Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day as Bill Gates, Beyoncé, and Oprah, but it seems that a large majority of people still struggle to increase their productivity, to maximize their growth potential in business. Time management is the most vital tool to helping increase your business’ productivity.
Tools of The Trade
Being productive is about managing your time. Tools To Establish A Schedule For Success shares several tools to help you maintain a healthy schedule if you stick with it. Google Calendar is an amazing tool that helps me manage my editorial calendar, consultations with clients, webinars, and meetings. It sends alerts to my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Sir. There are some people who use an app or an actual planner. I personally use google calendar, a Sugar Paper LA desktop calendar, and ICB Consults To Do List prints to write down my extra notes and things of that nature.
Designation of Days
“No meeting Monday” has been in place for over a year now. This means no meetings with clients. Attending conference or anything that is virtually time-consuming. This allows me to focus on the week ahead. I mainly use Monday’s to manage money. As small business owners we just put our finances aside. Then tax season comes and we freak out. When running a consultation firm, I have to make sure clients have paid invoices and I have to pay vendors for the services I’ve used. Two days out of the week I do actual consults. Then spend the rest of the week writing content, attending meetings, or reading. Most of my time is consumed with reading, learning, and writing.
Last year while reading “Fast Company”, a man mentioned how he works for 50 minutes straight than takes a 10 minute break. On his break he might stretch, go get coffee from the kitchen, or something of that nature. This gives him a break from the screen. As most business owners know, we started working for ourselves to fulfill a passion that wasn’t tied to a desk. However, we are tied to our computers. Which causes strain on the eyes. Moving around for ten minutes away from the screen helps me so much now.
The best invention after the mail app goes to the canned email system. Think of your top 20 frequently asked questions that readers, customers, or potential clients might ask. In your email system you go into the dashboard and make simple canned responses to this. Emailers will get a prompt response with these messages. If necessary, you can tailor it even more to their specific question. However, since employing this tactic we have not had to do this.
2 Minute Email Rule
If an email can be answered in less than 2 minutes and not cause back and forth banter then it is answered. This goes back to the canned email rule. You always want to be prompt in your responses. I personally believe if a person took the time to compose a message then it is important to respond back. Even if it’s a polite no I am not interested in your SEO increase proposition please remove me from your email list (laughs).
Schedule Social Media
We are not talking just automate your social media, but designate the times you will be on the platforms so you are not time consumed making your day spiral out of control. 15 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch, 15 minutes during your break, and 45 minutes in the evening. This gives you almost two hours a day to make sure you are actually engaging your audience.
Hire The Professional
So many hours are wasted by not hiring the right people in the first place to help with your needs. If you are not proficient at Photoshop or taken classes in that field of expertise it’s best to hire someone to create your graphics. I am good at “installing” templates and doing little bits of code. However, if I need a custom-built website created on WordPress, that’s not something I would waste my time on. I would hire someone. Invest money wisely. Don’t worry. There is someone on Fiverr who can do graphics and website stuff faster than you, if you have yet to learn the skills. Hire the professionals to make your life easier.
What is your current struggle with productivity and how can you use one of these tips today to change that?
Image by Just Dandy