5 simple ways to improve your productivity with your small business
One thing I am asked over and over again is “how do you manage to run two businesses and have kids too?”. My answer is often that I am good at juggling but it is far more than that. I recommend a mix of delegation, outsourcing and prioritising within your business and outside too - for example, getting a cleaner was one of the best things I did. It meant I had more time doing what mattered - I outsourced outside of my business rather than inside it.
Earlier this year I was invited to Facebook HQ where I went to an amazing workshop on this very topic so want to today, share some ideas with you that really resonated with myself.
Focus on what YOU choose.
We are our own bosses but this often means that we do everything including focusing on the things we hate. But on top of this, we tend to focus on what is not important, and indeed on things that have nothing to do with our businesses. How often have you posted an update to social media to then lose 20 minutes scrolling through your feed? How much time do you do this a day, a week, a month? There are so many distractions out there - news and articles are everywhere, as are cat memes, so we need to choose our distractions mindfully. Recognise where we get distracted and do something to change it. Schedule your social media, set time to read emails, set boundaries with your phone.
Stop letting other people control your day
We get a dopamine rush every time we check our emails, hoping that person who we are desperate to hear from has replied. This leads to us checking throughout our working day and of course after work too - ask yourself how often do you check it? The craving is bad for your health and mind and in fact you are letting them control you and your output. Set aside time per day to check emails, turn off notifications and close the tab on your pc. Take back control.
Watch your switch time
How often are you doing three things at once? We did an exercise in the workshop to prove that multi tasking is indeed bad for you, but also not really a thing. Of course, us women were like “of course I can multi task” but what was clear very fast we when doing three things at once, we were not doing any very well. Try and concentrate on one task at a time and finish it before moving on to the next thing on the list. When you want to switch between tasks do it mindfully - make a conscience decision to do it rather than flitting without control.
Save your best mind for your best time
Most people are at their best first thing in the day, and some at the end of the day - we are all different but one thing we have in common is we all have slump times. For me this is 12.00 - lunch time- when I have lost my energy. I now take this time off, go and sit outside and read a magazine. I give myself a reboot. When you know your best time, use it to create something great. Use your slump time to review emails where you don’t need to be at your best.
Learn to clear your mind
When you start an important call with a client or go to a meeting, take time to clear your mind beforehand. I always did this when working in my corporate job. I used to watch people frantically checking their Blackberries (pre - smart phone era!) while walking into meetings so their heads were pretty scrambled at the start. I refused to (much to my bosses annoyance) resulting being in the right frame of mind when I needed it.
Ask yourself is your mind full or are you mindful? If it is the former then it is time to actively look at your routine!