to any emails as necessary. Focus totally on the task during those times and you’ll find that emails don’t take up quite so much of your time anymore.

Cut down on meetings

In one survey by Harvard Business Review, it was found that only 17 percent of executives and business owners found their meetings to be productive. That’s probably because a lot of business leaders schedule meetings out of habit and because that’s what they think they should be doing rather than because they are needed. That’s potentially hundreds of hours wasted every year! Luckily, it’s easy to claw back that time by resolving to only call meetings when there are pressing issues that really do need to be widely discussed. Even then, you can generally cut the duration of meetings down significantly.

Use automation

There has never been more business automation software available than there is right now, so it makes sense to use it where you can. Doing so will ensure that basic processes can function without much human input, so you can use your own time, and the time of your employees more wisely to focus on those issues that really do need a lot of input.

Quit multitasking

So many of us think that multitasking is a great way to get more done in the work environment, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the opposite is actually true. When you’re trying to do everything at ones, things fall through the cracks, mistakes are made and you’ll probably have to spend even longer putting them right, Not only that, but multitasking can be really stressful and that too can slow you down considerably.

Take more breaks

Taking more breaks might seem like a counterintuitive way of boosting your productivity, but it’s a great way to avoid burnout and refresh your brain, which means you’re more likely to work more efficiently when you take regular breaks away from your desk.

Being more productive not only benefits your business, but it can reduce your stress levels and help you to be happier at work too, That’s why, as a business owner, you should focus on making the working day more efficient for everyone, including yourself. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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