If you’re like me, you have a love-hate relationship with the phrase “boost productivity.” You know it’s important. Your business depends on it. But who has time to focus on boosting — let alone doubling — productivity in tough economic times?
Well, the fact is, in our current economic recession, increasing productivity is one of the most important things you can do to save your business from going under.
Boosting productivity will:
-Increase your profit.
-Improve your efficiency.
-Ready your business to get back in the game quickly when the economy opens up again.
Implement the following week-by-week steps, and you’ll find yourself doubling your productivity in six weeks or less.
Six Weeks to Doubled Productivity
Week 1: Eliminate the words, “I’ll get back to you on that.”
This may seem like a really easy task to do this week, but it’s not. Eliminating the words, “I’ll get back to you on that,” or other such phrases that end up putting things off rather than dealing with them right away, takes fortitude.
To stop leaking productivity, eliminate any words or phrases that put something or someone off until later. You’ll be amazed at how quickly productivity will increase once you become responsible for your actions in each present moment, practice integrity with your words, and say yes only to the things you know you will deliver.
Week 2: Don’t worry. Take action.
This week, eliminate worry from your thought pattern. Worry is one of the least productive things you can do when the economy is tough. Worry zaps energy, erodes confidence, and weakens resolve.
Instead of worrying about what may or may not happen in the future, take strong, confident action steps in the present. Focus on the things you can do today that are in alignment with increasing productivity in your business.
Week 3: Sleep long and eat well.
This advice may seem obvious; yet, it is so often overlooked during stressful economic times. If you’re like most people who are concerned about their businesses, chances are you’re not getting enough sleep. This week, avoid operating on a sleep deficit by getting the amount of sleep that is right for you. Do this, and you’ll be amazed at how much work you’ll get done. While you’re at it, start your day with a healthy breakfast, and don’t skip lunch.
Week 4: Mono-task.
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, says that it is essential to focus on the task at hand before going on to something else. For business owners who are used to doing many things at once, focusing on one task at a time before moving on to the next may seem, at first, to be a slower way of doing things.
Yet many successful entrepreneurs practice mono-tasking because they know the toll that multi-tasking can have on productivity and efficiency. When it comes to the really important projects, they mono-task.
Week 5: Keep it simple.
This week, decide on only three things you will complete each day. Then work on them, one-by-one, until you get them done. At the end of the day, if something remains unfinished, put it first on your list for tomorrow. On the other hand, if you get all three done by noon, add three more.
Follow the “first-things-first” rule by putting the most important tasks and projects at the top of your list. Don’t put them off until later. Also, avoid placing non-relevant tasks before important ones. Tackling your highest priorities first thing in your day will greatly boost your productivity this week.
Week 6: Do the things that affect other people’s productivity first.
This week, review what’s on your plate. Are there things that other people need you to complete before they can begin work or attend to the priorities on their own lists? If so, finish these tasks first. By doing this, not only will you increase your own productivity, you’ll also boost the productivity of everyone around you.
While it’s understandable that even thinking about how to boost your productivity during tough economic times can feel like a burden, not doing so could spell disaster for your business. If you’re a small business owner, hoping your business will make it through these tough economic times is not enough. When the economy opens up again, you’ll need to get back in the game as quickly as possible. Implement these six surefire weekly action steps to double your productivity, and get your small business ready for the future right now.
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About the Author: Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses. She is the author of “Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success.” To download a free PDF chapter of her book, go to Alkamae. If you’re interested in finding out more about what steps you can take to ensure your lasting business success, get your free PDF: Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion at Your Inner Samurai. Susan is part of the Small Business Trends Expert Network.