“Productivity” seems to be one of the latest buzzwords. Now that we are moving full steam ahead in the New Year, here are five easy-to-implement tips that will help you minimize minor tasks in your business so you can focus on the more important big-picture strategies:
- Be proactive, not reactive, advises Lori Krolik, owner of More Time For You, a professional organization and productivity service. By maintaining a calendar, as well as setting three to five priorities every day, you avoid “constantly reacting to other people’s priorities,” Krolik said.
- Delegate and outsource. (Control freaks listen up!) While it can be difficult to let go, it will help you focus on your strongest skills, which will ultimately benefit your business. “Take the time to explain tasks that you can offload. It might take you time up front, but it will save you a lot of time down the road,” said Krolik.For instance, if you’re not a marketing professional, consider hiring a pro to draft your marketing plan, said Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations, Inc. Social media is another time-suck for small business owners and another good outsourcing candidate, he said. “Many small business owners and their teams have jumped into social media and are not doing it well—they are wasting time. If you’re using social media for fun, don’t let it take up too much time—time that should be spent doing other revenue-generating activities.”
- Reduce distractions. Corbett advises turning off notices on digital devices and your computer, using noise-cancelling headphones, and even putting mobile phones in another room and forwarding calls if necessary. “In the ADD society we live in, it is much harder to focus; many people have forgotten how or struggle to focus,” Corbett said. “Take the time to learn how to focus again; get in the zone where you can be productive.”
- Create processes and systems. While many small business owners keep what they’ve learned in their heads, it makes for a difficult hand-off should you decide to outsource or hire staff at some point in the future.
- Leverage the cloud. Many small business owners are still inundated with paperwork. Moving that work to web-based platforms will: help eliminate clutter, protect your business, streamline processes and save you space and money.