As someone who is running a business, your time is your most valuable asset. Making sure you make the most of your schedule is essential to your success and your bottom line. The only problem is you are so limited in the time you have. It can be a little overwhelming when you think about all you have to do and how little time you have to get all of your to-do list done. Looking to increase your productivity is a natural desire and goal for so many business owners. So, we have decided to distill down all we have learnt here at Virtalent about productivity. Here is our list of top tips to help you maximise your productivity and make the most of your time.
Declutter Your Space
One of the most common reasons that we feel so overwhelmed with tasks is that we work in a space or mindset that is too cluttered. We have items strewn over our desks, an inordinate number of browser tabs open and notifications beeping off every two seconds. All this clutter around you affects your ability to focus and make decisions. This “stuff” around you takes up space in your mind that you are not even aware of.
In order to increase your productivity, consider turning off your devices for a fixed period, allowing you to focus entirely on one task at a time without any distractions. You could also clear your desk and take some time to clear your thoughts by writing them down. There are a number of things you can do to declutter and the benefit is that your productivity will increase significantly. So, look around you at where your life and workspace are cluttered and take time to clear it up.
Plan! Plan! Plan!
It cannot be overstated enough how effective planning is to increasing your productivity. It relates back to decluttering. By sitting down and planning out your day, week or month ahead, you clear your mind of any decisions that need to be made. One of the biggest hindrances to getting the most of your time is having to stop and think “what’s next?” “where is this going?’. Planning your steps each day or week, that is done and completed before you sit down to focus on your actual tasks. The best thing is it only takes 5 or 10 minutes to plan out your day’s activities. Once you have made those decisions, it allows you the space to take each step as it comes and give it your full attention.
Rest is an Absolute Must
To some degree, this tip appears totally counterintuitive. In order to get more done I need to make sure I do less? Well, yes, that is exactly it. As a human being, you have a finite amount of energy and mental capacity in one day. Unfortunately, you cannot simply work and work and work like a computer. Your body and, most importantly, your mind, needs rest. If you don’t get enough, you are fighting a battle against millions of years of evolution. That is a not battle you are going to win. There are mental activities done during sleep and periods of relaxation that are performed at no other point during the day. They are essential to keep things ordered in your mind, help you have more clarity when you are awake and ultimately, increase your productivity.
Delegate to a Team
As a business owner, your time really is your money. In order to maximise your bottom line, it is important you focus on the most valuable tasks. This can be difficult if you are constantly needing to complete niggling little admin jobs. In this situation, you really need to be taking advantage of delegating your work. Your time is simply too valuable to be used up on such activities. Perhaps you could hire a Virtual Assistant to complete these tasks? Delegating your work is the only way you can increase the time you have to complete tasks, by leveraging someone else’s time to get things done.
Exercise and Stay Healthy
When we think about our overall physical health, doing exercise is a no brainer. It keeps the weight off, strengthens the heart and makes us feel good. However, there is now also a huge amount of research that demonstrates the mental benefits of exercise.
When you are thinking about increasing your productivity you tend to focus on concentration and mental abilities. Which makes perfect sense. So, physical exercise is not always top of the list. However, exercise has now been shown to improve your memory and thinking skills. This means that a regular exercise regime can have huge benefits for the output you produce in your business.
Have an Early Morning Routine
Getting up early is a daunting prospect for many people. However, the benefits to your productivity are immense. By getting up in the early hours you give yourself hugely valuable time to yourself. It allows you to set a routine to get yourself in the right space for the day ahead. You can plan your day, deal with emails without them eating into your most productive hours and make sure you are exercised and ready mentally for the daily challenges.
Do Not Multitask (Ever!)
One of the most common things people do when they feel busy is to try and do far too much in one go. The logic is, if I do three things at once, that is three times as much as one, right? Well, the fact is your brain has a finite capacity for attention and by doing more than one thing at once everything suffers. It takes longer, you make more mistakes and it tires you out quicker. However tempting it is for you to try to multitask, don’t! It has been shown in so much research that it simply does not work. If you want to increase your productivity focus in on one task at a time.
Maximising your time is essential to succeeding in business. It can often seem like a difficult task to get the most from your time. However, by applying these steps into your day you will find that you will significantly increase your output.