SMART Productivity Hacks Your Business Should Know About

By David S. Chang

The productivity and time efficiency of your team literally dictate your success. The more that each employee can do, the more potential profits. Despite that, it’s astounding how many managers are guilty of wasting employee time. To take care of this, though, you first need to learn where you’re wasting time right now.

One of the best ways to do this is to ask employees how they feel their time could be better managed. You may also want to take a closer look at the systems you currently have and what tasks are being completed and how they are being completed. Here are SMART tips to make sure you are maximizing your productivity.

Prioritize Every Day

Before the day starts, prioritize what’s important that day. To do lists aren’t always helpful if you’re just piling different things you’d like to get done. The key is to prioritize the most important tasks that you need to do.

There is a direct correlation between how many priority tasks you have and if they are accomplished. The more tasks you have, the less you will accomplish. The less tasks you have, the more likely you will be able to accomplish them. Focus on 3-5 things that are important. Don’t put anything else on your to do list. If you get anything else done, then it’s a bonus. 

Keeping your to do list short with high priority tasks only will help you to stay motivated. When there are too many tasks, you won’t feel demotivated if you don’t end up getting the 20+ things done that you’ve put on there (setting yourself up for failure). 

Know What Each Member Of Your Team Is Good At

Knowing your team and what each member is good at will allow you to delegate effectively. Delegating to the right people with the right skills is a must. Giving a task that one employee is particularly good at could take 5 minutes vs 20 minutes for someone who may not have that particular skillset.

Play to each person’s strengths, that will maximize the productivity of the organization. Think of an NFL Football team. Having a wide receiver, who is fast and has great hands, be used as an offensive lineman will not be ideal. It doesn’t matter if he is the best wide receiver in the NFL, a defensive lineman will run right past him. Ensure that your employees are placed in the right positions.

Outsource Services that Others Can Do Better

If there is a task that may not fit anyone on your team or it makes sense to have someone else do it so you and your employees can focus on the important tasks, then it may make sense to outsource it.

Currently 68% of consumer businesses use some form of outsourcing. Outsourcing certain tasks to professionals will help keep your employees focused on the most productive tasks.

Identify excess services like IT repairs and accounting that is better suited for other professionals. Don’t add them to someone’s already full workload. Not only does outsourcing free up your team, but it also allows you to take advantage of someone else’s expertise. This again allows your team to focus on tasks that only you can do.

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Use The Right Software 

Using the right software can help you to automate tasks that you do every day, saving so much time and energy. For instance, software can help you to analyze the performance and goal management for an individual employee, team, department or the organization as a whole. You can then focus on various metrics, summarize any information and build customized reports with a couple clicks.

Chasing payments has to be one of the worst time-wasting tasks. The best way to do this would be to use an invoice generator which allows you to include your logo and branding. It will also automatically send out reminders if it isn’t paid, taking one less task off someone’s plate. The right software can automate certain tasks, saving money and time for your employees. It can also take the place of tasks that are being outsources to someone else, saving even more money.

Software can automate even social media marketing. You don’t want to have to spend all day logging in and out of social media as you post at the ideal times. You can schedule as many posts as you can in advance so you don’t miss peak times.

Using productivity hacks within your business could help you become more effective and efficient, saving you considerable money in the long-run. Think of it like this: if each of the employees in a 20 man strong business wasted just 30 minutes per day, that’s the equivalent of 10 hours a day. That’s 50 a week. What does that cost you? Chances are, some employees are wasting a lot more than that. You might even be wasting a lot more than that yourself.

Encourage Health And Fitness

Being fit and healthy, and encouraging others to do the same will ensure that everybody is in the right headspace at work. You can’t force people to eat their 5 a day and go to the gym, but you can model this behaviour, host workshops to get them into this kind of thing, and give incentives. How about fitbits, or creating fun challenges people can get involved in? Some business owners even like to give their employees gym memberships as incentives to go. 

Exercise can help mental and physical health both short and long term, and in turn, this has a great impact on work performance. Encourage regular breaks from desks throughout the day too. Make health and fitness a part of your company culture. 

If you can invest in stand up/sit down desks, this could help people to get into the right headspace even during the afternoon slump. Sitting down all day is pretty unhealthy, but with the option to stand up sometimes, you can make sure your team always feel alert and that they are maintaining their health. 

Invest In Your Staff and Learn Something New Every Day

Investing in your staff shows them that you care, and that they matter to you. You can send them on training courses and workshops, or look into team building exercises. All of these things can better equip your staff and help them to work better together as a team. 

Aim to learn something new every day. Even just watching a YouTube video on a new topic, or reading a chapter of a book can help you feel better prepared to take on the day. 

Cut Out Pointless Meetings and Make The Workspace More Comfortable

Many meetings are pointless – ask yourself, could we get the same result from a blanket email? Could it be done via Skype, or some other way? If it could, then don’t have a meeting. Meetings waste lots of precious time.

Ensure the workspace is as comfortable and pleasant to be in as possible. Invest in ergonomic chairs and let in natural light. Allow your team to personalize their workspace a little, too. 

Know What Your Biggest Energy Sucks Are And Stay Away

Your energy sucks may be different from another person’s, but in general, they are one of the following:

  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Smartphones
  • Mindless scrolling

When doing one of the above it’s easy to forget why you started and get lost in it. Social media, for example, is designed to make us want to stay on there for as long as possible. You know how addictive casino games are? Social media is exactly the same. They have been designed to get us stuck there. Remember that next time you’re unsure of how long you’ve been staring at a screen. 

Stop Multitasking

Multi-tasking can make you feel like you’re getting a lot done, when in reality, you’re likely going slower. Try focusing your energy on one task at a time and you should get it done faster.

If you need motivation, using the pomodoro technique instead could help. This is where you set a timer and then take a break, doing this over and over again until you have completed what you’re doing. Using productivity hacks in your business will make a huge difference to your bottom line and the quality of work you put out! 

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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