As a business owner, you want to be as productive as possible in the time you have; as a mumpreneur, you need to be.
Already spread thinly between managing your business, family and household, you need to find ways to be super productive in small periods of time so you get through everything you need to do.
But if you’re like me, that new year motivation that had you all fired up is slowly fading, taking your productivity with it. So here are five productivity tips to get more done in limited time.
1. List all tasks
Spend the first 15 minutes of each day defining your roles and setting the goals and tasks under each of them. Once you have the full list of to-do’s, list them in order of priority, taking into consideration the deadline and profitability of each task.
2. Assign blocks of time
Any task, project, meeting and conversation that is key to your business growth and success should have a block of time assigned to it. Instead of doing tasks off your to-do list as you feel inspired, use a weekly planner and block out specific time blocks for meetings, sales calls, emails and social media, invoicing, client work, family time, time for yourself and all the other tasks you need to get done in the week.
Schedule them in order of priority and establish when they will begin and end. Doing this at the beginning of every week and every day ensures that your important high priority work has time allocated to it first and gets done before the time zapping, distracting tasks like email and social media that we can burn more time in.
3. Take five
Take five minutes before every task, call and meeting to decide what you want to achieve. This way you know exactly what you are aiming for before you start and can easily measure your success.
Then once you are done, take another five minutes to determine if your desired result was achieved. If not, what else could be done to achieve it? What can you learn so you can do even better for next time?
4. Always have an agenda and an end time
I’m sure you’ve experienced those frustrating, time zapping meetings that despite going on for hours, never eventuate into anything. This is where having an agenda helps, it eliminates this entirely.
With an agenda everyone knows exactly what will be discussed ahead of time so can they can adequately prepare. It also has the added benefit of keeping everyone on track and on time at the meeting.
In addition to a meeting agenda always make an end time for each meeting. This way everyone knows exactly how much time they should commit to the meeting and how much time they have to discuss all they need to.
5. Track the time you spent
Tracking the time you spend in each task helps you to identify ways to work more efficiently and ensure that your time scheduling and pricing for all work done is accurate.
So in addition to recording the time I spend on client projects, I also record the time I spend in everyday tasks to see where my time is going and if it is being used productively. This helps me determine if I need to simplify a task further or outsource it all together to buy back some time.
Another way to track your time is with a timer or alarm. This is great for when you are doing those distracting tasks that you can easily spend more time than you should in. Simply set the time you’ve allocated and do as much as you can until the timer goes off – and make sure you stop when it does.
What are your best productivity tips?
You can help us (and help yourself)
Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.
That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany supporter.
Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.