Whether you’ve started business operations on your own or you have a business, chances are that you’re familiar with the range of problems stemming from low productivity. The sad truth is that you’re not alone.
In the period from 2007 to 2016, productivity in the US increased by just about one percent – an all-time low, as far as enterprise trends are concerned. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that for the first time since the economic crisis, productivity growth was negative in 2016.
Economists still can’t pinpoint the primary reason for the decline but if you’re just making your first shaky steps in the world of business, you know that you have to address the issue effectively in order to survive.
When you’re handling a smaller business, goals can be easier to accomplish than in the case of a complex structure that has an intricate hierarchy. Boosting productivity can be as simple as changing a few habits. Here are a few of the first steps you can make in the right direction.
Learn to Prioritize
Take a look at your to-do list right now. How many items does it feature? If you have too many things, chances are that your productivity will be suffering. You’ll either do a poor job at most of them or miss a number of the tasks.
The most productive people out there know how to prioritize. This means that they don’t commit to a big number of tasks. They focus on the most important items that have to get done. Everything else can be postponed.
Do you really need to burden yourself with a thousand things in order to feel productive? How many of them will contribute to the development of your business and the satisfaction of your customers? If you can’t handle everything, you may as well start learning how to prioritize and how to delegate some of the less important items your employees or business partners can handle.
Tweak Your Working Environment
Is your workplace conducive of productivity? Something as simple as the office you’re working in could be disturbing the workflow.
Some people experience a surge in productivity whenever they do some adjustments. Whether they go to work outside or they redecorate the office, a modification makes things look fresh and new again.
Being effective isn’t about spending a certain number of hours at the office. Rather, it entails pinpointing the moments when you can do the most and the environment that’s free enough from distractions to help you channel all of your working potential into the most important tasks at hand.
There’s no need to have an office if you find yourself capable of doing the most work at home at night. A home office can be an equally great place to lay the foundations of your business. Just because somebody else relies on a certain work environment to get things done doesn’t mean the same one will be optimal for you, as well.
Deal with Personal Tasks Before Heading to the Office
Being distracted with personal things throughout the work day is one of the best ways to bring your productivity to a minimum. This is why you’ll need to get in the habit of enjoying sufficient “me” time when you’re not on the job.
Many of the best professionals and business owners out there dedicate mornings to personal things. Whether you want to spend more time with the kids or exercise, you need to make this a part of your routine.
Thus, you don’t need to start the morning by checking your business email and thinking about everything you have to complete during the day. Instead, you may want to relax with some soft music and a nice breakfast. This positive and relaxing experience will help you “recharge” your batteries and get a lot more done when you reach the office.
Alternatively, get in the habit of leaving your workplace at the same time every single day. Don’t bring homework home. If you don’t have an adequate break from your business, chances are that things will become muddled sooner or later and your creative approach will suffer.
Start Measuring Results
A final thing you need to remember is that you may be productive enough already. The problem could be stemming from the fact that you’re measuring the wrong metrics.
So many businesses are still highly concerned with the amount of time people spend at the office. It’s possible for workers to be there an entire shift but they could have poor productivity levels. Thus, instead of making sure that everybody’s there a certain number of hours, take a look at the output.
There is some evidence already that spending more hours at the office doesn’t mean we’re getting more work done. Instead, a bit of flexibility could be highly motivating and it could encourage people to work harder every single day.
Start by changing your own way of thinking. Don’t look at the amount of time you need to get something done. Rather, take a look at everything you’ve managed to accomplish within the set period. If you rely on such metrics, chances are that you’ll see a shift in attitude pertaining to the way you do business.
If you have a massive project to complete, break it down into smaller goals. By measuring positive outcomes, you will keep your motivation level high and you will be satisfied with the progress that you’ve made. Rewarding yourself only after the entire thing is completed will be a much more stressful experience. Chances are that you’ll often find yourself wondering whether it’s worth moving forward at all.
As a business owner or an entrepreneur, you have to lead by example. Chances are that you’re doing certain things that are standing in the way of productivity. Take a deep and hard look at your own habits. The more you are open to exploring your shortcomings, the sooner you will find ways to boost your motivation levels and get more work done every single day.
About the Author: Alice Clarke is a content manager and writer who has been active for 5 years. She loves writing about the newest trends in the productivity field. You can befriend with her on website or Facebook.