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 preoccupied with tasks that are not priorities and even some that misleadingly fool you into believing you are being productive when in reality, your time could be better spent elsewhere.
Mindlessly scrolling through social media and emails are key examples!
But how can we beat this problem? There are loads top tips out there to maximise output and increase productivity. The following are a few of my favourites that I’ve tried and tested with clients and use myself on a regular basis.
Do not confuse your schedule with your to-do list. A schedule allows you to time block and delegates certain times of the day or week to certain activities. Your to-do list focuses in on these time blocks and details exactly what needs to be accomplished during these sessions. Many business owners whom I coach seem to get these confused. They time block their schedules but do not know how to prioritise their to-do lists to accomplish the most during these blocks. Time blocking is a great solution for those people who know what they need to do but take a long time to do it! When you time block, it is essential to keep moving on to the next block whether the task is finished or not. This will help build momentum and you will find you get a lot of output from keeping to these blocks!
Some people love routine and others hate it. In business, a routine is essential to ensuring your consistent success. Just as the benefits of a morning and evening routine have been proven to increase productivity, establishing a routine for the administration of your business will also improve productivity!
When we get into the flow of things, it is really easy to forget to take a break. Whilst it is great that a lot of work is getting done, not taking the necessary breaks you need will ware you out in the long run. Try taking a break every hour. Even taking a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes of work is a great method to tackle this. Taking a few short breaks during the day will help conserve your energy so come 5 pm you don't feel too worn out and exhausted. Walking Meetings have become a super popular way of combining a break whilst still being productive. The same goes for task alternation, so you can get up and move around a little!
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. In the last few years, it seems like how to avoid procrastination has become the million dollar question on every business owners mind. Personally, I minimise any distractions and work this in with my time-blocking technique so for a solid amount of time I am only focusing on one task in short bursts and then take a break. I’ve also learnt to use deadlines to my advantage as I’d rather get tasks done in time than frantically trying to get a task done in a matter of hours. Allowing yourself enough time to complete important tasks rather than putting them off until the next day allows gives you buffer room should you need to refine or rework anything you are completing.
In the recipe for productivity, to-do lists and schedules are not the only ingredients. Continued learning about your industry will ensure that you are 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 bad 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.