Not only can this lead to lots of stress, but it can leave you feeling defeated at times, especially when there are more challenges than successes.
This can be a common situation that many business owners face and that’s why we think small business owners need to be more aware of productivity.
What is workplace productivity?
Workplace productivity refers to the amount of work you (and a team) accomplishes in the work environment, and how efficiently you do so (i.e. a combination of time taken and resources used).
It’s quite a cold explanation, after all you are not a robot, but there’s an important lesson to take from it.
Being busy is not the same as being productive!
Why productivity is important to focus on
Running a business means you have to deal with all of the different areas of the business. Operations, marketing, finance, team management (if you employ) and more!
Doing all of this by yourself can leave you feeling overworked, especially when you might not have all of the skills to do everything efficiently.
When you’re in a situation where you’re doing tasks you’re not proficient at, you’re being busy but less productive. That doesn’t help you or your business!
As time isn’t infinite, it’s important that you take a quick moment of reflection in your daily routine to assess how productive you are being. Time management is crucial.
Here are 3 simple ways you can boost productivity.
Create a better work environment
If you work in an office, there are lots of distractions that can slow down your productivity. While you’re carrying out a task, the phone might ring, your inbox will fill up with emails and you might work in a shared office where there is lots of background noise.
Those things can impact your concentration and take you away from the task you were trying to achieve.
Whatever your work environment is like, look for ways to reduce task friction and distractions.
If you’re carrying out an important task, like writing a tender, creating a social media advertising campaign or rehearsing an important client pitch, turn your phone off and close your email inbox.
You can reply to the answer phone messages and emails at a later point. Immerse yourself in one task at a time for maximum productivity.
If you’re based in a noisy work environment, maybe you should consider switching to a new shared workspace?
Outsource tasks you’re not great at
You’re one person with a specific skillset. Even with training, you can’t expect to do everything yourself without compromising your productivity.
If your entrepreneurial strength is marketing and networking, should you spend hours of your time at the end of every month meticulously processing the company finances? Why not outsource it, for a small fee to a bookkeeper, and spend more time focusing on what you’re good at.
Think of it as an opportunity cost.
Sure, you might spend £200 a month outsourcing the financial management of your business, which can be a lot of money during the start-up phase of a business, but you can invest those hours saved into generating more sales through your marketing!
Improve your productivity by focusing only on what you’re excellent at. Don’t waste time struggling to run functions of the business that you’re not proficient at. Streamline your workflow.
Take time to relax and recharge
This point might sound counterproductive, but research supports the fact that an entrepreneur needs to rest up.
In a Stanford University research, results showed that productivity sharply falls after a 50-hour work week. You become more fatigued and less motivated, negatively impacting your work.
Maintaining a healthy work life balance greatly improves your creativity, motivation and stress levels.
While it’s not always easy for entrepreneurs to take time off, be conscious that you do need to rest and switch off from time-to-time.
As we said earlier, you can reply to answer phone messages and emails at a later point, so remove yourself from your phone and unwind when you have the chance.
Speak with Enterprise Action today
Running a business or thinking of starting one in the Black Country, Shropshire or Herefordshire and need a helping hand? Take our eligibility checker and find out if you could benefit from free business support from the Enterprise Action project. We also run lots of free workshops that can support your business including seminars on skills development and productivity.