When it comes to your average business workday, how much would you say you get done? For some people it’s easy to smash through a day’s worth of tasks, but for others, it can be hard to keep up, even with 8 or more hours at your disposal. And when you’re alone at the helm of your small business, and no matter how defined your operations might be, you simply have no one else to reach out to to help boost the productivity problems that seem like they’re plaguing you.
But what’s causing productivity problems? Maybe a lack of planning? Maybe you’re taking on too much? Or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time or energy and it’s holding you back? Well, there’s always a reason behind what seems like a procrastination problem, and there’s a solution out there that’s perfect for you! Let’s go through some below.
Start Dividing Your Day
What does your typical workday schedule look like? What do you do to get started at work, what does this initial task evolve into, and how do you end your day? Because when it comes down to it, there’s a good chance your day hasn’t quite been divided up properly, and you’re putting too much time into one thing over another.
A lot of people like to do something known as ‘batching’, which means separating their day into three or more parts and then assigning a general task to each part, such as research or networking. Many smaller, simple tasks can be fitted under each umbrella, and a collective time slot can be used to ensure all related tasks get done at once. This can help you to really propel your day forward, and make sure you don’t miss out on important yet forgettable items here and there.
Employ Automation Methods
Automation is always going to be the best way to field tasks that take up too much time, with very little to show for it, and there are many automation routes in the modern day and age. They’re becoming more and more affordable, and the use of AI in the modern office is something we’re looking to fully accept in the next three years.
So think about how you can use technology to your advantage here. Think about the apps and softwares that help you to schedule your days better, as well as cut out the white noise in the background of your work day. Even just a website chatbot, to get in touch with customers and pass only the most important or pressing of emails onto you, is a good way to save time on offering good customer service. Just because you’re not taking part directly doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job!
You’ve got more to focus on, such as building relationships in your network, as well as collaborating with other local businesses, and putting a spin on that marketing campaign, and that’s already hectic enough! Let an automation program step in to bridge the gap, and don’t be afraid to invest in the use of AI to help you further grow your business.
Refine Your Process
Think about your typical process; from getting a client brief to coming up with an idea to putting a plan into action and then ending up with the finished solution, there are common, regular steps you follow to make money. And through the evolution and initial refinement of these steps, you’ve found that you’ve made a few mistakes along the way, and these have become glaring to you now that you’re older and wiser.
Ultimately, you’re doing things that slow you down. Your process takes up a lot of resources, and you’re left exhausted by the end, and you feel like you’ve made very little progress over the years of going from step to step. So what happens next? It’s time to cut out the middlemen; you’ve got to think about the make ready process here, and how it can be streamlined to prevent downtime and delays on a regular basis.
For example, you need to keep an eye on how your equipment works, and test for vulnerabilities (malware, loss of connection, etc.), even if you just use a computer or a wifi connection to get things done. You need to think about communication between you and clients/customers – how’s your turnaround here? Overall, you need to look for areas where a delay can be minimised, to give you more hours in the working day.
And Just Cut Out as Much as Possible
Following on from the point above, it’s not just your working or design process that might be slowing you down. You can also cut out many more time wasters in your day, from daily meetings to events you don’t need to attend, there are many ways you can scrounge up an hour or two more to make good use out of.
To get started, think about the day to day tasks you undertake that really don’t matter in the long run. Think about where you spend key moments throughout the day, such as the midmorning and after lunch, and what you’re doing during these times. These are critical moments in your working day, and they could be what’s holding you back from really streamlining your current processes.
Maybe you’re answering emails that can wait? Maybe you’re on the phone, and spending a bit too long with each person that calls? It might not sound like much, but it adds up! Understanding how your typical workday goes, and how you can cut out unnecessary moments here and there, will save time unlike anything else.
When it comes to your overall business productivity, it’s no good spending time blaming yourself for things being slow here and there if you can’t do anything about them. Instead, it’s time to focus that energy for the good, and make subtle yet swift changes that can truly improve your turnaround time, just like those above!