Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in your day? You’re certainly not alone. This is a common complaint for business owners, who often wear many hats, especially in the early days of a startup. An endless list of tasks, work hours that start before the sun rises or end long after it sets – these are major issues for entrepreneurs, yet who has the time to find a solution? As it turns out, you do. There are simple, effective ways to increase productivity; you just need to know where to start.
1. Set Your Priorities
First things first: It’s time to set your priorities. Your “to do” list is probably full of tasks – big ones and small ones. But how many of those tasks are actually important? How many are urgent? The fact is that your time and energy are limited each day, so you need to focus on prioritizing your tasks. You can use a system like The Eisenhower Method to determine which tasks are important, which ones are urgent, and which are neither. This one step helps you whittle down your task list into a much more manageable list of priorities.
2. Organize Your Schedule
Now that you have your day’s priorities, it’s time to organize your time by creating a schedule. You can use a simple day planner, but many people prefer a more adaptable system like time blocking. Whichever method you choose, remember to keep these tips in mind:
- The highest priority tasks should be scheduled at your most productive time of day. This is probably in the morning.
- Remove the opportunity for distractions during critical tasks. Turn off your email, silence your phone, or stick a note on your door to minimize interruptions.
- Use soothing music or white noise to help yourself focus on important tasks.
- It’s better to overestimate the amount of time you will need for a task than to underestimate it.
- Schedule time for email and phone calls. All too often, your workday can become derailed by seemingly urgent requests that really aren’t important. If you’re worried you will miss important messages, you should know that there are ways to silence most emails or phone calls but still receive notifications for ones you deem important.
3. Remain Flexible
Finally, it’s important to stay flexible. Though it’s best to stick to your schedule and work on your priority tasks, sometimes that’s simply not possible. If you find your day derailed, try to stay calm, learn to accept the situation, and try again tomorrow.
At Velocity Merchant Services, your success is our passion. We want you to be able to envision where you want to be in the future, and then help you get there. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn for better business insights tips, and ways to succeed in your industry.