As a small business owner, there’s no shortage of tasks and responsibilities staring you in the face. And if you’re like most in your position, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed — especially on those super-busy days. There are many general ways to improve productivity, such as using technology to save you time.
However, that may not be enough to generate the results you’re seeking. You may need more help to boost your productivity to better serve your employees and customers.
Here are five of the most overlooked ways to improve productivity as a small business owner:
Turn Off Your Cell Phone to Improve Productivity
This sounds like a simple thing to do, but many small business owners can’t bring themselves to make this decision.
Instead, they leave their cell phone on all day long, which results in them taking personal calls and sending texts that do nothing but waste time.
If you need to leave your cell phone on — perhaps because it’s how you best communicate with customers, employees, and suppliers — vow to yourself to avoid all personal conversations during work hours.
Tip: Schedule breaks throughout your day to check your cell phone for personal matters. This makes it easier to put it away during work hours because you know you’ll be able to check it at certain times of the day.
Focus on the Most Important Tasks When You’re Most Productive
Have you taken the time to consider when you’re the most productive? Is it during the early morning hours before anyone else arrives at the office? Is it during the evening hours when your home is quiet?
Think long and hard about your most productive times of the day. From there, look for ways to focus on the most important tasks of your day during that time.
The last thing you want to do is waste your most productive hours on tasks that won’t move the needle. Save these tasks for other times of the day.
Get Professional Help
It may seem like a far-fetched idea, but hiring a productivity expert could be the best decision you ever make.
This person will closely review your daily schedule, ask you key questions, and help you make changes to boost your productivity.
At first, it may be difficult to open up to a productivity consultant. You may even be scared about letting them see how you work.
But once you get in the right frame of mind, you’ll realize that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help you improve.
Tip: Don’t just hire any productivity consultant. Ask around to find someone who has assisted people in your network and/or industry in the past. This will give you the confidence you need from day one.
Consider Any Health Concerns
It’s scary to think about, but there may be health reasons why you’re not as productive as you want to be.
Fortunately, if you pinpoint the problem and receive the proper treatment, you can put this to rest once and for all.
For example, if you’re a male, you may want to take a testosterone test to ensure that your levels are high enough. Low testosterone is a common cause of fatigue in men, thus resulting in decreased performance on the job.
Just the same, women can run into similar issues should they have low estrogen levels.
Tip: Don’t assume that you can treat even the most minor health concerns on your own. If it’s something you’re worried about, it’s something you should discuss with a qualified medical professional.
Eliminate Your Commute
In today’s day and age, this is something that a growing number of small business owners are doing. They realize that commuting to and from the office is a time drain, both for them and their employees.
Even if you can’t work from home every day of the week, consider doing so on a part-time basis. A slight change of pace can do wonders.
If you’re on the fence in regards to eliminating your commute, the first thing you should do is calculate how much time you spend in your vehicle.
For example, if you typically commute one hour each way, you spend two hours per day in your vehicle — that’s time that you could be working.
Now, think about what you could get done during this two-hour span. It won’t take you long to realize that there are better ways to spend your time.
Track Your Progress to Improve Productivity
It’s one thing to say that you’ll use these tips to boost your productivity as a small business owner. It’s another thing entirely to implement them and experience a real change in your day-to-day life.
Don’t assume that everything you do will result in positive changes. For instance, you may find that one of the suggestions above actually makes you less productive.
The best thing you can do is make one change at a time, stick with it for the course of several weeks or months, and track your progress.
This will help you better understand what worked, what didn’t, and how you can adjust your approach in the future.
Note: Don’t expect every productivity hack to work out for the better. In an overall sense, this is a trial and error process. Some methods will work, while others come up short.
Employees aren’t the only ones that need help staying engaged and productive. As a small business owner, you may have realized that this is an issue you’re struggling with, too.
You should strongly consider anything that could help you improve in this area. Even a small jump in productivity can go a long way in making you a better owner and manager.
How do you feel about your current level of productivity at the office? Is there room for improvement? What steps do you plan on taking in the near future to reach all your short and long-term productivity goals?