Productivity Guide for Small Business Owners
As a small business owner, you’re always juggling numerous responsibilities. Whether it is running your business’s budget, dealing with maintenance, managing employees or interacting with customers, ensuring your business is successful takes work. It can be difficult to master time management skills, and that is why we’ve created this guide for tackling productivity, getting organized and making the most of your time.
Write it all down
Never forget about a meeting or task again. If you adopt the habit of writing everything down, you’ll ensure that you remember what you need to do. Whether you prefer traditional to-do lists, or want to utilize an online project management program (we recommend Asana), having somewhere to store notes for various initiatives will be very beneficial. Basically, you’ll never regret writing something down, so make it a part of your routine.
In addition to written to-do lists, Evernote is a great organizational app that lets users generate lists and manage projects. Add text, hyperlinks, voice memos and even turn your work into slides to share with your team. The basic plan is free, but there are also packages with more storage and additional features.
As a small business owner, you won’t gain respect if you’re infamous for forgetting about meetings or other responsibilities. In addition to writing everything down, increase your productivity by holding yourself to a schedule. Using a planner will help you avoid procrastination and abide by deadlines.
Notorious for losing things? A digital planner may be your best bet. Some online planners even let people book appointments to meet with you during your open time slots. A few helpful planning services to check out are ScheduleOnce, Weekplan and Doodle.
Become especially organized by developing calendars for specific areas of your small business that require consistent activity. For instance, this social media calendar will help you stay structured and know which platforms you’re posting to each day.
Learn self control
In your role, you must eliminate distractions in order to master small business productivity. You can’t afford to waste time surfing the Internet or hanging out with friends during work hours. If you struggle with self control, there are solutions that can help you foster efficient time management skills.
While working online, use the Self Control app. It allows you to enter specific websites that could pose as a distraction (we’re looking at you, Facebook) and the amount of time you need to be productive. Once you set the timer, you are locked out of viewing the chosen websites. Finish your work, and then you can reward yourself with watching animal videos on YouTube.
Make it a team effort
Even if you’re incredibly productive, if your team isn’t just as organized, things could still fall through the cracks. Hold meetings to make sure your staff is staying on top of their responsibilities, and suggest tools that you think will benefit their work styles. This will guarantee a compatible, cohesive workflow.
If you’re struggling with completing tasks or getting preoccupied, find an accountability partner who will keep you honest. Check in with them and let them know your progress on projects; you won’t want to have to admit you’ve been slacking on your work.
Securely store important information
Scrambling to find important documents is stressful, and losing them could harm your company. Always keep sensitive information in a lockbox or other secure storage system. Don’t worry about losing passwords by storing them in a password manager service like LastPass or Dashlane. File away bills and other expense reports each month when you receive them. By making organization a habit, you’ll never risk misplacing something significant.
Change the way you work
The way you approach tackling tasks may be what is stifling your productivity. Complete your most crucial work first, so that once you’re finished you’ll only have smaller duties left to complete. By starting assignments ahead of time you will guarantee that your work isn’t rushed, and you won’t risk not completing it.
Utilize the time you have
Everyone has more time than they think! The time spent waiting for appointments, eating lunch or other short periods can be used to complete small tasks or get re-organized. Take advantage of extra moments and use them for work instead of binge watching Netflix or other non-productive habits.
Efficiently managing responsibilities is part of the challenge of running a small business. By proactively implementing set ways to manage your work, you’ll be able to flourish as a leader. Ensuring small business productivity is a priority will make your job easier, and you’ll be able to appropriately manage all of your responsibilities.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.