7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Productivity
As owner of your product based business, I expect one thing you are battling with right now is not having enough time in the day. Sound familiar?
You naturally want to make sure that you are achieving the most from each day, maximising your output and staying focused on sales as you execute your business growth plans. Sometimes, however, procrastination seems to take over.
So whether you are mulling over lunch choices, or taking too long to answer the emails, here's my 7 practical steps below to improve your productivity:
1. Do Your 3 A Day
You've heard of 5 a day when it comes to fruit and veggies, well this is your Productivity 3 a day! My 3 a day approach is something that I promise will help you reach maximum productivity.
Set no more than three top things that you must achieve that day. I have used it in my career for the last 15 years and it honestly just works.
Don't try to squeeze in any more tasks than that. You will simply be spread too thin and won't do any of them well, leaving you feeling you've probably half ass'ed the lot of them.
By focusing on achieving no more than 3 important things each and every day, you will get a genuine sense of accomplishment and feel like you are moving forward.
Far better for your growth mindset to actually complete 3 important things in a day, than skim across 20 not quite so important things and not complete any of them!!
I like to try to work on my 3 important things early in the morning before the distractions start to set in. Most of us are at our most productive and in our most motivated frame of mind at the start of the day.
As the day progresses, tiredness and distractions soon make their way in. That is why it is best to tackle your three a day before this happens - when your decision making power and energy is at it's peak.
These 3 tasks are the absolute priority for the day. If you get these done, and dusted, then anything else that you accomplish in the day is a bonus!
2. Banish Your Phone!
One of the biggest distractions these days is our phone. Everything is at the touch of a button, from our lives on social media, to our shopping baskets on Amazon. It is easy to get distracted and swamped by our phones.
Time and time again I see clients who find it very difficult not answering phone calls or messages when they come through. I get it - you feel bad if you don’t answer. However, know this - that phone call may not be that important and WILL 100% break your flow and distract you from the important work you need to be doing.
I am a great advocate of using the "airplane mode" on your phone whilst you are working hard on your projects. This way you can make or return those phone calls and messages when you are ready, not when it rings.
3. Use Technology To Accelerate Your Pace
Thankfully, there are many productivity tools and time saving software out there, with the goal of making our business lives’ easier. To keep up with your customers demand of the ‘always switched on’ modern society, as product based business owners you need all of the help you can get. Have a read of our tool kit resource that will change your working life forever.
4. Plan Content Ahead
Who doesn't love a good plan! Your product based business will require a significant amount of content production as you create and build your business. A Content Calendar is a vital and incredible tool to use for your business.
It is a way of scheduling and organising your content throughout the year - detailing what needs posting and when.
You should also get in the habit of planning milestones for the bigger content production projects, like videos and product launch campaigns. When you have smaller goals to work towards, everything becomes much more manageable, you will feel less overwhelmed and in turn you will be far more productive.
Smaller parcels of work and practical goals to work towards is always better. Time invested in planning ahead really does work well.
5. Batch Produce Your Content
For me this is by far the biggest productivity boosting tip I was ever given as I scaled my ecommerce business and product-based business owners of today can deploy this with ease. In fact it's such a game-changer, I cover this in much more detail in this blog post.
There is so much pressure to regularly produce and publish content. All very well planning your content, per step 4 and feeling good - you've still got to produce the stuff!
By batch producing your content, you are working to maximum productivity.
The idea of batch content creation is to set aside some dedicated time to work on a bundle of content, not just one piece. Instead, you group the types of content you've got to produce, or campaign themes, and then execute the production of this during one or two deep sittings.
A great example of this is writing a batch of 4 blog posts in one day - hey presto, depending on your publishing schedule, you've got a months worth of content done. Take the rest of the month off ! (kidding!)
Once the content is complete, you can happily schedule this body of work to publish at different dates in the future, spreading the releases out so that it appears to be published "regularly".
The best way to do this is make time for creativity - to sit and create the content, without interruption. Make sure to produce the work when you are in peak creativity mood. Have a content creation day! or week! This way you will whizz through the work before you know it. If you then end up having a hectic week or month, you will feel super smug having a catalogue of content work to draw upon and release to your audience.
6. Get A Virtual Assistant
There are just some tasks you really shouldn't be doing if you are going to scale up your product based business. Be very conscious and wary of the false economy that is trying to DIY everything.
Whilst you may think you are saving money scheduling that social media post yourself and going down the rabbit hole that is free image platforms searching for a cute pic to match it....How many sales calls to major accounts could you have made in that time?? Exactly. Work on the right things that make you the big ££ and move the dial in your business. As Founder and CEO, you are the ONLY person who can do the big bold stuff, especially in the early days.
Instead, get a virtual assistant as soon as you can afford to and use them to your advantage. Start by simply delegating the tasks you hate, or those which take up time, such as admin or email management so that you can gain that time back to work on strategically growing your business.
7. Bonus Tip: Take Regular Breaks
This may seem counter productive, but have you ever tried working through a project when you are burnt out and lacking in creativity? When you feel so stressed and under pressure you just can't stop then know that this is THE time when you MUST stop.
Take a break.
And get into the discipline of regular breaks to refresh throughout the day. This could be as simple as to make a cuppa, or take a little walk. It is very easy when you are in "power on" mode striving to build your business to get so engrossed in what you are doing and rushing from meeting to meeting, that you forget to breathe. Some of the best strategic decisions I've ever made have been when I was resting, paused and just thinking.
You will come back to your task list feeling more refreshed both mentally and physically. You will be in the right frame of mind to tackle the workload at pace and be more productive.
Make It Happen In Your Business
I hope that the above tips have helped inspire you to be more productive. If you follow the above seven practical steps to becoming more productive, you will soon see positive results in your working life and better results and outcomes from your workload.
- Today, for just 1 hour - switch your phone off or put it on "airplane mode" and use that time to work ON your business instead. Try it and see what it's like to truly work uninterrupted by constant beeps and rings. Good right? I think you'll find you will do this more often :)
- Consider your Top 3 important tasks for tomorrow and make them a must do priority.
- Begin layering in the other productivity tips into your daily work routines as you grow your business and see the powerful results from taking back control over your time and focus.
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