Like everyone else, I’m sure you are always looking for simple ways to improve the workflow of your local business. Being stuck in a cluttered office, wasting time tending to unimportant email messages or having to deal with unnecessary distractions ultimately takes you away from the goal of growing your business, and can lead to demotivated and unengaged employees.
Here are 9 top ways to improve your workflow and increase your small business’ productivity.
- IN & OUT BOX: Setting up an “in” and “out” box system is a good way to manage what you need to accomplish. Items should stay in the inbox until you start working on them and only move to the outbox when the task is completed.
- CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK AT THE END OF EVERY DAY: If you do this, you’ll stay more organized and save time as cleaning won’t turn into a day-long project once a month.
- THROW MORE AWAY: Toss hard copies and just save electronic copies. Then, when you need to find a file, it will be easily accessible on your computer.
- SAY “NO” TO POST ITS: Don’t write reminders on Post It notes. Instead, put the reminder on your electronic calendar and set a pop up reminder. When jotting down a phone number – save it directly in a file. Or, if you aren’t quite ready to go fully electronic, get a spiral notebook or day planner and write everything there so you have just one place to go to when looking for that reminder.
- SET A SCHEDULE: Don’t forget to include breaks. This way you know how much time you have each day to get stuff done!
- AVOID DISTRACTIONS: Do you have a big project you’re trying to complete? It’s time to turn everything else off. If you limit your distractions, you can complete the task at hand in a timelier manner.
- DO WHAT YOU DISLIKE THE MOST FIRST: Doing so will keep you more productive and ensure you won’t procrastinate. What feels better than accomplishing something you have been dreading working on? And bonus, you get to spend the rest of your day doing things you enjoy.
- MAKE IT FUN: Don’t forget to incorporate some fun into your day. Running a local business from home or an office can easily consume your time. Be sure to create a schedule that includes time to enjoy a hobby, workout, eat lunch with a friend, grab a cup of Joe or other activities that calm your mind and keep you focused.
- SET GOALS: This is the number one thing you should remember to do. When you work for yourself, it’s easy to forget rewards for a job well done. By setting goals, it’s easy to know what you’ve accomplished. Be sure goals are realistic, so you can accomplish them.