Productivity. It’s a big word and means something different to every person you meet. When it comes to business, it usually means getting through a to-do list that’s 30 miles long and making a thousand sales a day. That’s just unrealistic, but people still have that kind of mindset, and usually through no fault of their own.
A lot of people lose focus easily due to a number of things: distractions, other people needing help or input, maybe you even have a learning disability that affects you.
When you have your own small business, there’s a lot you need to keep on top of to stay successful. So what can you do? Having a productive day can be done in a few simple steps:
Exercise Your Brain
There’s a lot to keep track of at work, and sometimes it just completely overwhelms our brains so try some mindfulness exercises. Yes, it sounds a little woo-woo, but it can help you keep focus. Thought experiments can be done quickly at your desk.
Most of all in business, especially if you have your own, you need to be able to accommodate yourself and your own needs. Keeping yourself grounded in the present is one of the first little steps you can take to being more productive.
Have a Healthy Morning Routine
Healthy morning routines are different for everyone, but there are a few general rules that can be applied. If you don’t have a good morning when you wake up, you’re hardly going to have a good morning when you get to work. Business and sleep go hand in hand when it comes to healthy development.
Sleep is the most important thing that you need for part of a healthy morning routine. Not enough sleep and we don’t want to wake up, too much sleep and we’re too lethargic to wake up. It’s like we can’t win! And then you throw work and business needs into the day and it seems there just isn’t enough hours to sort everything out.
Try some simple tips and tricks that can be slotted into your nighttime routine that only take a few seconds. Get your outfit together the night before to give you that extra 5 minutes we all desperately need when the alarm goes off. Similarly, get all your breakfast foods together and plan your lunch the night before.
Try getting up earlier to do some exercise, as this can help to wake you up and get you ready for a long day. Working yourself up first thing in the morning is also healthy, as you’re using up calories instead of energy.
Set Up Direct Payments for Bills and Invoices
Making sure all necessary payments go through automatically is key to stopping worry flitting about your thoughts constantly throughout the day. Taking these preparatory steps means you won’t miss out on your bills, and you won’t have unnecessary expenses on your tab at the end of the month as your finances are reserved.
Make sure you set up a system for taking invoices. Invoices are the main business form of receipt when it comes to making a transaction, and are pretty integral, so don’t let them fly under your radar. Paypal has its own invoicing tool, and it’s completely free to use. If you’re not sure how to present your invoices, use this as a template and build up from there.
Download Desktop Apps to Make it Easier
Turning your phone off at work is a great way to minimise distractions. So that means it’d be better to download any apps you want to try for a more productive work day to your desktop. This keeps all your work central and in the same space, minimising clutter in your mindset.
Try something like a scheduling app to keep you inline, and to make it easier to adhere to all the activities you want to get done in the day. You can set up reminders, and even use blocklists to keep the internet out of your mind and away from your fingers when you don’t need to use it. While it may make us feel bad to miss any deadlines on a scheduling app, that’s part of the reason they’re so effective: we don’t want to miss the deadlines because of how it makes us feel!
Don’t let that get you down, however, as your productivity doesn’t need to take a nosedive because you think you can’t keep to anything. That’s another reason using a digitized timetable is so genius; show yourself you can keep to a schedule when you need to.
Similarly, only check your inbox once in the morning when you first get to your desk and don’t get into the habit of checking it every 2 minutes because you’re bored or worried. Yes, if you’re expecting some important emails have it running in the background, but don’t let yourself obsess. Stagnating like this is one of the worst feelings to have, and sometimes takes a lot to get over.
Maximise on Your Work Hours
Take on the hardest tasks when you first get to work, and reserve after lunch for the easier things. Look forward to your lunch hour again, and stop dreading the other side!
Don’t let yourself become lazy, but don’t constantly accuse yourself of it either. Becoming more productive is a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s good for personal and business development, makes us feel great, and makes us money!
Yet it also can be quickly overdone, and we forget to prioritize ourselves and fellow human beings as a result. Be sure to keep a balance in business, but do what you can to help yourself if you’re feeling inspired.