How to Increase Productivity [Top 10 Business Techniques]
In this article, we will share with you secrets to enhanced productivity!
What if you could better optimize your time and more efficiently prioritize tasks to help grow your business?
Well, you absolutely can!
Below you will find a list of things proven to increase productivity.
10 Tips to Improve your Productivity – How to Increase Productivity
We have all heard the rumours, the early bird catches the worm, right?
History is littered with many successful business leaders who advocate the benefits of an early start.
It is rumoured Apple CEO, Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45am every morning to check emails, exercise and to prepare for the day ahead.
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of Linkedin starts his day at 5:30am by exercising, meditating, catching up on the news and eating breakfast.
My point is that an established routine for the morning is beneficial in so many ways. It prepares you for the day ahead, it allows you to gently ease into the day instead of being on the last minute that gets your day off on the wrong foot.
When rising early you can also plan better, that brings me onto my next tip…
Make a List of Daily/Weekly Tasks and Their Importance
So we’ve all been there… You have a ton of stuff to do and only so many hours to do them in.
Well, if you have started by following the first tip on this list you may now have a little more time on your side, but now what?
Well, one tip we use is that we write each days tasks in advance. We try and focus on the tasks with big reward and big effort first, or sometimes the thing that we don’t really want to do, but ought to.
You’d be amazed at the transformative effect of clearing the negative task first! It leaves you empowered to own the rest of your day like a true professional!
Once a list of your tasks has been created, try and add a simple score next to each list task. We use an ‘out of ten’ method. On the left is the value out of ten to the business, and on the right is an average amount of time we feel it will take us. The time metric is up to you but we use a task with a time element of 1 as being the quickest to achieve, with a 10 being a much larger task.
When scoring your daily tasks like this, again you’d be surprised. It’s often the case the task you felt was the priority often isn’t.
If you’re planning to follow the advice in the first step on this list and start to get up earlier, it might be easier to gradually adjust your alarm so that you can acclimatize.
For owners of a lot of Small-to-Medium-Enterprises (SME’s) it is often better to establish a familiar routine.
Set alarms for routine tasks e.g. checking emails, team meetings, lunch etc. Whatever your routine, make it regular. Your body and mind respond to routine better. If you know you need to post to social channels, make that a regular event rather than a sporadic event should that be a key goal of your business. Perhaps making part of your morning routine a quick post to Linkedin, a further post at dinner and one mid-afternoon.
Whatever your routine, segment your day to get more done.
Eat to Perform
Napoleon Bonaparte once said ‘An army doesn’t march on an empty stomach!’ and many top athletes advocate the importance of nutrition. Feed your body as well as your mind!
It is also said, healthy body, healthy mind. You wouldn’t fill your cars’ tank with mud and expect it to run would you? So why is your body any different?
As part of your new relaxed morning routine try adding a nourishing fruit smoothy for extra nutrients and a cup of green tea to help detox. It’s proven that nutrient deficiency is a contributing factor to the development of many diseases. Invest in your future, start eating more vitamins and minerals now so that you can better enjoy the future you are building.
Feed Your Mind – Educate Yourself
One thing that we love is learning!
We are well and truly in the information age! The internet is full of fantastic documentaries and sites to learn new skills for free.
The UK Government has a fantastic service called ‘The Skills Toolkit’ that features some fantastic free courses in a variety of topics.
As long as you are learning skills to help you achieve your goals you will be amazed how far a little knowledge can go in helping you achieve it.
Multi-Task (Data Cleansing While Prospecting, Learning While Exercising)
OK so you’ve got out of bed early, you’ve planned your day and made a list now what?
Well, some of the learning opportunities identified in step 5 could be applied here.
The benefits of multitasking can help you save a huge amount of time and effort in your business.
For example, as part of your daily routine, you are exercising. Why not listen to an audiobook documentary whilst jogging or watching a documentary whilst on the exercise bike?
Constantly seek to identify new tasks that you can combine. Doing so will save time and effort and the net result is you will have more free time to focus on achieving your goals. Win/win.
Focus and Avoid Distractions
Let’s face it, life is full of distractions!
If it’s not your iPhone alerts constantly pinging away, or another email in your inbox it is important to focus on the task at hand.
The world won’t stop if you ignore your phone or emails for a bit.
Indeed, it may help you cultivate your professional persona. Less is often more.
By disciplining yourself to avoid distractions this lets you concentrate on your goals. So, turn your phone off and close your email client down every now and then, you’ll get a lot more done!
Focus on YOUR goals, no one elses. You’ll be glad you did.
The importance of exercise is often underrated.
If you work in an office, a sedentary lifestyle and remaining seated for long periods of time can lead to all sorts of problems. Regular exercise is proven to mitigate risks.
Regular stretching, strength exercises and cardio will all help you to become a better version of you.
Adding exercise to part of your morning routine is a fantastic multi-tasking opportunity to check emails, and make your daily task list!
Getting the blood pumping first thing releases endorphins that lead to a better mood. It also leads to improved concentration as well as speeding up your metabolism. The benefits of an early start with an exercise regimen are many.
You’ll also most likely be adding years to your life too, so think about all the many positives!
Start With the End in Mind
Starting with the end in mind sounds like an obvious statement doesn’t it?
In business, it’s important to know where your heading.
Indeed, Simon Sinek said to start with your WHY. When you know WHY it also helps you plot your destination. When you know where you’re heading, the journey to get there will be quicker and easier and more fun too!
ZigZiglar often praised the benefits of having goals. Are you a wondering generality or a meaningful specific? Set goals (on your list) and set out to achieve them!
Finish What You Start
OK, so you had turned your phone off but then something unavoidable crops up… Perhaps a staff member needs First-Aid, or there’s been an attempted fraud against your company.
Whenever you are distracted, interrupted or derailed from your task do not simply give up or move off course. Remember if there’s a roadblock in front of you, change your course, not your destination.
Always allow the business to reward itself. Keeping proper records will pay dividends later down the line. It is possible a project might get shelved temporarily but don’t risk wasting the time and effort already invested. Sometimes a slight break from the activity helps you to make a better job of it when you return to complete it.
Growing a business can be a tough gig but keep your focus. Remember, when the farmer first plants a seed he does not expect the fruits of his labour to happen overnight.
It is important to keep chipping away at the tasks that will help you achieve your goal, your purpose.
Whatever you are trying to achieve, start now! Even if you don’t have all the bases covered. Paralysis by analysis is an all too frequent problem affecting businesses large and small.
Remember Jeff Bezos from Amazon’s famous quote? “Big things start small!” Remember experts were once a beginner. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Simply learn from the experience, document and record what you have learned so you don’t make the same mistake again.
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