As a business owner, you don't just wear lots of hats; sometimes you wear all of them. One minute you're the CEO. The next, you're an intern on a coffee run. With so much to do across such a larger spectrum, productivity is obviously paramount.
Meanwhile, you might be dealing with a less than perfect situation. Working a second job, balancing family responsibilities, working from a coffee shop, kitchen table or un-insulated shed. You need tools to help you manage distractions and get work done any time, any place.
That's where making the most of each precious minute comes into play. Try these 5 hacks to rethink the way you work and increase your productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique breaks your work sessions into manageable 25-minute chunks (or pomodoros) allowing ample time to focus and chip away at a task without the risk of overdoing it and burning out. The intentional focus toward a single task is crucial to helping the many-hat-wearing business owner move from one disparate thing to the next. And the 5-minute breaks give your mind a chance to take a load off and your body a chance to get up and move around, resetting your focus for the next 25-minute session.
For those who work at home, this method can help you get work done while enabling you to utilize short breaks to take care of household chores and responsibilities. Allowing you to both focus and multitask.
Between paying the bills, paying your employees and paying attention to your social media, half your day and half your brainpower can be spent just taking care of all the little stuff. Luckily, with apps and online tools, you can automate things like accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, payments, email and inventory, in order to cut your to-do list in half and free yourself up to focus on growing your business.
Here are a few popular business-automating apps to look into:
Speaking of clutter, there are lots of places to back-up and store files and documents, almost too many. It's no fun searching through six different apps trying to find that PDF you need to send a client. Getting everything into one, reliable place can organize the mess and make things easier to find. Whether it's Google Drive, Dropbox or any number of resources, make sure you're getting plenty of storage space, can access and open the file-types important to your business, can use the app across different platforms/devices and are able to send files easily.
You finally signed a lease on a beautiful new workspace and put hours into making sure it's the perfect place to run your business. Congratulations, that's great. Now leave.
Just kidding—sort of.
Finding a home for your small business is important, but it's equally important to interrupt your routine every now and then. Your company's growth depends on your ability to generate unique insights and innovations. Getting out of the office, every now and then to work in a library, coffee shop or attend a creative event can help you see past the humdrum of the day-to-day, stimulate your creativity and discover new productive ways to run your business.
We spend all this time focusing on our physical space, but not a lot thinking about the virtual world in which we work. Who cares about your productivity-optimizing desk when you have a computer sitting on it with the whole Internet to distract you?
Ad Blockers reduce visual noise on the page and Chrome extensions like StayFocusd limit your time and block distracting websites (read: social media). Productivity-tracker apps, like Freedom, log your phone activity, helping you uncover time-wasters and stay on task.