In today’s crazy world, it seems like we are forced to do more and be more. Yet, often times, we find that more is not really getting us what we want. If you are like me and a busy business owner, it is imperative that you work smarter. I make sure that I surround myself with people who challenge me and make me the best I can be and hire staff to help me do more of the things I like in my business.
With the goal of being more productive, here are 7 productivity tips to get control over your personal and professional life.
1. Understand Your “Why” and “What” You Are Doing
Everything starts with having the end in mind. You have to know why you are doing whatever it is. It is the reason you started your business. The reason you get up every day. Quite frankly, it needs to be a good and significant reason.
I have had many mentors in my career. Each one has a clear message that they have shared with me. Call it a mission statement, value proposition, or a mantra. For us at HireSmartVAs.com our mission is simple: We help entrepreneurs leverage their time & have more fun. We do this be providing quality staff and training.
Once you understand why & what you are doing, then you can work on improving how you are doing it. This is where the productivity begins. Evaluate what you are spending your time and talent on and ask yourself, “is this task helping you get closer to what you ultimately want?” If the answer is no, then don’t spend your time on it. Next ask “does this task have to be done?” If it doesn’t have to be done, don’t have anyone spend time on it. If it is necessary, then have someone else on your team do it.
2. Manage Your Schedule by Time Blocking
In a prior post, I talked about managing your calendar and using the skills of time blocking. This one change in my routine has allowed me to effectively run 7 profitable businesses with minimal staff and yet for many – it is a challenge.
Every week I sit down and evaluate what are the most important items that need to be done. If I don’t have to do it, I delegate it. If I have to do it, then I schedule it in my calendar at the time that I can best accomplish the task.
Then block out your time to accomplish those things that will move your business forward. These are the items that typically get pushed to the side because of emergencies and other “urgent” issues. What I and many other business owners have found out is that by actually putting it in the schedule, these strategic items actually get done.
3. Start Work Earlier
There is nothing better that getting to your desk before the phone rings, staff checks in, phone calls start. Getting to work before the “normal” day allows you to focus your time and energy. It sets the tone for the whole day.
Every successful business owner I have ever met starts their day before the chaos begins. Even just 30 minutes of quiet can have a significant impact.
4. Outsource Professional & Personal Tasks
Clearly we are advocates of outsourcing as that is what we do. But other than your administrative tasks that we talk about, you can also outsource other tasks. For example, your laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation, personal bills, or other tasks that you don’t enjoy doing. Think about all the things you do and which ones you really don’t enjoy and find someone else to do it for you. You will be amazed at the energy you have and the fact that these things are done without you having to think about them.
5. Use Technology
Technology is a wonderful thing. It can enhance our communication and productivity tremendously. Things like Gotomeeting.com, Skype, Hootsuite, Camtasia, Outlook, & others all are there to help. However, remember that technology doesn’t solve a poor business process. We recommend quarterly evaluating your bottlenecks of your process and then see what technology can assist you in improving and enhancing what is already in place.
6. Streamline Your Email
Aaahhh… email. We all are obsessed with email. At meals, we check our phones for email. When we are in meetings, we check email. I know that I have been (and still am sometimes) guilty of this. Email provides us with the satisfaction that #1 – someone thinks we are important and #2 it allows us to feel like we are accomplishing tasks by responding. The true reality is that if we can become disciplined enough to check hourly and avoid the knee jerk reaction to check every 5 minutes, we will be more productive.
Next week, I will provide my top tips for email productivity.
7. Join an Accountability Group & Industry Mastermind
It is proven that what you focus on gets results. If you really want to enhance your productivity, find someone who you can share your goals and be accountable to for your actions. Our best years were when we had weekly check-ins with our accountability team. We never wanted to show up with a goose egg. After all, our egos were on the line. So, find some likeminded people, create your overall goals, break those goals down and have a weekly report and at least a monthly call. You will be amazed at the results.
I hope that you have found this material helpful. At HireSmartVAs.com, we can certainly help you in finding staff that will immediately enhance your productivity and allow you to enjoy your business and your life. Interested in finding out more? Book a free consultation with me.