5 Simple Methods to Maximise your Output and Productivity
In the past few years, it seems the topic of productivity has become increasingly popular. Numerous books, podcasts and other resources have become readily available on the topic. This doesn't take me by surprise as I personally know of the struggles in maintaining productivity whilst leading an incredibly busy life.
In my experience as a Business Coach, it has become quite obvious that many business owners are easily preoccupied with tasks which have been mistaken as priorities. In these instances, the Business Owner thinks they are being productive, when in reality it's simply making them busy.
So how can we beat this problem? There are loads top tips out there to maximise output and increase productivity, however before we get into this there is a key element which needs to be addressed. I can't stress enough how important it is to identify your business goals. Once you know these, you then create Marketing Strategies and adjust your workload accordingly to ensure your time and focus is allocated correctly.
Below are 5 simple methods to maximise your output and productivity:
Be careful not to confuse your schedule with the to-do list.
A schedule allows you to block out time, and delegate certain chunks of time to focus on a project / activity.
Your to-do list breaks down the elements within the blocks of time, detailing exactly what needs to be accomplished during the sessions.
Time blocking / scheduling is a great solution for those who know what they need to do but are extremely time poor! I use this strategy myself and can achieve a lot of work (whether it's project based / to-do based) in a short space of time. I block time anywhere from 30 minutes - 1.5hrs depending on how much time I have and what I'm focusing on. I schedule this in my diary the week prior and use a different colour so I can quickly identify what's going on for the day.
Some people love routine and others don't enjoy it. In business, I find having a routine is essential to ensuring you're moving your business ahead with focus. Just as the benefits of a morning and evening routine have been proven to increase productivity, establishing a routine for running your business will also improve productivity and satisfaction!
3. Take Breaks
When we get into the flow of working, it's very easy to forget to take a break, which can ware you out in the longterm.
Make sure you take regular breaks. For me, this varies depending on my schedule for the day. If I have 10 minutes here and there, I will quickly go for a walk around the block. I've always done this, even during my Corporate days.
Walking meetings have also become a popular way of combining a break whilst still being productive. The same goes for alternating tasks, allowing you to get up and move around a little!
4. Avoid Procrastination
Thinking about a task often takes longer than actually completing the task itself. Procrastination takes up headspace, weighs you down and can make you feel overwhelmed.
How to avoid procrastination has become the million $ question on every business owners mind. The way that I approach this goes back to my scheduling / time-blocking technique I mentioned in point 1 above.
I work in focused chunks throughout the day, whether it's a Business Coaching meeting, project I'm personally working on, admin or other elements; I am very focused on what I'm doing throughout each day ... then take a break (even if it's a short one!).
I’ve also learnt to use deadlines to my advantage, as I’d rather complete tasks rather than spend time wishing I'd completed them.
It's super important to also be realistic with the tasks and deadlines which are set - ensure you're not trying to achieve something which is impossible given the time you have available!!!
5. Continued Learning
In the recipe for productivity; to-do lists and schedules are not the only elements. Continued learning about your Industry will ensure you're up-to-date in your field and have the most relevant information to overcome hurdles and blocks.
Overall, I’ve learnt that productivity comes with learning how to overcome distractions, challenges and poor habits. Learning through reading, taking classes, listening to podcasts and attending workshops are all fantastic ways to keep expanding your mind and thus, your productivity levels!
Alison Morgan is a highly experienced Business Coach, specialising in helping Business Owners navigate their business journey and thrive.
Alison adapts her coaching style to suit the client, focusing on start ups through to Businesses which have been in operation for over 10 years.