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Author Biography:

Geoffrey Michael  is a freelance writer specializing in business, marketing, personal finance, law, science, aviation, sports, travel, and political analysis. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and is also licensed to practice law in California and New Hampshire. He has 40 years’ experience in the successful management and execution of high-technology programs and also cofounded an aviation consulting firm. You can contact him at www.geoffreymichael.pro



Maximizing Your Productivity
By Geoffrey Michael Wednesday, June 4, 2014
For a small business, time is everything and is your most valuable asset. Anyone who's run a small business understands that effective use of your time is critical to your success.

For a small business, time is everything and is your most valuable asset. Anyone who's run a small busimess understands that effective use of your time is critical to your success.

One of the most important elements of improving productivity is being organized, This takes discipline and it applies to both your office and your mind. Beyond that, there are lots of things you can do to optimize the way you do things. Most of them are common sense, but it doesn't hurt to push them to the front of your consciousness.

Have a System

Many small business owners find what works for them through trial and error. Find a routine that's as simple as possible and that you'll follow consistently. Some find it useful to batch similar tasks that mesh togehter for a common purpose. But unless you're good at multitasking, focus on just one or two distinct tasks at a time.

Set Goals

Most people are motivated by goals that they've never accomplished beefore. Be ambitious yet realistic, adn figure out the best path to achieve your objectives. Create a timeline and deadline that you can use to track your progess and reward yourself when you check off a key goal. High expectations usually lead to superior results. Tell a close friend about your goal and ask that they jelp keep you accountable for them.

Prepare

At the end of each day, take a look at what's in store for the next day and week. This helps because it will give your subconscious mind several hours to mull things over, especially potential obstacles that need to be eliminated or worked around. There's a lot of truth to the old adage that sleeping on it will actually help.

Create a Schedule

Manage your time wisely by organizing your day arouind a few milestones that have to get done that day. Prioritize tasks in a way that maintains a smooth workflow and allows an effiecient transition from one milestone to the next.

Many people use a "to-do" list which is a great start, but take it a step further and create a logical sequence of events that allows the most effective use of your time. If you can knock off the simple tasks first without dirupting things, that approach works for many. The larger, more complex tasks might be broken into smaller ones that can be tackled individually.
 

Time to Think

Set aside time every day to do nothing but think. Make it the first thing on your agenda and use the time to outline your day. If there are decisions to be made, go over your options and think them through with a clar head. You can avoid a lot of trouble by acting rather than reacting, and the eay to do this is by thinking your way through different scenarios when you're not under pressure.

Limit Incoming Information

 Digital media and cable news both provide continuous sources of news, information, and mindless dribble. Informationoverload is a common problem, but it's easy to solve. Turn off the TV, unsubscribe from all those email lists, stop the endless web surfing, and cancel some magazines. You'll find that you can easily live without it. Too much information will overwhelm you and jeopardize your ability to make prudent decisions. Set up your sources to include only the information you need to enjoy life and accomplish what's important.

Eliminate Distractions

This is key for those who work out of their home. Carve out a special office area that's off limits to everyone but you. Use a separate computer and telephone for business, and set aside a timeslot for checking email and making calls. Aside from that, stay off the computer unless it's an integral part of what you do.

Learn to Say "No"

It's hard to do, but it's absolutely necessary in order to control your life and run your business. Reognize your limitations and plan accordingly. There's only so much you can do effectively, and doing more will only diminsh the positive aspects of your business. Don't spread yourself too thin because your customers will notice and react negatively, and that will drag you down in the long run.

Delegate

Many small business owners say they can't afford to hire anyone to help them. The reverse is true. If you need help, you can't afford not to hire someone. Your time as the business owner is valuable and you should be using it to perform the most important parts of running your business. Everything else that you can fit into a normal a normal work week should be delegated. If you don't want to hire someone as an employess, you can use contract labor on an as-needed basis. There are plenty of outsourcing agencies that provide temporary and part-time workers.

Take Care of Yourself

Eat right, get plentty of rest, exercise, take time for family and friends, and don't forget that overdue vacation. The temptation for small business owners is to make it a 24-hour-a-day endeavor that completely takes over their lives. It's a common trap because they believe it's the best way to suceed, epecially when they're starting out. While there may be times when that's necessary, get out of that trap as soon as humanly possible. Even a short walk and a quick nap every day will help you to focus and stay on your game.

Summary

Improving productivity takes nothing more than discipline, planning, and common sense. Whenever you find yourself wasting time, stop and think about what caused you to drift into that mode. It might be easy to eliminate the source. It could be something a s simlpe s clsong your Internet browser to remove the temptation to surf the Web. Large companies spend millions of dollars every year searching for the magic formula that will make them more productive. They often implement changes to their policies and procedures to accomplish that goal, but the human tendency is to gradually slide back into ways of doing things that are most comfortable and familiar. The real challenge is to maintain the level of discipline that it t


 
 
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