5 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Running a small business can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming. From managing schedules and working with customers to keeping up with emails and accounting, there never seems to be enough time in the day to tackle your to-do list. Unfortunately, that can start to take a toll and leave you feeling overwhelmed and unproductive — especially if it takes time away from celebrating your business wins and accomplishments.

 

While you can’t add more hours to a day, you can be more strategic about how to better use the hours you already have. That’s why FlexBooker is sharing five simple ways to increase your productivity so you can channel your focus where it matters most: your business.

1. Determine your “unproductivity”

Before you dive head-first into overhauling your workdays, first take the time to figure out where you’re the most unproductive. Go through your day or week as you normally would, but take notes and make observations. Pay attention to things like:

  • How long it takes you to complete one task
  • How many times you get interrupted
  • How many times you get distracted (and how much time you spend on those distractions)
  • How much time you spend on things that don’t help grow your bottom line

Businesses with clients or patients spend a lot — if not most — of their time on managing schedules. Answering calls, confirming services, rescheduling and canceling appointments, leaving voicemails, getting return phone calls — the amount of time spent on these tasks is virtually endless. 

One survey even showed that small business owners said they lose or waste the most time on administrative tasks. But with FlexBooker’s scheduling tool, you can eliminate almost all time-consuming tasks related to scheduling so you can focus on other areas of growing your business.

2. Set aside time for specific tasks

Once you know where and how you’re the least productive, start setting time limits on those tasks. For example, if your email is taking an hour each morning, set a timer to work on them for just 30 minutes. Even if it takes longer than that, it will help you better prioritize which emails you need to tackle first and which ones can wait until later.

Also, when you set time aside for those tasks, work only on that task. It’s especially tricky because running a business typically requires you to wear several hats and multitask. However, multitasking actually decreases productivity, and can even lower your IQ. But when you’re focused on just one task and set the time aside to do it, you’ll work through your to-do list much more seamlessly. 

Helpful hint: Block or schedule time on your calendar for your daily tasks. It will help you prioritize and stay within your time limits.

3. Get rid of distractions

No matter where you work, what you do, or how you spend your workday, one thing is inevitable for most of us: distractions. While they’re difficult to control them in certain instances (i.e, when handling an urgent matter), they come at a pretty high price: $650 billion a year. Once you’re distracted, studies show it can take almost 30 minutes to get your focus back

The good news is: most distractions are avoidable because most of them are our own doing. If you want to decrease distractions and increase productivity at work, try:

  • Setting a recurring do not disturb time (and let your co-workers know, too)
  • Turning off email and phone notifications
  • Turning your phone on silent and only checking it during breaks (or keep it out of sight completely)
  • Canceling or saying no to unnecessary meetings
  • Closing your door or wearing headphones
  • Maintaining a clean and organized workspace

Of course, you can’t always avoid distractions or make ourselves unavailable. You’re running a business, after all. However, making a valiant effort to get rid of unnecessary distractions yourself can make a huge difference. 

4. Take breaks

Taking breaks when you’re trying to get more work done may seem like the wrong way to go about it. Still, researchers have proven that breaks can increase productivity by helping you regain focus, giving you a boost of energy, and preventing job burnout. Another important (and less researched) reason is that you deserve it! You work hard, and you’re allowed to rest and reset with a break. However, the key is making the most out of that time. 

One effective way to go about this is to work in 90-minute intervals. It has to do with your ultradian rhythm, which is 90 minutes of high-frequency brain activity, followed by 20 minutes of low-frequency brain activity. Scientists say that by following this cycle, you can tap into your brain’s most productive time and take a break during the least. But instead of using that time to grab a snack or soda, which can make going back to work even harder, try doing things like:

  • Take a short walk (outside is even better)
  • Read an interesting book or article
  • Stretch, do a short yoga session, or meditate
  • Have a positive interaction with someone

These activities can also help improve your overall wellness in other areas of your life, as well. It’s basically a win-win.

5. Invest in helpful tools

Technology helps us in almost every aspect of our lives, so why not use it for your business? Whether you need a tool for organizing, scheduling, or automating manual processes, do your research, talk to fellow business owners, and do test runs to determine which tools can help improve your most significant inefficiencies.  

While most tools are an investment, the right tools can increase productivity while growing your bottom line. FlexBooker doesn’t just help with scheduling; it can also give you additional insights to increase productivity, like who your most productive employees are and what type of services are most the most time-consuming. 

 

Explore how all Flexbooker’s features can help you and your business be more productive, then put it to the test with our free 14-day trial. Running a small business can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming. From managing schedules and working with customers to keeping up with emails and accounting, there never seems to be enough time in the day to tackle your to-do list. Unfortunately, that can start to take a toll and leave you feeling overwhelmed and unproductive — especially if it takes time away from celebrating your business wins and accomplishments.

 

While you can’t add more hours to a day, you can be more strategic about how to better use the hours you already have. That’s why FlexBooker is sharing five simple ways to increase your productivity so you can channel your focus where it matters most: your business.

 

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