While plenty of freelancers work from cafés, a home office, and even libraries sometimes, becoming super productive is another matter for business owners. The level of complexity, numerous tasks and projects, dealing with employees, and the need to manage stress all come into play. As such, separate productivity tips are essential for business owners that usually work from home. Here are seven productivity tips tailored to business founders who are trying to get more work done.
Make Light Work of Accounting
Unless you’re an accountant yourself, you may not particularly enjoy doing the bookkeeping. If you try to go further and manage your self-employment records too, that only makes it harder. Fortunately, just as you work mostly from home, it’s also true that accountants can be located anywhere in England and Wales and support clients in these two countries. Therefore, accountants are flexible about the clients they take on and where they’re located. One example of this can be seen through the accountants in Cardiff: Hodge Bakshi. They’re a dedicated team of accounting professionals who provide small business accounting services. This way, you don’t need to do more than necessary and can put your attention to other matters.
Work in a Dedicated Space
If you’ve ever tried to work from home where there are plenty of distractions, then you know how difficult that can be. Trying to get business conducted sitting at a small desk in the corner of the living room isn’t going to work well for long. It’s too easy to turn on the TV and get sucked into daytime programming when you’re not disciplined. Instead, work in a dedicated space. It can even be a box room because the size isn’t that important, especially if you won’t be meeting clients there.
Furthermore, when you have set working hours, make it clear that you should not be disturbed. There are exceptions to this but, for the most part, if it can wait until the evening, then it should. When this isn’t possible, temporarily use a coworking space or another option to keep busy.
Rarely does multi-tasking prove to be efficient from a time management perspective. In reality, jumping between partly competed tasks creates cognition delays when you need to get back up to speed on that task. The more frequent the task switching, the worse it becomes. For most situations, determining what needs to be done, planning out the steps to take, and then methodically progressing through them until everything is completed is the best approach.
So, why do people multitask and feel that they’re being efficient? Because it creates a real sense of busyness. This convinces them that because they’re jumping between multiple tasks, it has to mean they’re doing great! But all it means is that they’re artificially slowing themselves down. Certainly, business owners never have enough time. Therefore, looking for new efficiencies wherever they can be found is the best approach. Multi-tasking will not bring the same results. Instead, explore new ways to complete individual tasks quicker and smarter.
Get the Right Tools for the Job
While every WFM role requires a fast laptop, you’ll be significantly slowed down if you’re stuck with something underpowered. Not only will apps open slowly and perform sluggishly, but the more that are needed to be open at one time, the greater the need for better performance.
The Windows operating system has battery modes that allow you to switch between high-performance, stable, and energy-saving modes. Ensure that you’ve selected the better-performing option. Apple’s iOS also has similar options to select.
Just like with software, if you’re struggling to get work completed because it’s unfamiliar, can you switch back to the software type that you’re used to? Doing that and learning the new software in your free time will still be better from a productivity standpoint.
Shorten Communications and Their Frequency
Emails are usually longer than needed. Most can be answered with a sentence or two. Be sure to include a smiley face icon to convey emotion in messages because this will help to confirm the meaning behind what you’re saying. Bear in mind that outside of visual communication, clarity of meaning is often lost by just the written word.
Check the email inbox less frequently. Aim to process your emails once a day. Set up filters to capture emails from more important senders, so that they can be highlighted.
Also, with short text messaging apps, avoid long conversations during work time. They eat into the time available but also create multiple interruptions to workflow. This can badly affect productivity on deep work tasks.
Reduce Complexity in Business & Life
As humans, we often feel safer with complexity. Partially it can go to justify our presence and the need for our services. It can also be used as a delaying mechanism before getting to more important work. Usually, simple solutions are best since they’re prone to fewer failures. Also, they’re often less expensive to implement.
When you’re working solo or have a small, dispersed remote team, it’s necessary to eliminate complications to cut right to the heart of the matter. The same is true in life because it can overlap into business life when not handled adroitly.
Have a Life Outside of the Business
While it’s possible to work numerous hours a day for a week, a month, or a quarter, it’s the quickest way to burn out. Know your limits. Have a life outside of the business, so that it does not consume you. When you fail to do so, it can lead to feelings of isolation, and yo-yoing emotions with positive and negative business outcomes due to an all-or-nothing focus.
Find a balance in your life. Taking time away may provide some much-needed perspective to return refreshed and with a better outlook on the business.
Productivity is not all about working harder. Even working smarter doesn’t really get to the core of it. In truth, being more productive requires a blended approach to get where you need to go. And taking time out for yourself is needed to avoid burning out.