Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners in 2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and if there’s one thing every small business owner knows, it’s that running a company can be very overwhelming and stressful. At the end of the day, we can all get caught up in the obstacles we face in our journey towards our goals.
The good news is that having the right strategies in place in order to increase your productivity can really help you dodge those obstacles. And what’s even better is that a lot of these strategies will also help you outside of work, giving you a more balanced, healthy, and active lifestyle.
So, with that being said, we wanted to re-share an important article of ours that you need to read in order to improve your productivity. [Updated and Reposted for 2022]
1. Take breaks
This one may sound a bit counter-intuitive; however, taking breaks helps to prevent burn-out. Research finds you get less done when experiencing burn-out than when you are focused and engaged.
There’s tricking yourself into thinking you’re relaxing, and then there’s actually fully relaxing. Make sure to do the latter at least once a day for 30 mins in order to be avoiding burnout. Sit down, take a deep breath, and do something you enjoy that’s not work related. If you catch your thoughts running about work, that’s fake relaxing. Notice those thoughts without any self-judgement and simply start fresh.
We can’t stress the importance of doing your best to completely let go of all stress, even if it’s just for a moment. Those little moments of 0% stress is what your body needs physically and mentally.
2. Eat that frog
“Eat that frog,” is a saying Bryan Tracy coined and later turned into a book. It’s based on the 80/20 rule derived from the Pareto Principle:
80 per cent of effects come from 20 per cent of causes.
All the terminology aside, it basically means focusing on the more important tasks typically yield the greatest results. If you have a hard task, prioritize getting it done in the morning. With the hard task out of the way, you’ll give yourself more time to complete smaller, easier tasks. This is a very simple task management strategy that you can implement now to get started on increasing your productivity.
Also, when you work on a certain type of task for an extended period of time, you get into a rhythm or flow. If you group similarly related tasks, you will find you complete them at a faster pace than ones that are dissimilar because you are constantly re-adjusting yourself into a rhythm fitting to that task’s category. Organize tasks by the similarity of their category and complete each category before moving on to the next.
3. Block Out Distractions
This is an important one. The list of distracting things at home goes on and on. Young kids, pets, cooking, cleaning, laundry – we could keep going, but we’ve made our point. A lot of these are things that can’t necessarily be avoided, so we need to learn how to manage them with our work schedule.
There are a bunch of avoidable things though that we should avoid during work hours. Social media, distracting websites, group chats, and a roller coaster stock market just to name a few. These are things that we totally don’t need, yet they eat up so many hours in our day.
There’s a few strategies you can use to help remedy these distractions. One that makes a huge difference and is so easy to execute is just simply leave your phone off, or in a different room while you are working.
Using Chrome extensions can also be a great way of avoiding distracting sites. Also, Apple products have a feature called Screen Time that keeps track and manages your time spent on sites that reduce your productivity.
4. Have a schedule or routine
Having a routine is the best strategy to keep you on the road to reducing your stress levels at and during working hours to become the successful business owner we know you can be! Routines give you a sense of stability and discipline that thrives on lasting results. Here are a couple ideas of what a routined life may look like:
- Waking up every day at 6am
- Filling out a calendar/schedule per day
- Eating a healthy breakfast
- Having a to-do-list throughout the day for smaller tasks
It’s important to note that you don’t have to take on the whole day all at once; breaking things down into smaller tasks gives you a sense of ease in any stressful situation. A great benefit of routines is that it gives you time to connect with the people you love and do things that still excite you while being a successful boss! As a business owner, we at Bookmark want you to know that we’re here to lighten the load. Bookmark allows you to save more time working on your website to spend it doing what matters most: growing your business and focusing on your personal life.
5. Work it out!
I know I know, you’ve heard it all before… But it’s true! When you’re healthier, you feel better, stronger, wiser even! Moving is one of the best ways to get oxygen up and circulating! And that in itself is important as that increases both energy and attentiveness in the brain!
With most of us now working portably, we have less and less chances of getting up and moving. Getting up every hour or so to stretch is imperative! Now who would we be if we didn’t give you some practical stretches below? These are for our small business owners who are sitting all day! Of course, everyone can try them:
- Change your posture often: Remember to breathe and have your back straight. This helps with your breathing and decreases any soreness from the same position we often feel.
- Stretch your feet often while sitting down: Sticking with the importance of blood circulation, you want to reduce any arthritis as well as any leg stiffs! Keep in mind, bending your legs and feet often helps with your multitasking skills as well!
- Try the 20-20-20 rule: This is quite easy actually! The reason we suggest it, is many of us sit and look at a screen all day and though you may feel productive, sometimes your eyes will get heavy and if not regulated eye problems in the future wouldn’t be so far off..Basically, it’s better to use this rule now than later, so we recommend looking at a distance of 20 feet or more, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes!
- Stay hydrated: Liquids do wonders for the body! And no, we don’t mean your coffee-water, please! Water is an essential part of all our lives. It’s one the 4 natural elements, and though your Starbucks may taste great, nothing is like a cold glass of water! Water does a couple of things for our bodies like, delivering oxygen through our bodies, lubricates our muscles, and of course boosts our skin & beauty!
Delegate tasks to your team
If you’re going to increase your productivity, you need to delegate tasks rather than try to do everything yourself. You should delegate some tasks to other members of your team. While it’s normal for you to want to do everything yourself, you also need to ensure that you don’t burn out in the process. However, you need to determine which tasks should be delegated and which ones you should tackle yourself. You could easily delegate write-ups on social media or sending out emails to another team member.
Prioritize tasks by their importance
With so many tasks to do, it’s easy to get scattered. Sometimes you will feel the need to ask yourself, “what do I start with?” When this happens, the best approach is to set your priorities in terms of their importance. Set the most urgent and important task first. Place any other task lower on the to-do list in order of their importance. Consider using free applications to help you prioritize.
Let’s be honest: being productive when you have limited time to work with can be hard. You constantly need to make tweaks and adjustments to your priorities to avoid spending too much time on menial tasks, so you can focus on the more important ones. Most of all, if you are to be successful, you need to be as organized as possible.
Remember that productivity doesn’t mean you have to stay late and work yourself tirelessly. It means you have to work smart and prioritize effectively. Take breaks to re-energize your focus, eliminate notifications and easy distractions, and delegate tasks if you have too much on your plate. With these tips, you’ll find you will easily be able to carve out, at the very least, a half-hour of your day.