If you’ve started a business, do you find your work and personal life are merging into one? When you’re struggling to get everything done, these seven productivity shortcuts will help you make better use of your time, whether you’re a start-up, home-based business, entrepreneur, consultant or freelancer.
Balance your work and home life
One of the best ways to be more productive is to maintain a good work/life balance. Setting clear boundaries between your work and personal life will mean you can focus on work when you need to and recharge your batteries in between. Let friends and family know that although you may be your own boss, work time is still for work.
Prioritise and plan your day
Things always crop up during the day that you didn’t anticipate working on. That’s why it’s so important to schedule and prioritise your day. If you spend some time planning in advance, you can still be flexible when things change, but you won’t get distracted from the priority tasks your business needs.
Work smarter with apps
Technology and apps really can help you to work smarter. With the processing power of modern smartphones and a host of apps for business users, you can effectively carry a mobile office in your pocket and run your business wherever you happen to be. With the right apps, you can have your important files synced on your phone, edit documents on the move, divert office calls straight to your mobile, run your social media marketing campaigns and even track your sales and expenditure.
Use a business email address
Avoid getting bogged down in personal affairs during the day by setting up a separate email address dedicated to your business activities. Not only will this make you appear more professional to your clients, it will stop you getting distracted too. If you restrict yourself to checking personal emails in your lunch break, you’ll have more time to focus on growing your business.
Get a separate business phone line
Personal phone calls can take up your valuable time as well as prevent your customers getting through to you, especially if you’re a home business or using your mobile for business. With a dedicated business number that works on both your landline and mobile, you can keep your business calls separate from your personal calls and make sure your customers always get a fast, professional response.
Stay sharp with exercise
Taking short breaks at regular intervals is more effective than trying to keep going until you burn out. Instead of surfing the web in your downtime, why not try a 15-minute workout by your desk? A combination of stretches and some gentle aerobic exercise will help you to clear your mind and start your next task afresh. Yoga and Pilates workouts are ideal. You could also use dumbbells or water bottles for resistance training and a jog up and down stairs is great for a quick cardio boost.
Swap face-to-face meetings for conference calls
There’s nothing better than a face-to-face meeting when you need to make an important deal, meet a new client or cement a new business relationship, but meeting in person can take up valuable time for routine, day-to-day issues. In the time spent getting to your meeting, think how much valuable work you could have got done if you’d scheduled a conference call or video call instead.