Whether you’re an elementary school teacher, an accountant or a marketing assistant, most professionals have felt the pressure and anxiety of not accomplishing every bullet on their lengthy daily to-do lists. When you’re a small business owner, the stresses can multiply 10-fold. The success of your business relies not only on you being there, but on you being organized, efficient and productive.
To help you learn how to own the day, we’ve compiled a list of five surefire ways to increase productivity at work.
Know Your Rhythm. Every person is different, and knowing your body’s natural timetable of optimum energy can make a world of a difference in your daily productivity. If you find that you work best first thing in the morning, try to accomplish the most important and complex tasks during that time. And if you’re a night owl, you might find it helpful to do some non-office work before hitting the sack.
Work Means Work. One of the biggest mistakes a small business owner can make is trying to combine work with relaxation, such as watching TV or socializing. Since both activities require a significant amount of attention to detail, the odds of you being fully present in the important tasks is low. By keeping the television off and having designated professional working time, you’ll be more productive and better able to relish in the actual relaxation time when the work day is over.
Limit Distractions. While some people can work with constant social media browsing, the majority of working professionals simply can’t. Make a rule to only check Facebook and Twitter when highly prioritized tasks are completed or reserve a few extra minutes of your break time to catch up on the latest news. It’s also helpful to limit more obvious distractions, like your desk clutter. For a simple brain and energy boost, give your work space a nice clean – you’ll be amazed at how fresh and rejuvenated you’ll feel when you de-clutter.
Health Comes First. When your energy goes downhill, your mood and productivity will inevitably go down with it. Your health is one of the biggest factors in the success of your business because you take it with you wherever you go. Make a commitment to yourself by getting enough sleep, exercising once a day, drinking lots of water and eating fresh, healthful foods. When you take care of yourself, everything in your life – including your business – will be well taken care of, too.
Have An Exit Strategy. There’s a reason why journalists have an incredible knack for getting things done in time – it’s because the pressure of a set deadline is a powerful motivator. If you set in stone the time you plan on leaving for the day and prioritize based on that, you’ll feel that constant push to ensure you complete all of your tasks before the time is up. The same technique can be used for individual projects or items on your to-do list.