Business Resolution – Be More Productive in 2013
Most entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals are fairly conscious of their workflow and what needs to be done. The problem of getting things done isn't usually centered around not knowing what to do. Instead, you'll find trying to figure out how to manage time so everything gets done is what keeps the average small business owner up at night. When you're self-employed you tend to wear many hats, and unfortunately as your business grows, so do your responsibilities. If you've been struggling with time management and want to focus on getting more organized and focused in the new year, give these seven best tips for getting things done a try.
- Each night, create a to-do list of what you absolutely must accomplish the next day. Make a second list of things you would like to tackle if you have time. The second list should be your stress free list. If you don't get it done, it's alright. If you do get it done, hurray for being ahead of schedule!
- When you start your day, do the quickest, smallest things on your to do list first. You'll feeling extremely productive and have less to worry about in terms of the number of actions you need you to complete as the day progresses.
- If you're going to need to concentrate on a certain task or project, let surrounding people know you'll be “holing yourself up” for a specific time. This way you don't offend people when you don't respond to their communications and you'll be able to avoid unexpected interruptions.
- Be stingy with your time. Your time is valuable, especially when you have a lot going on. Don't waste it getting too caught up in social media, blogs and other online time wasters. In regards to email and phone calls, only return the ones that are actually pressing. Answer the rest at the end of the day. In fact, save all extra online pursuits until the end of the day as a reward.
- Use a work timer program. I don't necessarily use one to keep track of hours, unless it's for a client project that is paid by the hour. I mainly use it to keep me focused on one project at a time. I don't want my time to be diluted with actions that aren't specifically for that project, so I'm less likely to go look at that email or RSS feed that just came in. I also use a timer program for reminding me of little things I need to do throughout the day, such as appointments.
- Hire out or get the help of others for smaller, less demanding tasks such as household chores and errands. I don't usually mind these tasks, however, when I'm pacing myself for a long work week I find these little tasks consume a lot of mental and physical time that leads to excess stress. Over the years, I found it easier to just ask someone to help out or even hire someone to do them. Most often, my time is better spent working on projects that bring in income as opposed to running errands. When you look at the value of your time, it should be easy to determine which tasks could be better suited to outsourcing.
- Make your production a team effort. If you do well, everyone around you benefits. Your company, your family… pretty much anyone in your inner circle. Communicate with them and let them know what you're trying to achieve and how they can help you get there. In most cases, you'll find people extremely giving in support of your cause. Just make sure to show your gratefulness for their efforts whenever you can.
What do you do to get things done?