Improve Your Productivity Fast to Elevate Business Success and Improve Work-Life Balance
These are unusual times for sure. And whether you find your business short-staffed, overworked, or simply just navigating new waters, it’s undeniable that having the highest productivity level possible is more important than ever before. Not only are the results we achieve in life and business closely related to our productivity, but our stress level and mental health — indeed our entire well-being — is also very closely tied to what we are able to achieve, or our “productivity.”
If productivity is so important to forging positive outcomes in work and life, it only makes sense that we focus on how to make it as strong as possible.
Therefore, let’s discuss how we can improve productivity to elevate business success fast and improve our well-being at the same time.
First, it’s important to not confuse improving or increasing productivity with working harder or longer. But rather, it’s more closely related to the saying many of you have heard many times, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.”
Consider some of the benefits of being more productive:
- You get more done, without necessarily working longer hours or exerting yourself more
- Results seem to come more easily without extra effort
- Confidence is elevated
- Stress can lighten
- You have more time and freedom for relaxation and enjoyment—both important to work life balance
What keeps us from our greatest productivity?
Many experts say our productivity suffers largely because of two basic reasons—being disorganized and poor time management.
How poor organization hurts productivity:
When you can’t find the things you need to do your job—paperwork and files; even statistics and data—it takes you longer to perform tasks and it stresses you out too. It’s also been proven by many experts that physical clutter also creates mental clutter. With both of these pitfalls of disorganization, you might find deadlines getting pushed or missed, creativity may be suffering, and as such, you simply must work harder and longer to get the job done. And those results can increase stress, as well as cause your overall performance to suffer, and your reputation to falter. Consequently, future opportunities can be limited and your work life balance to be almost nonexistent.
How management relates to productivity:
Time is one of our most valuable resources and we waste a lot of it if we’re not careful. When that happens, our productivity goes downhill since we can’t create more hours in the day. Yet, while we can’t “make more time” we can certainly “find time” by discovering where we are wasting it and eliminate as much of that waste as possible. This enables us to make the most of the time we do have, to optimize results.
Here are 3 simple tips for improving both our organization and our time management to improve productivity:
- Declutter and develop a paper and digital file system that works. When you can put your hands on what you need faster and more easily, that both lowers stress and reduces the amount of time wasted on looking for the things you want or need to solve problems and make forward progress.
- Track your time for a week to identify where you are wasting time. Then, make a plan for how and where you can minimize the time that is being “wasted.” This might mean creating only certain times when emails are checked and responded to, so that email isn’t interrupting your day—and flow of concentration—all day, multiple times a day.
- Learn to delegate things that don’t really have to be done by you. As a business owner, a general rule of thumb is that if there is something in your business that can be done by someone else just as well as you can do it (usually things that support your business but that don’t relate to your core service or offering), you should consider delegating it or outsourcing. You need time to work ON your business to grow it properly. Thus, it’s important to consider whether it might be a more productive use of your time to allow others to work IN your business.
Yes, those tips are definitely “simple.” But that’s really the point. Small, simple, “tweaks” can make all the difference when it comes to your productivity. Just imagine… if you are wasting just one hour a day, that is 5 hours a week. Most businesses operate 48 weeks a year. Therefore, that is 240 hours wasted in a work year. Now, divide that by the 40 hour work week. That’s 6 weeks of wasted time a year.
Imagine how your productivity would increase if you could get that six weeks back? Go get it!