It seems that there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you want to get done in your business. No matter how hard you work, there’s always more work to get done.
But the key to being more productive isn’t necessarily working harder. It’s working smarter.
Here are 4 tricks to increase your productivity and make the most out of every hour of the day:
Know Where Your Time Goes
The first trick to being more productive is knowing where your time is going. Doing a time inventory will help you to see where you’re spending your time and effectively identify opportunities to increase productivity.
Using a tool like TimeDoctor or Toggl, keep track of how you spend your time for one week. Track everything: time spent driving to work, time spent browsing the web, time spent at meetings.
At the end of the week, you’ll be able to see patterns in your behavior and identify areas of your time that could be spent being more productive. For example, you might be spending more hours per week on social media than you thought, or perhaps household chores are taking up time that could be spent on personal projects. Whatever the case may be, the first step to using your time in a more productive way is understanding where it’s going, and a time inventory will give you that understanding.
Use Email Wisely
One of business’ most indispensable tools is also one of it’s largest productivity killers: email.
When used correctly, email is a quick and convenient way to communicate with your colleagues and clients. But a universal rule of email is that they multiply like bunnies; for every email you respond to, ten more are going to come into your inbox. You could easily lose your entire day to emails if you don’t approach it in the right way. And spending an entire day responding to emails isn’t going to get you any closer to reaching your business goals.
And while email is an absolutely essential part of your business, you have to use it wisely.
Schedule a few times of day that you respond to emails; at the start of your day, after lunch and an hour before you wrap up are good places to start. And then ONLY respond to emails during those time slots. By doing this, you’re freeing up the rest of your day to focus on the parts of your business that are truly going to have an impact and are going to seriously increase your overall productivity.
Focus On The Right Tasks
No matter how productive you are in your business, no one can be a one person show. The most effective business people are the ones who focus on the areas of business which come most naturally to them and make the most profit. An easy way to become unproductive is by focusing on tasks that you’re not well equipped to complete.
For example, let’s say you run a content marketing business, and the bread and butter in your business is producing content. That’s what you love, and that’s where your talents lie. But instead of writing, you find that you’re spending frustrated hours trying to create images to go along with your content.
Instead of trying to do the graphics, hire a graphic design partner so you can focus on the portion of your business where you shine. You’ll be significantly more productive when you’re focused on the right tasks.
Try The Pomodoro Technique
If you find you have trouble focusing when you sit down to work through a task, the Pomodoro Technique can help you get things done.
The Pomodoro Method is a trick for powering through work in short bursts, and it’s incredibly easy to implement. All you need is a timer.
Choose a task that you need to get done, and set your timer for 25 minutes. For that 25 minutes, focus only on that task – no email, no outside conversations, no distractions. Once that 25 minutes – or your first Pomodoro – is up, take a 5 minute break and relax. Then, once the 5 minutes is up, begin the Pomodoro cycle again. Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break, between 15 and 30 minutes.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you to focus in on the task at hand and get it done in manageable chunks of time. For the easily distracted, this can be the difference between checking tasks off your to do list or getting completely sidetracked by useless distractions.
Follow The Two Minute Rule
The biggest productivity killer is procrastination. Often times, we’ll be faced with a small task and think “Oh, I’ll just do it later”. But the problem, when you do that multiple times throughout the day, all of those small tasks add up and you’re suddenly faced with an extra hour or more of work.
To avoid adding time to the end of your day, follow the two minute rule. If you’re faced with a task that can be completed in two minutes or less, do it immediately. This will help you stop procrastinating, tackle tasks as they come and help you to finish tasks earlier.
At Rogue Print and Mail, our proven track record of delivering the highest quality print and design services to professionals speaks for itself. With fast turnaround times, industry specific templates and designs, an online portal available for any groups that wish to work with us to be able to store and manipulate their templates, and an in-house team to guide you in all of your branding, design and printing needs, Rogue Print and Mail is the preferred design and print partner for many hundreds of professionals across Australia.
I sincerely hope that you found this information valuable. For advice on effective branding, design and cross media marketing, please don’t hesitate to call me on 1300 65 85 00 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an obligation free 10 minute discussion with a member of our expert team.