No one ever got anywhere by doing the bare minimum. Your business’s growth depends on you getting as much done in as little time as possible. The five tips below will help you accomplish as much as possible each and every workday. By accomplishing more and procrastinating less, you’ll decrease your stress levels and be a more productive person overall!
1. Prepare in advance. At the end of each workday, figure out what you need to get done the next day. Most people are more productive and better able to focus in the morning. Having everything laid out so you can get started right away the next morning ensures that you take advantage of your most productive hours. Go through all of your tasks to figure out what you need to get started. If there are questions you need answered before you can begin, you can send emails and get answers now so you’re not playing the waiting game come tomorrow.
2. Prioritize and plan. Decide what tasks are most important and what tasks can wait until tomorrow. You should dedicate no more than three most important tasks to each day. If you fill your plate on Monday with all of your tasks for the entire week, you’ll likely hop from project to project without actually completing a single one.
3. Schedule tasks and set reminders. Managing your time effectively is a critical part of being productive. Fortunately, today’s digital landscape has provided a vast array of apps to help us manage our time. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, like the one provided in SAGE Online, SAGE Mobile and SAGE Web, allows you to view all of your tasks for the day and schedule reminders, so you can dedicate less of your brain to remembering to call someone in three hours and dedicate more to the task at hand.
4. Focus on one thing at a time. One of the biggest barriers to completing a big project is constant interruption. Receiving an email or instant message every five minutes is disruptive enough as it is, but we’re often urged to acknowledge these menial tasks, therefore abandoning the project we were trying so hard to focus on. It’s tempting to quickly review a press release or respond to an email because those are easy tasks and we feel like we’re finally accomplishing something – a feeling absent from the big project we’ve been working on all afternoon. Try disconnecting for an hour or two. Unless an email is urgent, it can wait until your project is done. By getting the most pressing and important tasks done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping your stress levels down. The sense of satisfaction for completing a large task is much greater than it is for a small task and it will set the tone for the rest of your day.
5. Take a break. We all get stumped from time to time. If you’ve been focusing for hours on finding the best products for your client’s upcoming product launch and you’re drawing a blank, it’s probably time to walk away. Not permanently, of course. Taking a break isn’t the same as giving up, in fact, science says it makes you more productive and creative. So when you’re back in front of your computer, you’ll be drawing great ideas instead of blanks.
Do you have any other tips for making every day productive? We’d love to hear them – enlighten us with a comment below!