8 Proven Productivity Practices

By the small business content developers at  BizLaunch.com.

Business owners are busy. As an entrepreneur building equity in a business that requires a ton of effort, you need to make sure that you maximize your output and spend your time on the right things. So how can you focus on generating the most value for your company? It’s easy to get so caught up in putting out fires that you never feel in control of your schedule, but with the right  productivity tips, you can improve your output every day.

  • Be the first one.

When you’re the small business owner, everyone is looking to you for inspiration and direction. Let your employees and customers see your dedication to your endeavour by arriving in the office early. Use your extra time to set your agenda for the day and reply quickly to any emails that need a prompt reply. It’s often easier to take care of work before everyone else files into the office.

  • Write things down.

While the human brain is capable of all sorts of amazing feats, keeping a running list of things to remember while dashing around taking care of tasks may not be the best use of your brain power. Important tasks are bound to get lost in the shuffle. Just as you use a list to buy supplies for the office or stay on top of inventory, you should also keep a list of tasks important to your business so you don’t forget them.

  • Evaluate and prioritize your objectives.

There are a limited number of hours, days, months, and years that you can dedicate to your business. Therefore it’s vitally important to continuously evaluate what is on the ‘to-do’ list. Each day, take some time in the morning to create a list of achievable tasks to complete. Each evening take a look at your ongoing list to see what you achieved and what has changed relevance or importance.

  • Turn off distractions.

We live in an age of distractions. From social media alerts to email notifications to calendar reminders, the flood of information can push us from determined focus to distracted wondering in the time it takes us to react to the notification sound. Pay attention to the many ways you get distracted and cut them off at the source.

  • Set a timer.

How long can you hold focus before the passive musings of your mind undermine your ability to accomplish tasks? While multi-tasking can feel very effective, the fact is when we focus on a single task we can complete it more productively and competently. If you need to do something that feels monumental, break it into a few smaller assignments, and work on it in timed bursts over the course of days or weeks or create timed intervals to complete everyday tasks and stay on schedule.

  • Track performance.

However large or small your business is, you need to know what efforts are producing results and which are not so that you can continue to see improvement in the function of your venture. The Pareto principle suggests that 80% of our results will come from 20% of our efforts and that the remaining 20% of results will require 80% of our efforts, so it’s important to discern which work gets the best results.

  • Take breaks.

Whether it’s a quarterly vacation, a daily break for a walk, or even five minutes to check out your favourite website that has nothing to do with with work, it’s important to schedule time to give yourself a rest. Just as you might find yourself coming up with your best ideas when you’re watching a movie or falling asleep, your brain and body need time away from the demands of holding the reigns. Just like we need time to sleep, we also need time to unwind. Use this time for hobbies, exercise, or just plain vegging out -- no work allowed.

  • Delegate what you can.

You may have started out as a solopreneur, getting coffee, checking the mail, coordinating printing, and scheduling shipping. As your business grows, it’s important to keep your eye on your goals and make sure that your precious time is being spent on activities that keep your business going, and delegating the rest. Do you really need to be the one emptying the bins and replacing paper towels? Are you the best person for updating the website and ordering business cards? If the answer is no, it may be time to expand your team or outsource some responsibilities.

You may believe that there’s no room for improvement in running your business. Don’t let complacency or fear prevent you from taking a tough look at your results to see where you can improve your productivity. Every business owner can benefit from working to increase efficiency in daily tasks.


By Andrew Patricio

September 28, 2016