Time is money, and when you run your own business or work for a start-up, every minute counts. The internet is a minefield of distractions, so here are some tips to improve your productivity:
Get up early
As they say, “the early bird gets the worm.” When you get up earlier than you have to, you take control of the day.
When you are in control, you are more proactive, and less reactive. Don’t ever sleep in until the last minute, or you’ll be playing catch-up all day!
Stay in shape
Maybe you don’t have time to hit the gym or jog before work, but you still have to find time for exercise at least 3 times a week. When you are healthy, you’re more efficient, and your mind is sharper.
For outdoor exercise, consider joining a softball team, or even start a running club. There’s a direct link between your body and mind, so take care of yourself!
Not only does meditation calm your mind, but once you remove the noise in your head, good ideas are more likely to appear. When your mind is uncluttered, not only do you work better, but you sleep better!
Meditating also has been proven to make you happier, and happy people are more productive.
Work comes at you from all directions, so prioritise what you need to get done first. Use a productivity app, (like Evernote) or an old-fashioned pen and paper to make lists.
You’ll also find that it’s really satisfying to cross things off!
Break big tasks into chunks
You must “Eat the elephant one bite at a time,” as they say. There’s nothing worse than trying to accomplish a large task in one sitting.
Work in 60 minute increments
Your brain starts to get dull after sitting too long, so get up and take a walk around every hour. A single 2 or 3 hour stretch in front of a screen might give you a headache or make your mind dull for the rest of the day. In fact, many people now believe that when it comes to work, less is more, and you are more productive when you work less.
Imagine what an hour of your time is worth. Now, is it really worth spending 3 hours writing a blog post yourself when you can just pay to have a freelance writer do it?
Also, if you aren’t a whiz at Photoshop, don’t try to design your own website, signs, or business cards. Free-lancers are available online for any task, and their inexpensive designs and development can take a lot of your plate. Anything that you can delegate, outsource to a freelancer, or automate can free up your valuable time!
Limit social media
This is a big one. Your office might already block social media sites like Facebook, but your phone is the bigger problem. Set designated times during the day to check social media sites, preferably during a break. Also, try to disconnect during lunch and breaks, because your most creative times are when you aren’t staring at a screen!
There’s a (productivity) App for that
Apps have the potential to make your time more productive. While Evernote is the most popular productivity app, there are plenty of useful ones out there that can help you manage your time efficiently.
Back that thing up!
Computer viruses, ransomware, and power surges destroy hard drives all the time. In fact some small businesses never recover after experiencing a data disaster. Don’t be a victim; you can use services like CrashPlan, Carbonite, or IDrive to backup your files safely on the cloud, and focus your valuable time elsewhere.