Wednesday, June 19, 2013

5 Ways to Boost Business Productivity


As a business owner, there’s no greater feeling (Well, selling your company for billions of dollars might feel a little better.) than getting projects and tasks done. As we head into the second half of 2013, and you’re wondering if you’re going to accomplish all those goals or resolutions by the end of the year, I thought I’d offer up a few productivity tips that have helped me as an entrepreneur…

1. Outsource tasks and focus on what you like to do. If you’re a solopreneur, most likely you wear many hats and do everything from marketing to public relations and customer service for your business. Your To Do list is probably a mile long, and you feel like you need to do everything.

This is the boat I was in for the past 10 years. Ok, maybe I was just a little bit of a control freak with my business and didn’t want to let go of the reigns. However, once I started to outsource some of the work like SEO and web design, my productivity dramatically increased. Now I no longer feel overwhelmed, plus I even get to take an extra day off every now and then without feeling guilty.

2. Find an app for that. As much time as I spend using my smartphone and reading about all the great technology we have nowadays, I often forget that there’s an app for just about every business task or software that can do what used to be complex business activities in 3 seconds.

Did you know that manually scanning receipts and creating Excel spreadsheets for expense reports is a thing of the past? I just learned about the Expensify app that makes it easy to create Expense reports. Snap a picture of a receipt, upload it to the app, and you’re done!

Also, you’ll probably think I come from the stone age, but I’m just now finding out about Microsoft Sharepoint that can easily help you collaborate with others (I’m a Google Docs person), manage your customer database, manage all kinds of web-based content, and more. If you do use Sharepoint, there are even tools like Sharegate that can help migrate all that data. In my defense, though, Sharepoint is probably used more by large organizations, so it’s not software that I would likely come across in my everyday research as a small business owner.

3. Play with a kid. Kids are highly creative, and sometimes that creative energy will rub off on you. Some people get their best ideas in the shower. Others play with kids. It’s funny how many ideas I get for my business just by interacting with my friends’ kids. I’m sure it has something to do with relaxing and just being in the moment. Which brings us to #4...

4. Work only when you feel inspired. I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired or just not in the mood to do something, it can take me hours to finish a task. As a writer, I’ll experience writer’s block when I’m not inspired. However, when I do feel inspired, it will take me half the time to write up an article.

The creative energy just seems to flow when you feel alert and energized. Work doesn’t feel like work and time doesn’t matter.

5. Write it down. I have To Do lists on my phone and computer, but there’s nothing like a good ole-fashioned handwritten list. I actually have tried all types of apps and computer programs for my To Do list, but there’s something magical that happens when you actually write things down with a pen and paper. Try it for yourself and see.

Spend 30 minutes writing down every little idea or task that you want to accomplish. Just clear it from your mind because mind clutter can actually suck energy and make you feel overwhelmed, which then causes you to procrastinate.

What tips would you add to boost business productivity?

Related Post:  Why You're Not Getting Things Done