But with spiraling to-do lists that never get ticked off, how are business owners supposed to get everything done in time to clock off and have some downtime?
It’s all about efficiency. If you can find faster, easier ways to get business tasks done, you’ll have more time and energy for other things.
If you could use a few more hours in your day, keep reading. We’ve got the goods on how to be more efficient in business so you can stress less and work smarter, not harder.
Multitasking is so 90s! It turns out that multitasking is not nearly as productive as we once thought. In fact, research has shown quite the opposite. Trying to concentrate on more than one task at a time – or switch between tasks – decreases efficiency.
Instead of trying to get lots of things done at once, give monotasking a try. Your brain will appreciate being able to get in a state of flow and reward you with increased creativity and focus.
One way to really embrace monotasking is to batch tasks of a similar type together. Instead of answering an email before sending an invoice then creating a social post, set aside chunks of time during the day or week to respond to all your emails, manage your bookkeeping, or create marketing content.
Instead of chopping and changing, forcing your brain to adjust to a new task briefly before moving onto another one, you’ll be able to deepen your focus and get into that flow state where the work feels almost effortless.
We’re all guilty of getting distracted on the job. You get a notification on your phone, pick it up to check, and find yourself stuck in a mindless scroll session.
As much as we’d like to blame this on social media and smartphones, it all boils down to a lack of self-control.
Luckily, there are lots of good ways to remove the temptation of distraction to help you focus. You can pop your phone onto aeroplane mode, leave it in another room, if that helps, or turn off the WiFi on your laptop.
Alternatively, if you’re focusing on an online task, disable email and social notifications, or use one of the many available tools that can block you from accessing the most distracting internet sites for a given period, such as Anti-Social or StayFocused.
Did you know that clutter and mess can decrease your focus and creativity? If you’re trying to work in a noisy or cluttered space, you’ll find it harder to be productive.
Organise your physical and virtual desktops so you can easily find everything you need. Keep the space as clear as you can, and spend the last five minutes of each day tidying it up, ready for a fresh start the following day.
This applies to your wider workspace too. If you’re working from home, try to find an area with minimal distractions. Noise-reducing headphones can be life-changers, or just find some focus music on YouTube and block out the world around you.
This simple productivity technique sounds gross, but it can work wonders. It advocates for tackling the most challenging job at the beginning of your day –that thing you have been putting off and really don’t want to do.
The dopamine hit you get from completing that thing is enough to power you through the rest of the day’s easier or more enjoyable tasks.
Do you stop what you’re doing and respond to emails as soon as they come in? If so, you’re really getting in your own way when it comes to being more efficient.
Try batching your email management. Set aside time to read and respond to emails in one go. If you’re worried about missing an important message, there are features in your email software that automatically sort items by importance according to sender or status.
The non-urgent emails get grouped for you to deal with later, and the urgent ones will trigger a notification so you don’t miss them.
It may seem counterintuitive to take time out from work in order to get more work done, but again, science has the goods on this one!
The human brain is only capable of focusing intently on something for relatively short periods. The duration varies between individuals, but it’s commonly recommended that we focus for 20-30 minutes before having a 5-minute break to move, stretch, and relax the mind.
Every few cycles, take a more extended break. Experiment to see what’s good for you. You might find 45 minutes is perfect or that an hour is your limit. Either way, make sure you incorporate movement of some kind into your breaks. Stand up, take a walk, stretch, do jumping jacks – whatever floats your boat.
A small exercise break is a great mood booster, stress-buster, and helps get the blood flowing to your brain.
Technology often gets a bad rap, but it can be a real gamechanger when it comes to being more efficient.
Make use of the multitude of apps available to help with a huge variety of business tasks. Invoicing, bookkeeping, social media scheduling, automated emails, chatbots – these are just a few examples of how you can use automation to take care of business tasks.
The problem for many business owners is that they don’t actually have time to research or implement improved systems and processes. That’s when it’s time to chat to someone who literally makes a living out of being efficient – like a virtual assistant.
A GOOD VA knows all the tools, apps, tips and tricks to help you automate your processes and increase efficiency.
Business owners are great at the hustle. We push, push, push to grow a business, serve our clients, upskill our knowledge, support our team members, and try to have a home life also.
While hustling for success can be great, you also need to remember you are a human and not a machine! That means, listening to your body and prioritising your health and wellbeing.
Burnout is a very real thing. And if you aren’t careful, you can find yourself in burnout town before you know it. And when you are burnt out, productivity and effectiveness drop through the floor.
Remember to look after yourself and take some time out from the hustle to keep your productivity up and to be more efficient long term.
What’s better than getting tasks done more quickly? Not having to do them at all! The best way for you to be more efficient is to know when to delegate or outsource.
Many businesses outsource admin work, payroll, social media management, accounting, or dozens of other tasks to a virtual assistant. What you choose to outsource is up to you. Some people prefer to get the more tedious tasks taken care of, while others may decide to outsource things that are outside their area of expertise and focus on the things they’re good at.
Whatever you need, the team here at Good Line can help you be more efficient. Our VAs are skilled and are ready to integrate into your team so that you can achieve more by doing less!