For an entrepreneur, setting up a business involves hard work and busy schedules. You have to set up all the aspects of your business from sourcing raw materials, production, quality control, marketing, advertising, hiring and managing employees, and countless others. In your attempt to juggle all these tasks, it is understandable that even 24 hours at work seems too little. What can you do to make each day as productive as possible so that when it’s time to close shop for the day, you can go home with the satisfaction of having spent your day well? Here are a few tips you can adopt to make each day count.
Take Care of Yourself
To make each day productive, you need to take care of the key player and that is yourself. When you’re busy, it’s easy to allocate all your time to every task except showering, eating, sleeping, and exercising. Instead, give yourself a head start each day by waking up a little early and going for a jog or any other activity you enjoy. Make time for a shower, personal grooming, and breakfast before you head out to work. Never compromise on meal times because food keeps your energy levels up and by spending even half an hour away from work, you’re giving your mind time to rejuvenate and reboot. The result is added productivity.
Create a Schedule and Follow it
Set aside time for every work-related task in a daily planner and stick to it unless of course, there is an unavoidable situation you need to deal with. Depending on how your business works, allocate a day for every activity. Mondays could be for production issues while Tuesdays could be for meeting with potential buyers. Fridays could be a good day for managing finances since you’ll also be making out paychecks while Thursdays could be used for planning marketing strategies. Having your week planned out in advance gives you direction and purpose and you won’t waste time wondering which task to take care of each day.
Plan Each Day in Advance
Besides allocating days, planning your activities for a particular day also helps. Each time a task comes up, add it to your schedule so you don’t forget it and can take care of it in time. At the end of every day, spend 15 minutes to go through your schedule, check for the tasks you need to deal with the next day, and plan your activities accordingly. If it suits your comfort levels, do your planning at the start of every day.
Each day when you look at your schedule, you’ll notice some tasks that are unpleasant or tough, and you’re tempted to put them off for another day. Instead, roll up your sleeves and tackle them first. Not only will you get them out of the way, but at the end of the day, you’ll have the satisfaction of having managed an important snag in your business. You’ll also see how fast the rest of the day moves and how quickly you accomplish goals.
Despite having planned your day carefully, there will be times when you feel like there’s way too much to be done that cannot be completed in a single day. So, you prioritize. You pick out the tasks that absolutely need to be dealt with and reschedule the others that are not time sensitive. When allocating time, mark the critical tasks in red and the not so critical ones, in green. This will help you organize your time better.
Delegating Tasks is Good
Accept that you aren’t superhuman and you can’t possibly do everything on your own. So, learn the art of delegating. Assign some of the tasks to subordinates you can trust. Only, make sure you ask for frequent updates and monitor how your people are doing.
Avoid Multitasking and Distractions
You might think that multitasking and managing many tasks at one go is productive. It actually isn’t. Learn to focus on the task at hand and channel your energies to completing it before moving on to the next. In this way, you can ensure that you’ll have a list of accomplished targets at the end of the day instead of a list of half-done ones.
Further, beware of the distraction of social media, emails, and phone calls. You don’t need to answer every call and email right away and every time there is a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, SMS, email, or any other alert, you need not check it right away. Set aside time for checking messages and alerts, and ignore them when you’re working.
Keep Your Desk Organized
Having a cluttered and disorganized desk eats into your productivity levels because you’re always struggling to locate paperwork and supplies. Make sure you keep everything in its proper place and watch how quickly you manage your tasks. A clear desk also contributes to a clear and sharp mind.
Keep Sight of Your Goals and Monitor Your Progress
No matter how busy you are, you must keep your goals clearly defined in your mind. And, from time to time, keep checking to see how successful you have been in meeting them. For instance, keep a close watch on your production and sales figures each month. Also, keep track of how you’re managing incoming and outgoing cash, and the reserves you have with you. If you see an issue, it is advisable to rework your priorities and tackle them in time.
Accept Your Limitations
While setting impressive goals for yourself is good, sometimes you might need to rethink them. If you feel that you’re stretching yourself too thin, take a step back and reassess your capabilities and goals and see how far you can connect them. Check for the reasons why you could not manage your objectives and learn to work around them. Allocate more time or any other resources you think you need and reset deadlines if you have to.
All these strategies together will help you make each day productive and at the end of it, you can confidently go home at 5 feeling great about yourself with the satisfaction that you did the best you could for the day.