Productivity hacks for business owners

by Jennifer Chamberlin

May 2018

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When was the last time you ticked everything off of your to-do list? I'm willing to bet you can’t remember. In the digital world that we live in it’s become incredibly easy to get distracted - the apps on our phones and the excessive number of tabs open on our screen makes it near impossible to have a productive day at work.

In the past there have been many productivity ‘hacks’ and techniques that claim to help revolutionise your life and get more done, but they don’t address the real issue - most people will procrastinate and the only way to stop this is to develop habits that help you ‘get stuff done’.

Here are some hacks that, if implemented regularly, can help your business thrive in the long term.

Plan the night before

Studies have found that the first hour of the morning is the best time to complete your most meaningful, important work, but many of us waste it planning the day ahead, when it can easily be done the night before. Although I’d never recommend doing this right before your head hits the pillow (talk about putting unnecessary stress on yourself) I would suggest spending a portion of your evening planning out what needs to be done the following day. This way you’re in a better position to hit the ground running come the next morning.

Set aside dedicated times for email

Email can be a real time-suck, especially for businesses, which is why you should dedicate set times during the day to answer and sort your emails. Avoid of doing this first thing in the morning (and stressing yourself out) and instead try scheduling some time before midday to answer them. Then, pencil in another hour to go through emails, responding only to the most urgent, time-sensitive ones. Another tip is to pick up the phone and address any questions in order to avoid a time-consuming game of email ping-pong.

Get rid of your phone

I know, I know - it’s easier said than done, but your phone is the biggest productivity-killer. When you’re up against a deadline take drastic action and leave your phone in another room, on silent mode, so that you have to physically get up to check it. Failing that, lock it in your desk drawer and hand the key over to a trusted colleague. At the very least, turn your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, which stops all calls and notifications popping up.

Schedule your day for success

What does a successful day look like for you? Instead of writing a never-ending to-do list and hopelessly staring at it, take those actions and schedule it into your calendar. Think about when in the day you’re at your most productive and pencil in the deeper, more urgent work. By blocking out chunks of time for work, rest, lunch, etc you have more control and visibility over what you can accomplish in a day, making it much more productive.