More often than not, we find ourselves completely distracted with the world around us when we should be focusing on the task at hand. When it comes to working and running a small business like catering, landscape, or construction company, productivity is a goal that most people strive for. While it is a varying, subjective feat, keeping productive is extremely important to consistency and running a business. Being consistent allows you to build repertoire and effectively manage your time! Here are 6 life hacks that will assist in boosting your productivity!
- Avoid multitasking
Usually multitasking is encouraged to boost productivity, not the other way around! But research shows that juggling multiple tasks at once is actually not good for increasing productivity – it hinders it. Studies show that only 2 percent of us can multitask effectively – the other 98 percent simply sit around, maneuvering back and forth between one project to another and in the end nothing gets done. What we call multitasking is really task-switching, says Guy Winch, PhD, author of Emotional First Aid, “When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a finite amount, Moving back and forth between several tasks actually wastes productivity”, he says, “because your attention is expended on the act of switching gears—plus, you never get fully “in the zone” for either activity.” Running a business is all about efficiency, and multitasking, in the long run, simply isn’t efficient. Focus your energy on one business aspect at a time, and see how far it gets you!
- Get rid of distractions
How often do you find yourself scrolling on your phone, checking the earlier days of your work email, or simply taking calls that don’t necessarily pertain to your overall work day? Maybe you surf the web or play a mini round of golf with some knick-knacks you have set up around your room, or maybe you’ve taken a liking to social media. Who knows! The important take away from this life hack is to avoid distractions altogether. Turn the notifications on your phone off, check your work email a couple of times throughout the day, and limit your surfing time. One tool to help you get focused is listening to certain music, a great app for this is Brain.fm. The app plays music that helps you focus with a timer so you can allocate a block of time on your calendar, listen to Brain.fm and it will notify you when the time is finished. While your distractive personality or behavior may be deeply rooted, it is important to remember that work needs to be done and, without you to help, your business may not run as effectively as you would like. A little bit of self-discipline can go a long way, plus a focused boss looks great to employees!
- Communicate better
Communication is key in all aspects of working and, without it, the business days would be hectic and without order! In order to boost productivity, better communicating in every facet of your job is beneficial. Communication is so much more than simply talking with coworkers and employees. It’s about listening, validating, being flexible and open to making changes, seeing things from perspectives outside of your own, and always managing to make your business a better place to be! More often than not, correspondence will be via email, phone, or text message! It is important to take a friendly, professional tone started with a greeting, and work your way up from there! Clear communication within the workplace creates something strong and unstoppable – you’ll have people to rely on when you need them, and by getting to know your employees as well as their methods of working, productivity will be an unconscious effort!
- Make your goals clear, attainable and understandable!
Many aspects of business concern goal setting, having a strategy and business plan, and ensuring that all business aspects are clear, easy to understand, and attainable! Goals help not only to secure direction and even allow you, the boss, to guide your employees to success, but they also help to keep employees excited and motivated to reach and exceed goals! It is important, in a team environment, to make your goal everyone’s goal. Make it accessible and get excited about it! This will also help you, in the long run, to evaluate your employees’ performances, and to know their awareness of the goals the business is striving for!
I used to work at a recreation center with a woman named Dee. She was always extremely excited and motivated, and it was infectious! As the fitness coordinator, she was responsible for all things fitness in the town I grew up in. The annual weight loss challenge came in, and she told each employee that her goal was to get 200 people – a large amount for the small town in which I reside – to sign up! Using incentives and goal-oriented techniques to get us pumped up about the fitness challenge, we all found a personally fulfilling way to help reach her goal and, by early January of that year, we had over 300 people signed up! My peers and I were motivated, excited and, as a result, put in more effort to strive to meet these goals for Dee!
- Organize and de-clutter
There are a series of old adages and funny sayings concerning living a messy life. According to Unclutterer, chaos and disorganization hinders the brain’s ability to focus and process information! They compare desk clutter to a child screaming for attention – which wears down on your focus and patience levels – creating a need to handle the situation at large, creating stressors that were not likely to exist if the workspace were clean! My advice for clutter – eliminate it. It’s almost impossible to answer emails and calls and track your employees without being organized! Organize the materials around your workspace, put the items you need frequently next to you, tame those cables that are connected to all of your devices. Make everything accessible and flexible to you! To get tips on office de-cluttering ideas read here.
- Build your team
The people who help you run your business deserve to be kept up to date on the changes your company will undergo as time progresses. Whether it be a morning huddle before the hectic hours of the day arise, or you find weekly times to grab the team breakfast or lunch to chat and get to know one another, it is important that you work on building up your team so that your business runs holistically and successfully. It is imperative that your team members feel valued, so you as the business owner or supervisor should use this time to build and strengthen these relationships in order to create a productive and conducive environment! Playing games with the team, or giving out a weekly gift card or lunch prize to the employee with the highest sale creates a light sense of competition, thus creating future sales!
While there are many techniques that will boost your productivity, it is important to focus on yourself and the workplace first, then move out to the margins to fine tune whatever needs it! Remember that you should not venture with business by yourself, that you have people to rely and fall back on! Communicating with them and creating a sense of purpose in the workplace is sure to boost productivity! Best of luck with your business!
Author: Christian Jimenez
Christian is a Public Relations student and freelance writer from Dallas, Texas. He has a passion for traveling, coffee, and all things writing (creative, technical, you name it). His works range from newsworthy topics to self-help blog posts for small businesses. He is currently the content creator for ezClocker.