Whether your small business is a local coffee shop, chiropractic clinic, or nursery and garden center, small businesses today must seek new ways to do more with less all the time. Technology helps. But, technology will only get you so far. These tips will help boost productivity without turning to high-tech gadgets and gizmos to fill in the gaps.
1) Trim the Fat from Your Meetings
Meetings absorb a great deal of time, often of people who don’t need to be involved in the meeting. It isn’t just the time it takes them away from other work, but also the time it diverts their attention from the other work at hand.
Therefore, decide, first, if the meeting is necessary. Then, decide who, specifically, needs to attend the meeting. Limit the number of meetings you have whenever possible, especially if one person could spend thirty minutes writing an email that takes 10 people five minutes to read. This is much preferable to pulling a large group of employees away from their tasks for 30 minutes or longer.
2) Generate Shorter “To Do” Lists
Keep to do lists short and sweet. Lists that have more than five tasks often become overwhelming. Employees become bogged down in the details of the list, rather than accomplishing the tasks that are on it. Five is an excellent number because it feels achievable but it’s not too small that it doesn’t present a challenge.
3) Conduct an 80/20 Analysis of your Daily Efforts (and Do it Monthly)
Tim Ferris, famous for writing “The Four-Hour Workweek,” says this is one of the most important methods of improving productivity. Here, he discusses that 20 percent of activities generate 80 percent of the results in your workweek as well as the 20 percent of activities that consume 80 percent of your time. Understanding these issues makes you aware of activities that are unproductive for you as well as those activities that are wildly productive so that you can shift your focus accordingly.
4) Use Your Lunch Breaks Properly
So many people today are busy to the point that they take their meals at their desks in order to get more work done. Ultimately, though, doing this can lead to a less productive day. Get up. Walk around. Leave the office for a few minutes. Have a nice meal. This short break helps break up the monotony of your day, allows you recharge, and improves your efficiency for the remainder of the day.
5) Create SMART Goals
SMART goals are not simply wise. They are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. They let employees know expectations and allow employees to enjoy a very real sense of pride and accomplishment when achieving the goals you’ve established.
Try these changes in your business today and see what a difference they make in productivity across the board.