If you’re a business owner, you know that it often feels like there are not enough hours in the day.
But the problem doesn’t start and stop at you: One study found that during the summer months, workplace productivity drops by up to 20 percent. And although many of us take vacations during the season, the work and responsibilities don’t leave town.
To maximize your time and improve productivity, we’ve got helpful advice that every business owner needs. Ready to be more efficient in the workplace? These tips will help.
Schedule Your Day the Night Before
One of the top secrets for a successful workday is to have a set schedule to follow.
The best way to ensure a solid schedule is to set it the night or even weekend before.
Setting your schedule before your busy day begins can increase efficiency. While you might spend 15 minutes to an hour planning out the schedule, this is time you’ll get back on a daily basis and it equals hours that can be dedicated to other important tasks.
Not only does this productivity tactic save time, but it also helps you think clearer. If you set a schedule the night or weekend before, you will be much calmer and more focused on what needs to be done. Instead of rushing to set a schedule every workday morning, this makes it easier to plan without added stress.
Consider setting a schedule for the following day every night before bed. If you know which tasks must be completed by the end of the week, consider setting your schedule on the weekends. A helpful way to map out your tasks is by using a planner or daily agenda.
Prioritize the Most Important Tasks
If you feel overwhelmed by the many tasks to be completed in one day, have no fear. This is a common feeling among many business owners of both small and large companies.
Prioritizing the most important tasks can help ease feelings of stress, maximize your time, and improve productivity.
Brian Tracy in his wildly popular book “Eat That Frog” has more than 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time, and as coaches, we use Brian’s book in one of our seminars. One of the principles we teach is that getting more done is as easy as ABCDE.
- An “A” is something that is very important that you must do or there will be serious consequences (this is your frog.)
- A “B” is something you should do that has mild consequences (Brian calls these your tadpoles).
- A “C” is something that would be nice to do but there are no consequences.
- A “D” is something that you can delegate to someone, which frees up time for you to work your A.
- An “E” is something you can eliminate because it makes no difference at all.
Rather than a massive to-do list, this method helps you focus on what’s fundamental to your success.
While it may seem like there are a hundred things to do in a day, focusing on a few essential tasks at a time can make the workday flow more smoothly.
Group Similar Tasks Together
If you’re a natural multitasker, chances are you already do this without realizing it. However, if you struggle to multitask, have no worries. While multitasking can divert your attention from important details, grouping similar tasks together is more effective.
If you know that your list of responsibilities includes making several phone calls, block off one portion of your day to complete them all at once. Whether it takes an hour or just 15 minutes, this time helps you focus more effectively.
Another example of grouping similar tasks together is dedicating one chunk of your day to sending and answering emails. Rather than going back and forth between your inbox and other responsibilities, get them out of the way all at once. This allows one specific part of your brain to work on the specific task at hand.
Not only does this allow you to be more productive, but it also helps you be more stress-free. As business owners, the less stress we feel the happier we are. This is just one key concept of living your ideal life.
Dedicate the Afternoon to Making Calls and Visits
In the same vein as batching similar tasks together, dedicating the afternoon to making calls and visits is a little known but effective way to be more productive.
If you experience an afternoon slump and feel the need for a nap after lunch, you’re not the only one. Afternoon fatigue is a common feeling for most people. Rather than focusing on your most difficult tasks during this time, it may be wiser to focus on the more mundane.
While making calls and visits to business partners and acquaintances is important, they usually require less brainpower and creativity than your other tasks. Rather than using the afternoon for your most important tasks, use it for calls and visits.
Consider dedicating the morning to your more demanding tasks, as you will likely feel more focused and awake.
Take Necessary Breaks
No matter how busy you are, everyone needs a break to recharge their mind with a few moments of relaxation.
One way to relax and recharge during the workday is by using your lunchtime to eat and take a walk or spend time outdoors. Being in nature is a great way to get your mind off of a stressful day or a long list of tasks. Even a 15-minute walk at lunch can provide you with the mental clarity to take on the rest of your day.
Another effective way to take a break during the workday is to listen to music. Play an energetic or calming song that you love to stimulate your brain and take your mind off of work. While you may feel that there is no time for a break, both your brain and business will thank you.
Be More Productive Every Workday
Now that you have the knowledge, advice, and tips to maximize your time, you can be more productive every workday.
Remember, everyone feels unmotivated, unproductive, and fatigued from time to time. As business owners, we want to have a busy and full day, but we may not always conquer it as best as we can. With these helpful tips, your workdays and overall success can thrive.
Do you have a specific business question you need answered? Get in touch and let’s set up a time to talk. We have answers.