7 Ways to increase your productivity

Time is our most precious commodity. And bit by bit, over time, we pick up habits that can have a negative impact on our productivity and the use of time.

The new year is a great opportunity to take check and identify habits you may like to change. Managing time better, is a great way to ensure better work-life balance so there are more hours in the day to do the things you love.

Here are 7 ways to you can help improve your daily productivity:

1.  Put your ideas in writing
You may have a great idea in mind but until you write it down it’s difficult to work out what you need to do to make it a reality. Start by writing down your idea and what the end goal is. Then write a list of what you need to do to to make it happen. A simple one-pager plan may be all you need to do to help keep you on the right track.

2.  Set some time frames
Once you have a clear idea on what you need to do to reach your goal, put some dates alongside the main outcomes you want to achieve. The benefit of this is two-fold. One, you have a end date in sight (and you can start planning your celebrations) and it also breaks up what may feel like a big, overwhelming project into smaller, more manageable parts.

3. Celebrate your wins
When you tick something big off your todo list, give yourself a good ol’ fashion pat on the back. Go buy yourself a coffee or nice lunch and reflect on what you have achieved. This positive reinforcement will help you stay motivated to take on the tasks that follow. It’s too easy to just move onto the next thing without enjoying the journey. And the journey is, the fun part.

4. Get the right tools for the job
It’s a simple one, but often overlooked. Do you have the ‘tools’ or technologies you need to do your job efficiently? If the answer is no, it’s probably time to upgrade or invest. You won’t regret it. Think of all the time and frustration you will save - which ultimately translates to business cost.

5.  Quit multitasking
It’s a proven fact. Multitasking decreases productivity. You may feel like you are doing more but the reality is, you are not doing anything to the best of your ability and it increases your burn-out rate. Multitasking is when mistakes happen and you end up spending twice as long on a task.  Take on one things at a time, do it well, then move onto the next.

6.  Turn off notification
Having notifications such as email and social media alerts enabled, particularly on mobile devices interrupts and encourages multitasking. As we have just covered, this is not a good thing. Instead of acting immediately in response to notifications, schedule time in your diary to check for example your emails periodically.

7.  Trust your employees and delegate
A common mistake small business owners make is trying to do everything themselves. Instead of carrying all of the burden, trust your employees and empower them to manage a project of key task themselves. If you are a sole-trader, look to outsource things that you may not have the correct skills to do yourself. Not only will you be able to get through work a lot quicker, but you are investing in your staff and business by bringing fresh skills, perspectives and enthusiasm to the floor.

Try introducing these strategies in 2017 and you will find you will be more organised, relaxed and in a better position to respond to the inevitable unexpected.