One thing I think that a lot of business owners, especially home based business, need to learn how to do better is improve productivity.
Being productive can mean the difference between working 30 hours a week and making a lot of money or thinking your “working” 70 hours a week and barely getting by.
You see, a lot of business owners spend their time in a state of chronic distraction. They are constantly talking on Instant Messenger, checking their email, talking on the phone, and doing a whole lot of other things that make them feel like they’re working, but are not helping them make any money.
Here are a few tips on how to increase your productivity.
First, you need to plan your day before you start it. As the great motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, said “Don’t start the day until it’s pretty well finished.”
What he means by that is you should have your entire day planned in advance so that you know what you’re going to be doing for that day. I like to plan my day the night before, but you can take it even farther and plan weeks or even months in advance.
Planning your day may sound obvious to some but so many people wake up and sit down at their desk to start working for the day with no plan of what they’re going to do that day. For many people, this bad habit carries over from their days as an employee. And the business owner can’t afford to have this bad habit.
I know that in my own business if I ever have a day where I haven’t taken the time to sit down and write down everything I need to get done that day, I get less than half of what I would have gotten done if I’d have taken the time to plan the day.
The next tip on how to be more productive is simply to plan more work for the day. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you need something done, give it to the busiest person you know.”
This may seem counterintuitive but it’s absolutely true. You see, busy people need to be more self disciplined with their time and will find a way to get something done by carefully planning.
Conversely, a person who isn’t very busy and has a lot of time will tend to procrastinate and do nothing since they think they have all the time in the world and can just do it later. So while they have the time, they don’t have the same work ethic as the busy person.
I know that when I plan a lot of work for a single day, I’m far more productive, sometimes getting done in one day what used to take me a week simply because I have so much to do that I need to keep a little extra “spring in my step” in order to get everything on my list done that day.
Now you can take this too far and plan so much work that you’ll never be able to finish it in one day, and that can be very demotivating. I’d recommend planning what seems like a lot of work, but not so much that you won’t be able to finish it no matter what you do in a day.
If you mess up a few times and find there’s just too much to do, then play around with it until you can get your list done in a day but have very little time to waste in the process.
If you have less time to waste and screw around with during your work day, you’ll see your productivity soaring – just give it a try for a few weeks and watch how much more you get done.