8 Productivity Tips to Help Get Your Business Off the Ground

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Starting a business is challenging. Whether you're a one-person show or already have a small team of workers, you need to ensure productivity remains high if you want to achieve your goals.

8 Productivity Tips to Help Get Your Business Off the Ground Grow your business by creating your custom images with PixTeller graphic maker

Here are eight tips you can use to boost your productivity right now.

1. The Permanent Snooze (Turn off your notifications)

Your phone, email, Skype, Slack, office communicator, Facebook, Twitter feed, and whatever else are all distracting you endlessly with their announcements.

But ask yourself, do you need to know when every single email arrives, or when someone commented on a post you liked? All of these disruptions, and that's all they are, disruptions, can be turned off.

Turn off your notifications

If you want to increase your productivity right now, turn off every single notification you have, and only check them 2-3 times a day. Once in the morning, maybe once after lunch, and again in the afternoon.

You'll realize just how distracting all those pings and popups are when they suddenly disappear.

2. No More Guesswork (Plan your day the night before)

Sometimes it's hard to turn off your brain and just go to sleep - especially when you can't stop thinking about tomorrow's tasks. Put your mind at ease by planning your day before you go to bed.

Plan your day the night before

It doesn't matter if you write it down, create a to-do list, or use a calendar, as long as you create an outline of what you want to accomplish. Take those jumbled thoughts, extract them, and put them somewhere else.

You only have so much willpower and brain capacity to call upon, especially when starting a new business, so plan a clear workflow, and you'll have a strong start to every day.

Why is this so effective?

  1. • Decision making taxes your brain;
  2. • Writing down your tasks means you stop thinking or worry about them;
  3. • It removes the uncertainty of how your next day is going to be;
  4. • It allows you to include tasks that add value;
  5. • You can even include a time slot for fun, such as social media or working out;

Take it one step further and keep a notebook and pen beside your bed. If you can't stop thinking about work, or some important task in the middle of the night, then write it down and include it in tomorrow's schedule.

Writing things down is an easy way of letting yourself know that you can't possibly forget about it, so why worry?

Take all the guesswork out of how your day will be by planning it the night before.

3. Eat the Frog (Don't delay the inevitable)

Have you ever heard the phrase 'eat the frog'? It means to tackle your most challenging task first thing in the morning.

"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." - Mark Twain

Your frog is the most painful task of the day - the task you have zero motivation to do and always find an excuse to delay. It's the task that causes you to stress the moment you think about it and adds enormous amounts of pressure.

But, by completing such a difficult milestone first thing, you've removed one of your most significant and most negative mental blocks for the rest of the day. Your shoulders will feel lighter, your stress-levels reduced, and your overall productivity and motivation will be at their peak.

What's your frog, and are you ready to eat it?

4. Pomodoro (Focus on one thing)

Focus on one thing

One of your biggest productivity killers is trying to multitask. Luckily, there are some simple solutions:

  1. • If you're using two computer screens, consider using just one. It reduces the temptation to try and execute another task at the same time.
  2. • Keep a pen and pad next to you. Suddenly thought of something to do? Noticed something else that you need to tweak? Write it down on your notepad and continue with your original task.
  3. • Use the Pomodoro technique (also known as the tomato timer). It's a simple productivity hack where you set a timer for 25 minutes and work ONLY on one task during that time. After 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and then start again.

5. Let Go (Know when to outsource)

Lots of people and business owners outsource. If you don't have any employees, it can be tricky figuring out which tasks to pass off to other people. Your time is limited, but you can work out the 'opportunity cost' of not outsourcing some of your tasks.

In other words, what opportunities will you be losing by not hiring some outside help?

Know when to outsource

For example, if you need to write a whitepaper for a client, but also need to include high-quality graphics such as charts or photo-shopped images, you'll allow yourself more time to curate the whitepaper by outsourcing the graphics.

Work out what your opportunity cost is, and then consider whether to outsource some of your tasks.

6. Break it Down (Measure your productivity)

Ask yourself, "Am I managing my time properly?"

Measure your productivity

Not keeping an eye on your productivity means you may end up working long hours, but with little productivity to show for it. Depending on your business, it may be hard to measure, though.

Bloggers have it easy; measure your word count to easily keep track of your progress. But, how do you measure something more creative, like graphic design?

You can monitor your progress by breaking up your projects into steps and ticking them off as you complete each one.

7. Set the Space (Create an ideal working environment)

A comfortable working environment will do wonders for your productivity. Make sure the temperature is not too hot or too cold, and there is enough light. If your office is lacking natural light, consider installing brighter lights.

Ideal working environment

It's equally important to set up your desk comfortably:

  1. • Keep your back straight and don't hunch over;
  2. • Keep your eyes level with your screen. If you're using a laptop, consider purchasing a monitor, or a laptop stand to raise the screen.
  3. • If your feet aren't firmly on the floor, you need a footrest;
  4. • Your mouse and keyboard should be within easy reach.

8. SMART (Set goals)

Whether you're on your own or managing employees, breaking tasks down into smaller goals is a helpful way to get them done. However, just setting lofty goals and hoping you achieve them isn't going to work. Instead, set SMART goals:

  1. Specific (To finish paperwork for small business loan application);
  2. Measurable (5 pages);
  3. Achievable (I can do it myself if I…);
  4. Relevant (It is worthwhile because…);
  5. Time-bound (By this and this day/hour/date).

With SMART goals, you know you've set attainable goals and can track your progress to make sure you keep to them. Setting impossible goals will only demotivate you (or your staff), so keep them simple, measurable, and winnable.

Include extra incentives for yourself if you achieve each goal, such as taking yourself to lunch or giving yourself a few hours off. Reward exceptionalism, and you'll be more likely to stay motivated and work productively toward the next goal.

Bottom Line

Which productivity tip are you going to use first?

Remember that starting a business has ups and downs, no matter how motivated you are to launch. Don't beat yourself up if you have an unproductive day or two, just set achievable goals, remove distractions, and keep pushing forward.

Until next time, Be creative! - Pix'sTory made by Shai Shmarel

Photo & Animation Maker

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