Productivity is mission-critical for any small business owner or entrepreneur.
In either role you will inevitably be called on to perform many tasks, putting on the hat of marketer or manager, customer service representative or salesperson. Inevitably all duties fall to you. Figuring out how to keep on track and continue to grow your business is an ongoing concern.
At its most basic, productivity is defined as one’s ability to get the most out of the workday. Every day is a never-ending list of tasks that need to be accomplished and staying focused can prove difficult. Not to mention you likely find yourself pulled in multiple directions.
We all know that person and have likely been that person who’s taken too much on their plate. It’s a common reaction when trying to grow a business, but the issue is that as more tasks are taken on, oftentimes few of them reach completion. As a business owner, if you have 10 tasks, your goal is to complete those 10 tasks; you don’t want to find yourself 65% of the way on eight of them.
Maintaining productivity can be challenging which is why we have included a few of our favorite productivity hacks for you to utilize in your business.
while everything you need to accomplish may be necessary, not everything will be a priority. When you’re structuring your day, it’s best to assign the priority tasks first so that they can be addressed before the “nice to have” tasks. A great approach is to block off a set period of time each day for your key priority items.
Sometimes the priority items can find themselves being pushed until later, this is a mistake. Putting off your priority tasks means that in the end, you’ll be less likely to accomplish them in a time-frame that’s beneficial. By putting them first, you’re able to take them off early and then move on.
Social media is the quickest way to become distracted from the task at hand. Everyone has caught themselves staring at their phone looking at Facebook, catching up on the latest drama. It’s incredibly easy to find yourself sidetracked from something that’s critical to your business all because you received a notification that you’ve been tagged in a photo, causing you to shift focus. For most business owners these distractions consume the majority of their time.
If you find yourself unable to exert the level of self-control required to focus, adding a chrome extension like Stay Focused can keep you on track. It helps by blocking certain websites for a select period of time, removing the temptation entirely.
Schedule Your Work Hours
This may seem counter-intuitive for a small business owner, but the structure of regularly scheduled work hours can help keep your productivity levels up. After all, there is a reason that the “workday” is so effective. Setting aside regular work hours even if it’s 7:15 PM to 8:45 PM helps to keep your mind focused on work and keep productivity high.
Downtime, Take It
As a small business owner, it’s easy to find yourself working on odd hours. It’s a byproduct of operating a business in which you are almost always “on call,” but the goal is not to plan to work odd hours. Sure if something comes up at 11:30 PM on Thursday, you’ll need to take care of it as any business owner would but otherwise try to respect your downtime.
The often romanticized, but unrealistic concept of the tireless entrepreneur who routinely works a hundred hours a week does not have to become your life. It’s not sustainable.
Downtime takes many shapes. It can be as simple as choosing not to work Sundays, taking one weekend a month strictly to spend with family or even just dedicating an hour and a half a day to go to the gym; it’s important not to overcomplicate it. In fact psychology today found that routinely taking short breaks during the workday actually helps increase productivity.
Something we like to do at Shop Style Design is “The Pomodoro Technique.” With this approach, 25 minute periods of work are broken up with five-minute breaks. It doesn’t have to follow this model exactly, but mainly the goal is to break your periods of work into smaller chunks of time separated by short breaks.
Delegating, it’s Important
Something that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is delegation. It’s easy to view your business as your baby, but don’t lose sight of the old saying “it takes a village.” Relying on staff you may have, or agency partners that you may outsource to is a key way of keeping your focus on growing the business while others handle the monotony of the day-to-day.
Find Time to Sleep
As we covered with downtime, it’s essential to strike a balance. After all, you are only human. Sleep is an important part of a human being’s daily routine; it helps to keep stress levels low and increases cognitive function. For an entrepreneur, it is imperative.
Success and Productivity Go Hand-in-Hand
Every human has the same 24 hours a day, what separates success from failure is how you use them. Managing your time more effectively, staying focused and prioritizing your tasks will help you to be more successful at a lower stress level. Productivity really is King.
Please share any productivity hacks that we missed below in the comments.
Shop Style Design is here to help your e-commerce store be more productive. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, please schedule your free consultation today.