Running a business can be overwhelming because there is just so much that needs to get done.
When you’re stressed, your productivity begins to fall off, which only makes you more stressed.
So how do you combat this vicious cycle? You do it by implementing simple strategies to boost your productivity. You don’t have to make big changes or spend tons of money to be more productive. Simply organising your workspace and your desktop can help you find things easier. Implementing systems and programs to automate work is another option.
30+ Strategies to Boost Productivity
You sit down at your computer each day and look at your to-do list for the latest marketing campaign. You start checking your emails only to see you have over 500 to read. Then you get a notification your client wants to chat on Facebook. Before you know it, half the day’s gone and you haven’t accomplished anything on your list.
I get it. I’ve been there. (And it still happens occasionally!)
You’re stressed just at the idea of getting everything done. Luckily, implementing these productivity hacks into your daily routine can make a big difference in how productive you can be.
Get laser focused on the important tasks.
Focus on the tasks that have the highest impact for your business and delegate the rest. Know what those tasks are.
Change your wake up time.
Get up earlier. Spend time having a healthy breakfast, reading industry news and exercising. Then you can spend your normal working hours focusing on the things you need to do in your business.
Set up time blocks in your calendar to work on each task.
Set up blocks of 30 minute to 2 hours at a time to work. Don’t schedule meetings during your most productive time, often mornings.
Block out distractions.
We are constantly bombarded with emails, Facebook, meetings, and even multitasking. It’s easy to get distracted by email, social media, calls, meetings, even the news. Instead, turn off notifications, log out of social media, turn off radios, and mute your phone while you work.
Focus on one task at a time.
Forget multitasking. Set a timer to work on one specific task for a set amount of time.
A morning routine has been used by successful people for years. Set up your morning routine with specific processes to help you gain focus and be more productive. Your morning routine could include a regular wake up time, drinking water, a healthy breakfast, exercising, meditating, and stretching.
Reading for an hour and writing in your journal help you clear your mind while going over your to-do list for the day prepares you for what you need to do.
Get out and exercise daily.
Most business owners tend to spend a big part of their day in front of computers. Getting outdoors for a few minutes every few hours can refresh and reboot your physical and mental energy. You also need to do some form of exercise every day. Exercise can help you be more productive and lower stress as well.
Every day I do two 10 minute walks outside with my husband and pup to clear our minds and get the legs moving.
Focus on what motivates you.
Why do you do what you do? Focusing on the why helps you find the energy to keep working, even if you are stressed or tired.
Optimise your to-do list.
Classic to-do lists are often never ending. Be realistic on what you can actually accomplish, do the tasks only you can do and delegate the rest. Create 3 to 5 tasks for the day. No more. Then schedule them into your calendar using time blocking.
Eliminate administrative tasks.
You can automate many of them, saving you a few minutes here and there. Others can be outsourced or delegated to someone else.
Communicate effectively to keep productivity moving.
Communicating online through a central communication system keeps all members of the informed on what is happening. I love Slack for general communication that isn’t task-specific.
Use canned templates.
Develop templates you can use on the phone or in emails or social media that you can plug in relevant details and use. Spend about 30 minutes a day developing the different types of templates, like email templates, you need to make sales and communication more manageable.
Repurpose your content.
You can save time and money by having every piece of content do double duty. Content can be repurposed in multiple ways. Repurpose blog posts into social media posts, videos, or reports. Turn webinars into reports or slideshows. Turn sales pages into sales templates.
Break up your work time with breaks.
Adding breaks throughout the day allows your mind some time to refresh. Use the Pomodoro Technique to create 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5 minute break.
Use email responsibly.
Streamline your email time to free up time and resources. Don’t answer emails as they come in. Instead, set a specific time in your day to go through and clean your inbox.
You can use a tool like Mailstrom to group related messages to make it easier to respond to the important emails first. It also features a silent function, so you can set it to be notified of new emails at a specific time. Use it to unsubscribe from old or unwanted lists and update your retention settings.
Track your time.
Use time management software to keep track of where you might be wasting time.
Establish systems and processes.
Processes allow you to be more efficient by having a system for mundane and repetitive tasks. Create ongoing checklists for things like content creation, social media management and other tasks that are repetitive. These checklists can be set up with daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks that need to be met.
Do your most important tasks first thing every day.
Complete the most important task first thing in the morning. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment. Then you’ll be able to focus on your secondary tasks easier knowing you’ve already completed the critical task.
Get plenty of sleep and rest.
They are important to keeping your productivity level high. Set up a nightly routine for getting your mind away from work. Turn off devices an hour before bedtime. Get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Focus on small steps.
Focusing on one small step you need to do toward a big project instead of all the thinking about everything that needs to be done helps you decrease stress. Slow down and take small steps to help you concentrate.
Schedule your social media time.
Checking and responding to social media posts while trying to finish a task can eat up time and break your concentration. Instead, set a specific time to check your feeds.
Concentrate on the process.
Overthinking and analysing the outcome of what might happen can rob you of being productive. Instead, research and prepare for the task.
Know when to get help.
If you have a task you’re unsure how to do, find someone who can help you. This saves you time in several ways including having to redo it later.
Delegate and outsource.
Along the same lines, delegate and outsource tasks you aren’t high profit for you. The tedious tasks and ones that require specific skills will be more productive if done by others qualified to do them.
Set realistic goals.
Set a deadline for the goal and stick to it. Then create a plan to work on tasks each day to get you to that goal.
Prepare ahead for the next day.
Before quitting work each day, write out a quick list of tasks you want to accomplish the next day. Jot down any ideas you want to explore as well.
Automate certain tasks.
Automate tasks like scheduling calls, social media posting or content marketing tasks. Use tools like automated social media tools to create and schedule posts weeks ahead of time.
Learn and memorise what the keyboard shortcuts are.
These shortcuts can save you a bunch of time. Take the time to learn the major shortcuts for Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or whatever program you use.
Organise your computer.
Clean up your desktop and organise folders so it’s easier to find stuff when you need it. Empty the trash folder and turn off your computer at night.
Be realistic about how you do time management.
Time blocks are great for structuring your day. However, if you are unrealistic about how long it takes to finish projects you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Set up your work space so that it is welcoming for you to work in.
Add a few personal touches to your desk, put up inspiring artwork and add a plant or two. Get a comfortable chair to help you be more likely to continue for longer periods.
Create a realistic schedule.
Create a schedule and stick to it with set working hours. Start and end your day as often as possible on the same schedule. Be sure to schedule breaks and lunch times.
Keep things neat and organised.
Keep your desk clear of unnecessary items and the room clutter free. Keep a planner or calendar handy.
Plan your day/week/month according to your goals.
Knowing what you are working towards helps you stay on track with your tasks.
Putting It Into Action
Now that you’ve gotten some great strategies and hacks on being more productive, it’s time to put them into action. Begin by deciding which ones are right for you and try using them for a few days. Track how much difference it makes in your productivity. Keep tweaking and changing how you do things until you’re being your most productive.
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming trying to get all the tasks completed to make your business a success. Using the right techniques, asking for help, and using helpful resources can make a big difference in the boost you need to make your marketing and sales productive.