Running a business is difficult, there is always something or someone needing your attention, meetings to hold, staff to manage and an inbox full of incomplete work to worry about. It can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. However, by becoming more productive, you can get a lot more done in less time.

Plan ahead

The key to productivity is planning, of course, there will be some situations where last-minute, unavoidable problems arise and they will need to be dealt with right away, but if you can plan the rest of your tasks, this will be less problematic. Accounting for every single minute or hour is not practical you are likely to overrun, and you will become distracted and demotivated, instead prioritise your daily and weekly tasks and concentrate on each task until it is complete.

This brings us to the great multitasking debate; some think that you get more done when you multi task when in fact you are less productive. Trying to read an email while on the phone and filling out a form isn’t always a good thing. You focus less on each task, causing you to make simple mistakes which will generate more work in the long term. If you are in the middle of writing a report and your computer notifies you of an email, you click on the email and become distracted. If this sounds like you, then try turning off your email notifications and set aside three or four times within the day to check your email. It is rare that an email is urgent that it cannot wait an hour or two to be read.

Take breaks

When you are busy, it can be tempting to skip lunch and continue to work, but this can have an adverse effect on your productivity. Taking regular breaks can help you to clear your mind and review the work you have to do. Taking a short break every hour will boost your efficiency, you will come back to your desk feeling fresh and motivated.

Keep meetings to a minimum

Some meetings are necessary to stay in the loop with all of your departments, but sometimes meeting can become long and unproductive. Before you schedule a meeting ask yourself if you can reach the same goal by sending an email or having a phone call, you have saved yourself a lot of time and crossed another job off your list.

The same considerations should be made when arranging to meet a client if a meeting requires several members of your team to attend and travel for a significant part of the day, consider hosting a web meeting you’ll save both a lot of time and money.

Delegation and outsourcing are a productive business’ best friend. You don’t have to do all of the work yourself, you hire a qualified team so use them. Spread out the clerical work and lighten your own load. Outsourcing certain jobs like credit control or debt recovery to a third party like Commercial Domestic Investigations can help you to free up some much needed time; if you want to find out how we can help your business, contact our team on 08444 159200 or email sales@commercialdomesticinvestigations.co.uk.