Strategies to Become More Productive

Strategies to Become More Productive

Productivity Strategies
Have you ever felt like the more you work the less you get done?  Staying energized, focused and productive at work can seem impossible, especially during that mid-afternoon slump.  You know the one — the 2 p.m. crash that not even a Starbucks run or a hastily chugged Red Bull or Monster can cure.  Productivity is not only about achieving more in less time.  Here are some strategies you may be overlooking on your quest to be more productive.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.  You must set goals and tasks for the day, week, month, quarter and for the year.   Make out a schedule for the day.   if you’re not in charge of your calendar and your schedule, your clients and your business will be — and that’s never a productive way to run your business!
  • First decide on your work hours for the week.  Be honest: When do you want to start and when do you want to stop each day of the week? As a business owner, you have to be the enforcer of your own hours, so declare your working hours (and stop-working hours!). Then, write down any predetermined personal and business commitments.  Need to pick the kids up at three? Mark it down.  Meet up with friends for coffee on Tuesdays for an hour? Add it in. Attend a networking event each Friday morning? Write it down. Now you have a rough sketch of your weekly availability.
  • Second, decide what tasks need to get done in your business each week and when you’re going to do them. I generally suggest that my clients chunk their tasks. Client appointments should be held in one chunk on set days. Writing and creative tasks should be grouped in another chunk. Administrative tasks in another chunk.  Referring back to the switch-tasking reference above, you’ll recall that you’re more efficient when you work on one thing at a time. This is why chunking can be so helpful. Otherwise, it’s challenging for your brain to go from client work to creative work to admin back to creative work than it is to do client – client – client or creative – creative – creative.  Mark down the days and times you want to do the tasks that need to get done each week or month in your business.  In reading this, you might find yourself overly resistant to this kind of scheduling. You might even be thinking, “I don’t know if I’ll be feeling creative on Tuesdays at 10 am!” What I can tell you is that when you set a schedule and stick to it, within a few weeks your brain will know that it’s Tuesday and will have prepared for that creative task. This means when you sit down to do that task, you’ll be almost immediately productive. How awesome is that?
  • Third, test it out and leave room for changes.  I tell my clients to mark out all the time in their calendar as we’ve mapped it out so far and then to follow it obsessively for one month. From there, after practicing the schedule, they can massage it as needed.  If you’re used to flying loosey-goosey, you’re likely to feel a lot of resistance to a set schedule like what I’ve outlined here. That’s normal! And, if you want to get more done and work more reasonable work hours, I strongly suggest you try it.
One of my favorite things to help entrepreneurs do is set up systems. When I say systems, I’m not referring to software. Instead, I’m referring to a process flow. defined as, “a system is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole.”
Confused? I’ll put it this way: systems are a set of steps that you’re likely to do over and over in your business. This includes everything from the steps you take to brainstorm, write, edit, post and publish your blog to the specifics of how you manage your financial records to how you process new clients.
Ideally, you would have systems set up for everything in your business that’s repeated over and over. This ensures that all of the steps are done exactly the same every single time; this is huge time-saver! The other option, which I see far too often, is that business owners reinvent the steps every time they do that task; this is a huge time-waster!
Whether you’re dealing with a new customer, managing your social media or handling customer service, having systems ensures everything taken care of consistently, reliably, effectively, and efficiently. This means you know ahead of time exactly what steps 1, 2, 3, … 27 are. You know what steps you do, what steps your assistant does, and what steps anyone else on your team is responsible for.
You’re not spending time questioning the process; instead, everyone is just following through on their job. This will save you a ton of time and money each month. Even better, it makes dealing with turnover in your company much less stressful because you’ll have documented your systems so they’re more easily learned by a new addition to your team.
However, to have your business run like clockwork with systems, you have to take the time to step them up and document them. Thankfully, it’s easier than you think!
Stop multitasking…It is not effective.. There is a myth that we get more done if we are doing more than one thing at a time.  When you turn from one thing to another you interrupt brain functions.  Multitasking can also produce more stress and boost toxic hormones, such as cortisol, which clouds thinking and destroy brain cells.  It can take about 20 minutes to to recover from a shift in attention, which wastes time and energy.  So concentrate on one task and complete before moving on to something else.  Clear you desk and only have one thing on it at a time to work on.
Competition is a great motivator.  Use a stop watch, timer and setting for just 10 minutes can boost productivity.  Setting up 10 minute blocks seem less overwhelming than an entire project.  It's amazing what you can get done in a single hour if you do this.  Schedule a few minutes to shift out of task mode before you move on to the next project.
I have shared some effective and most overlooked areas of productivity and exactly how to implement them in your business. All that’s up to you now is to plan it!

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