Running your own business is a privilege, but it comes with big responsibilities. As a business owner, you probably feel pulled in ten different directions at once. Knowing there are better ways to get things done, yet never finding the time to make those crucial improvements can be really frustrating!
With just a little time and determination, though, it is possible to boost your productivity and change things for the better. Here are my top tips on boosting personal productivity...
1. Start each day with a plan. Instead of arriving at work to be confronted by fifty e:mails/ phone calls/ customers, take a little time to work out what your priorities for the day should be, make a list, and tackle the things that really need doing first. The rest you can delay, ditch or (see point 2) delegate. Personally, the daily practice of making a "to-do" list not only helps me organise my workload effectively, it also gives me peace of mind.
2. Delegate the things that your team can do for you. You may be the business owner, but that doesn't mean you have to do everything. I know it sometimes feels like you do, but trust me, you really don't.
3. Get rid of the distractions. If you can't resist checking your e:mail every five minutes, turn the darned thing off! Turn the radio off too. And unplug the phone if you can get away with it. Minimising unnecessary distractions will help you to concentrate and get the job done quicker. Encourage your staff to do the same.
4. Work odd hours. Start earlier; finish later; work at weekends; it doesn't really matter when. Whatever works for you. The point is, if you can manage to work when everyone else isn't, the chances are you may get more done. That said, starting early is generally the better option; you will be fresh and ready for the day ahead, not tired and fed-up at the end of a tough day!
5. Don't do stuff "just because" that's the way it's always been done. If it's not necessary, don't do it. If it can be done better, improve it. Fifteen years ago, all our written correspondence was by snail mail. Ten years ago, all our advertising was through traditional media. Five years ago, all our bookkeeping was on desktop software. Until a year ago, we did not provide IT services. Innovation is an essential feature of the most productive, growing businesses in the UK today. And that all starts with you - the business owner.
I hope this resonates. Feel free to comment or add your own tips via our Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter pages.