Running a small business is on-going, exhausting work. It takes a lot of time and unwavering dedication. However, there are a limited number of hours in the week, and to avoid burning out, you have to make sure you’re balancing work and your life outside of work. Your ability to be productive at work is extremely important in achieving this balance. Here are some ways to make sure that you and your team stay productive throughout the week.
How To Be Productive At Work
More Efficient Meetings
Meetings are inevitable, but can become time consuming and distract from important projects. Start each day with a 15 minute morning catch up with your entire team. These meetings are a great way to get everyone on track for the day, make sure everyone is on the same page, and inform the team where assistance may be needed. For all other meetings, try cutting down the scheduled time 10-15 minutes to discourage your team from wasting time.
Make sure that you have a set agenda for every meeting and outlined action items; this will help to focus your meeting and make sure the most important work is getting done. Using meetings to collaborate and bounce ideas off of other employees can also help with productivity and idea generation, and can lead to new approaches to problems and projects.
Get (and stay) Organized
Organization is one of the leading contributing factors to being productive. One way to stay on top of daily and weekly tasks is to create a realistic to-do list. Try making your task list the night before. This will allow you to jump right into your day as soon as you get to work. In addition to a list of tasks, add daily objectives that you hope to achieve by the end of each day.
Even the most thought out to-do list can become useless if the work space is cluttered and unorganized. A clean, orderly work space will allow you to think more clearly, and waste less time looking for office supplies and documents. Use folders, notebooks, and other office supplies (an extra mug can double as a pen holder) to keep a neat and professional looking work space.
Recharge Your Mind and Body
Running a small business can leave little time for a healthy lifestyle. This hectic schedule can lead to bad habits that end up ultimately hurting productivity such as:
- Skipping meals or eating unhealthy food: No matter how busy you get, make sure you are eating healthy, light food throughout the day. While skipping lunch may save time, it can deprive your body of the fuel it needs to focus. On the other hand, eating a heavy lunch can make you feel fatigued throughout the afternoon. Our suggestion: try keeping a variety of healthy snacks in your desk to eat throughout the day.
- Working straight through the day: Although it may sound backwards, taking breaks throughout the day can increase your output. Taking short breaks such as a 15 minute walk and trying to fit in a lunch break, will recharge and reset your brain, which will help you work more efficiently and solve new problems.
- Multi-tasking: Many people pride themselves on being able to work on multiple projects at the same time. This can be a tempting solution if you have an unmanageable daily to-do list. However, trying to do more than one task at a time can make it hard to keep your mind focused – you can end up with many tasks getting only a percentage of your energy and effort. Prioritize your tasks so that you can dedicate yourself to the most important projects, one at a time.
Most people will spend between 8-10 hours at work so it’s also important to put yourself in the right mindset before you start each day. Have a balanced breakfast, watch an episode of your favorite show, listen to a funny podcast, workout – do whatever you need to do to put yourself in a good mood. A happy and healthy employee (or employer) will create a more enjoyable and more productive working environment.