When starting a business it seems like there are an infinite number of tasks to juggle. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of the details, no matter how tiny or tedious.
Small changes, like reducing the amount of time you spend checking email or managing your remote team, can quickly add up. This results in more time you can spend growing your business instead of your to-do list.
Manage Time Wasters
One of the most insidious time sucks in the modern workplace is at your fingertips every day, and worse, it’s legitimately work-related. Ask almost anyone what they spend the most time on in the office and the answer is bound to be email.
Email is the basis of communication in the 21st century workforce. So, why not make sure you’re being as efficient as possible?
Professional email etiquette is just as crucial as efficiency, and it’s more than just good manners; it’s good management. For instance:
- Knowing how to start and end a professional email takes the guesswork out of communicating with employees, clients and customers.
- A professional email greeting lets the recipient know that the topic is business-related, and a cordial and appropriate sign-off can eliminate the need for unnecessary responses.
- Knowing when to CC or BCC someone can also go a long way in saving time on email distribution.
- Create folders to organize emails based on specific subjects, and regularly archive emails that you have handled, but that still contain information you may need to refer to later.
- Email search will save you tons of time tracking down old emails, so make regular use of this feature even if your inbox is organized.
Checking your email the right way can also help keep you stay on task. A good way to do this is to set aside certain points of the day to check email, and check it only at those times — if that’s realistic for your industry. Also, try setting your email program to only check for messages at predetermined times if self-control isn’t enough to keep you from clicking that envelope.
Developing Workflow Habits
Structuring your day and managing workflow are the two pillars of a successful productivity strategy. Tasks should be outlined at the beginning of every day or at the end of the previous day, and nobody in the office should ever be unsure of what they are supposed to be doing.
Setting productivity goals at the start of each day gives both you and your employees concrete objectives to work toward instead of an endless procession of menial tasks.
Good physical habits are also an underrated part of an entrepreneur’s success. As cliché as it may sound: a good diet, moderate exercise and the appropriate amount of sleep will actually help you feel better and work smarter, maximizing your potential as a leader and decision maker.
Work habits are important as well, and business owners in particular must evaluate methods on a regular basis to ensure they’re still best for the business. For example, a clean physical and digital workspace minimizes distractions and promotes clarity of mind, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
Putting your business in the best position for success means managing your resources wisely. Time is the most valuable and irreplaceable asset available to your business. Time truly is money, and making sure not to waste either in the early stages of growth can make the difference between failure and success.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jeff Fernandez is the co-founder & CEO of Grovo, a learning platform which is closing the growing digital skills gap with highly engaging, 60-second videos. Grovo’s microlearning method is the best and fastest way to learn the digital skills you need to perform better at work. Connect with @jefernan on Twitter.
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