When you’re a small business owner, maximizing your work time is key to the profitability of your company. So it’s important to create a productive work environment where you experience minimal distractions and can focus on running your business. Use the following strategies to get more out of your day so you can increase your productivity and your profits:
1. Create a dedicated workspace – If you find that your “office” moves from your living room to your bedroom, to your kitchen table or elsewhere, I guarantee that you aren’t nearly as productive as you could be. You are running a business, not pursuing a hobby! Your business deserves its own dedicated space where you show up for work each day. Regardless of how large or small your home is, you can carve out space for your own office. A corner, a nook, even a closet can be used to create a highly functional office space where you can run a profitable enterprise. Retailers like IKEA and The Container Store have numerous resources to assist you with this.
2. Clear the clutter – Some of us are more organized than others for sure, but there is not a single small business around who wouldn’t be more focused, productive and profitable if they got rid of their clutter. Do you have old pens, mail, folders or other materials piled up in your workspace? Whether you realize it or not, having clutter in your space is a huge distraction for you. It’s been proven that:
- Clutter causes you to feel overwhelmed or depressed
- Clutter robs you of energy
- Clutter steals 50% of your storage space
- Clutter makes running your business harder – You have to look longer and dig deeper to find what you’re looking for
- Clutter makes it hard to think straight
Get rid of your clutter and you will instantly boost your productivity!
3. Eliminate all your notifications – Unfortunately, because of our technology-focused society we are often inundated by notifications and so-called “helpful” reminders. However, when you are focused on your client work and business operations during the day, you don’t need to notified of every little thing. Make it a habit to turn the ringer on your cell phone OFF. Turn the ringer on your home phone or business phone OFF. (You can schedule times to check your phone(s) during the day). Also, let friends and family members know what your work scheduled is and that you are NOT available to talk during those hours. Finally, turn your email notifications OFF. Your time during the day is much better spent working on various projects and being notified each time you receive an email is a costly distraction that you don’t need.
4. Stay OUT of your email Inbox – Email is one of the greatest productivity killers around. It’s a fabulous communication tool, and critical to the functionality of your business, however, it also has the potential to be a HUGE time waster if you aren’t careful. I recommend dedicated two blocks of time per day to process your email. Otherwise, you’ll find that you won’t get any real work done during the day because you spent all your time answering emails! Also, train your clients to communicate with you via a project management system such as Basecamp or Central Desktop. These systems will track all correspondence in a neat, organized fashion so you don’t have to keep a backlog of emails but can still keep track of conversations around projects and tasks.
5. Choose the right workstation – Think about the functions that you’ll be doing at your desk. Analyze what you do in a day, and make sure that your desk or workstation suits your needs. Do you have lots of cords between your computer and other equipment? Then you want to have a desk with built-in cable management and an adjustable keyboard drawer. Are you a person who likes to spread out while you work? You’ll want a desk with lots of flat space so that you can work comfortably.
By implementing these strategies, you can create a workspace that maximizes the time you spend on your projects and stay focused on the task at hand. Schedule time now to makeover your workspace by selecting one area to work from, cleaning out clutter, eliminate notifications, manage the time spent on email and choosing the right workspace. You’ll see the benefits pay off in no time!
Want to learn more about increasing your productivity and profits? Check out my FREE, on-demand webinar, “How to Structure Your Business for Maximum Profits and Productivity” at http://sydnicraighart.wpengine.com/profitable-structure/.