How to make the most of each workday in your small business

When you run a small business, it’s easy for the day to get away from you and discover it’s 5:00pm but you’re not even halfway through your to-do list. No matter how many hours you work and how hard you push yourself, you can never get on top of everything. To help you increase your productivity and get more of the things that are most important to your business done, we’ve compiled this list of tips for making the most of your work day.

Eat a healthy breakfast

A productive day starts well before you get into the office. This advice may seem obvious, but not only do many people do not eat a proper breakfast, many skip breakfast altogether. How can you expect to work at your best if you don’t give your body and brain the fuel they need to work?

Improving your breakfast routine may mean getting up earlier or planning ahead, but will more than pay off in the extra energy, concentration and stamina it will give you throughout the working day.

Plan out your day

Making time for planning can seem like adding even more work to your day but every minute you spend planning can save you 10 minutes later, according to professional development expert Brian Tracy.

Knowing what to prioritise and when you should work on it is a crucial step to improving your productivity. Some pointers to help you plan are:

  • Schedule meetings, appointments and tasks a week in advance.
  • Check your calendar for the following day at the end of each working day and make a plan to address all the day’s priorities.
  • Review each day’s performance. If you often can’t achieve everything on your list, you are probably scheduling too much.

There are two key pointers that can help you plan your day:

Everything goes in the calendar

Leaving nothing out of your calendar – scheduling every last thing – sounds excessive, but is an effective way to up your productivity. Instead of scheduling an hour for a client meeting, if you schedule in time for travel, typing up your notes and following up action points; none of these things will blow out your plans when you inevitably do have to do them.

Lock down specific times for email

Every email or alert you check throughout the day distracts you from your work and makes it that much harder to switch your focus back to what you were doing. Instead, pick just one or two times during the day to check and respond to your email. If you can, reply to emails straight away or add follow up tasks to your calendar.

Set & stick to deadlines

It’s much easier to complete a task or project when there’s a set deadline, a date it has to be completed. Setting deadlines, especially firm ones, can increase productivity overall when all your tasks need to be completed before a certain occasion. Consider setting deadlines for all your projects and regular deadlines – weekly or monthly – for recurring tasks like finances.

Following these simple tips you will help you get more out of your working day, improve your productivity and get your workload under control.

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