Planning for Productivity in 4 Steps

Being productive has a range of definitions from one business owner to another and you have to decide what a “productive” day, week or month looks like for your business.  The best way to do that is to set goals and work toward achieving them.  This is generally easier said than done, but I have provided 5 tips to help you reach your optimal level of productivity.  So ….  here we go!

1. Set SMART Goals

Setting goals is not as easy as it sounds.  It is easy to say I want to make $1 million this year, but you have to take a look at the resources you have available to ensure the goal you are setting is a SMART.  SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  Make sure that the goals you set have all of these characteristics and you are on your way to a productive new year.

2. Work with Others

I have heard time and time again that it is hard for solo entrepreneurs or the self employed to stay motivated.  There is generally so much to do, it is hard to decide what to do next and so procrastination settles in.  One way to combat this is to get an accountability partner.  This does not have to be a partner in your business, but it should be someone you feel comfortable talking to about your business goals and tasks.  Share your goals with your partner and schedule regular calls or meetings with them to share your progress.  Having someone you trust to answer to can make sure that you are continually and being as productive as possible.  

3. Take Care of Yourself

Get healthy and exercise.  Studies have shown that those who exercise at least 3 times a week have a higher energy level and feel more prepared to get something done.  Besides the increase in productivity, you are likely to see an increase in stamina and happiness.  Now, these are the kind of side effects I like and that are sure to help you reach your goals.  Plus, the workouts don’t have to be long and involved to be effective.  A 15 minute session or a walk during lunch can be all it takes to get you out of a rut and on the path to productivity.

4. Get your Priorities Straight

We all over extend ourselves from time to time, but as a business owner you need to be able to firmly identify priorities over non-priorities.  Priorities should be those things that you need to do to grow your business that cannot be outsourced for one reason or another.  Once you have identified those tasks you need to do, put the most important ones first and get to work.  One thing I like to do is create a to-do list everyday to make sure I am accomplishing the short term goals I have set for myself.  I also use a little trick.  In creating my list I put an easy item first, followed by the hardest item, followed by an easy item and I even put in breaks to make sure I don’t forget lunch.  Then I repeat.  It feels great to cross something easy off my list before delving into a hard task.  Then after I complete the hard task I am rewarded with a break or a super easy task.  It is the little things that help me move forward.

I hope this short list of things to do helps you reach the productivity levels you want in your business.  If you are in need of a productivity partner, look into for more information.

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