Productivity. That’s working more, right? No! It’s about working smarter. We know working for a small business or for yourself demands arguably more discipline to stay focused and fruitful. So here are 10 tips to keep you tops – without the burnout!
1. Make a priority list your priority
Arranging your tasks in order of importance for the week (or day or month depending on your business) helps you tackle your most important – or least loved – jobs first. The visual aid – having all the stuff in your head poured out on a page – also helps de-clutter your brain. And how good does it feel when you can tick tasks off?!
2. Set clear goals
What do you want to achieve today, this week, this quarter? Avoid fuzzy aims; they are the enemy of ambitions. Maybe you should revisit your overall business plan to ensure you’re on track – and don’t forget to check in with yourself to ensure you’re still in love with your business.
3. Minimise distractions
Turn off notifications if social media is your Achilles heel when it comes to getting work done. Apps are available to limit your use of all that online catnip, and can also track which websites and applications you’ve been spending too much time on. Another ploy is wearing headphones – you don’t have to be listening to anything but other people are less likely to interrupt your flow.
4. Take a break
Not seen daylight for hours? Take a walk, get some fresh air, just give your body a screen and desk break. The work will still be there when you get back – but this way you’ll return refreshed and energised. Plus, the best ideas or solutions come when unbidden. Give your brain a time-out.
5. Stay nourished
Remember to eat well and stay hydrated. By this we don’t mean the kebab van and a swift half at lunchtime. Become energised with nutritious meals and snacks and keep that water bottle topped up to help boost alertness and avoid afternoon slumps. Save treats for the weekend.
6. Hide your phone…
… or at least turn it off when you know it might be a time-drain on preventing you finishing a key piece of work. You don’t need to answer every call – some can afford to go to voicemail.
7. Outsource the small stuff
Your business is your baby, we get it. But how about delegating smaller tasks so you have the time and energy to dedicate to the bigger stuff? Like employing a virtual assistant, outsourcing admin matters, errands or data entry. Can automation work for you, such as scheduling social media posts or apps to collate expenses?
8. Are you sitting comfortably?
Working from home or a coffee shop may be convenient but are you doing your posture any favours? Are you using your knees as your worksurface or perhaps suffering the inconvenience – and time-waste – of packing all your stuff away every time you need to use the café loo? Supportive seating, good lighting and adequate desk-space all offer health benefits that ultimately contribute to a more productive work day.
9. Get a (social) life.
Make time for fun outside work – add it to your priority list. Take up new hobbies, a challenging exercise class or devour some novels. Regenerate and refresh.
10. Join Work.Life!
We offer dedicated, social workspaces for everyone from the sole trader to the rising SME. Our multiple locations means you can get a change of scene to help inspire you if you’re in a productivity rut, and our free breakfasts mean you have an energising start to your day. We also have a range of business books to help you get a new perspective on your working practices, plus a set of one-pagers designed to help you decimate your to-do lists.
Find out more about membership here.