How to be more productive and save your working time
When it comes to running your own business, there are two things we often want to maximise – our time spent in our business and our productiveness in that available time.
Here are my seven steps to being more productive and ensuring your available working space is being used productively and effectively.
Know where your time goes
The most important step in being MORE productive, is knowing where your time is CURRENTLY being spent. What tasks are taking up your time? In order to better utilise your time, you need to get an accurate record of your working week – so spend at least a week writing down where your time is going.
Drop non-work related tasks
Once you know where your time is going, you’ll be able to ascertain if it’s actually going on work-related tasks. Quite often – especially when you work from home – you’ll find non-work related tasks eating into your valuable working time. It’s quite easy to get into the routine of adding housework, quick walks with the dog or coffee breaks with friends into your working day, but these types of task can easily be dropped and rescheduled for a time outside of work.
If you want a successful business, you cannot do everything yourself. There comes a time when you NEED to start outsourcing tasks to others – to both free up your time and help your business grow. But this doesn’t just apply to work-related tasks – look at what home-related tasks you could outsource too – especially if those losing those tasks from YOUR list will enable you to concentrate on your business during working hours.
Set clear boundaries – for you and for others
Do your family and friends know your working hours? Do YOU know your working hours? You cannot hope for others to respect your business, if you’re not respecting it yourself, so set CLEAR boundaries around it. Put a note on your office door to remind your children not to interrupt you, turn your phone on silent and protect your available working hours.
Get organised – workload and desk
If you organise your workload and your desk, you’ll obviously be more productive – but it’s amazing how many of us forget this! Get a filing system in place, use your diary and/or scheduler and ensure you have everything to hand on your desk that you may need.
Organise your to do list – prioritise it
When it comes to getting organised, your to-do list needs to take top priority! Rather than just write a list of things to do, actually prioritise that list – as it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a long list. You could have a master list of action steps that you complete weekly, but then transfer the daily action steps into your diary or scheduler for each day. Find a system that works for you and ensure you are working on those top priority items first.
Focus on the task at hand
Finally, ensure you are giving the task at hand your full attention. By following the steps above you will be maximising your chances of being able to do this.
Being disorganised, not setting clear boundaries and having constant interruptions will play havoc with your concentration, so get into the habit of giving your current task your whole attention – whether it’s a work-related task or spending time with your family.
How do you feel about the seven steps above? Did you find a particular step was missing from your current actions? What can you do to implement these steps into your day, to improve your productivity and save some time? Why not share your thoughts and insights in the comments box below!
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