20 Must-Read Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs

We’ve curated a list of must-read productivity tips for small business owners that can help you work more effectively than ever.

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11. Improve the Work Environment

According to a Houston Chronicle article, external factors can affect an individual’s productivity: “a happy office is a productive office, so look for ways to lighten the work environment. Promote an open-door policy in which your workers can feel free to express their concerns or offer ideas. If you make use of a dress code, consider allowing the occasional casual day during which your staff can dress more comfortably. Recognize employee birthdays, and hold occasional employee outings.”

12. Less Meeting, More Action

Meetings take up valuable time. Don’t spend valuable time meeting. Instead utilize that time to take action. “Meetings are the scourge of many companies’ ability to be productive, according to Time Management Ninja, Craig Jarrow. “They interrupt productive employees. They tie up expensive resources. (You didn’t think meetings were free, did you? And they zap employee morale.”

13. Get Up Earlier

Productivity could be tied to when you start your day: “Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. It’s not uncommon for successful CEOs to start their day well before 6 a.m…,” according to Bruna Martinuzzi, founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd. “Use the mantra ‘mind over mattress’ to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals. As Laura Vanderkam says in What successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Morning—And Life, while many are sleeping in, successful people are already up and getting a lot done. If this is not your preference, Vanderkam advises to start with small steps, such as getting up just 15 minutes earlier every day and gradually increasing the time.”

14. Hire Outside Experts as Consultants

If you don’t have the time or knowledge to handle certain business operations, Business News Daily recommends outsourcing tasks to consultants, stating: “Don’t keep a heavy payroll which can increase operational costs; consider hiring a consultant for bookkeeping, social media, computer technology and graphic design.”

15. Get Real

Goal-setting is essential to productivity. According to Business Know-How it is important to “set realistic goals that are not unreasonable or unattainable. It can be very demotivating to consistently feel as if you have not accomplished anything, simply because you regularly fail to meet unreasonable goals that you’ve set for yourself. By setting more realistic and attainable goals, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, and often be motivated to work harder.”

16. Prioritize

Simply put, when you own a business everything seems important. “Prioritization is the essential skill you need to make the very best use of your own efforts and those of your team,” according to MindTools.com. “It’s also a skill that you need to create calmness and space in your life so that you can focus your energy and attention on the things that really matter.”

17. Distribute Workload and Hours Fairly

The amount of work given per individual can affect their productivity, as well as the productivity of a team as a whole. Gaebler.com recommends: “You want to be consistent in everything you do. Every employee should get the same opportunities to work overtime, and everyone should also have hours cut in a similar fashion. Sticking one or two people with all the work creates bad morale. Those who get dumped on will be universally unhappy, while those with a light workload may get labeled as ‘teacher’s pets’ by the other employees.”

18. Utilize Technology

Technology is a great way to increase productivity, according to American Express OPEN Forum: “A few popular tools—some of which are free—include Dropbox to store files online; Any Meeting to host a webinar; Basecamp for project management; Trello for kepping track of projects and deadlines; and Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media postings.”

19. Train Your Employees

If your employees aren’t being productive, are you sure they know how to be? “Training improves efficiency and productivity of employees. Well trained employees show both quantity and quality performance. There is less wastage of time, money and resources if employees are properly trained.

20. Create Benchmarks and Rewards

If you have large and complex tasks to complete set benchmarks to guide the standard by which all activities are compared and measured.

With every benchmark completed, add an incentive to encourage more productivity. “Rewards are a powerful way to motivate yourself to get things done. These “carrots” are the entire foundation of my productivity system because they encourage you to delay gratification until you’ve made significant progress with your most important tasks, goals, and daily habit.”

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Photo: Mango

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