We entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to save time and increase productivity. The more productive you can be, the better for your bottom line, because as we all know, time is money. Unfortunately, productivity can take a back seat to the million other things competing for our attention.
These three sure-fire tips will help you save time and increase productivity.
#1. Set a schedule and stick to it
It’s tempting to stray from a set schedule when you work for yourself. After all, working for yourself means you have the freedom to set your own hours. Unfortunately, however, this can lead to reduced productivity.
One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to set a firm schedule for work hours and stick to it. This means that when you’re working from home – it’s work time. If you were at the office, friends wouldn’t pop over for coffee and you wouldn’t do the laundry during your work hours. You wouldn’t interrupt a meeting at work by answering a phone call, so why would you interrupt your work at home by answering a call that can wait. By setting a strict work schedule, not only will you get more done, but people will learn to respect that working for yourself really does mean you’re working.
#2. Work in short bursts
Research has proven that after a set time of concentrating on a task at hand, we start to lag. Our concentration lessens and we actually get less done. It’s easy to avoid this. Simply set your work schedule to include short bursts of time assigned to each specific project. This is known as the Pomodoro technique. The time you allow for each project will depend on you personally, but you can experiment until you find what works best for you. A good rule of thumb is 20-30 minutes.
For example, if you want to create a new information product, spend 25 minutes concentrating on doing only that, then take a short break for another set amount of time, say 5 minutes. . This will help you clear your mind as well as avoid your body getting stiff from sitting for extended periods of time. After that you can either go back to the information product or tackle another task. The key is to break your time up into manageable chunks that you dedicate specifically to each individual task.
#3. Get organized
There’s a great saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Being organized is an important part of being productive. By taking a little time to plan your day or the week ahead means you can dive straight into work without wondering what you’re meant to be doing. You can use software such as OneNote or Evernote to organize and jot down ideas as they come to you. It also helps to keep all your important papers, folders and documents easily labelled and accessible so that you don’t waste time looking for things.
While planning ahead does take a little time, it will save you more time in the long run.
These three tips will help you become and remain more productive during your work day. By thinking ahead and planning your day, working in short but concentrated bursts and sticking to a strict work schedule you will get more done in less time.
Your turn! What are other ways you save time to increase productivity?
Administrative and Marketing Consultant