Ever had one of those days where you seemed to get off task no matter how much you tried not to? Of course you have, we all have been there—whether it is going on Facebook for a minute and it turns into an hour, or we get lost in the comments of an article the fact is it happens.
Staying productive will not only help you and your business, but it can keep your mind clear and less stressed. Procrastinating tasks only leads to build up and an overwhelming feel that is not healthy. Try these 6 tips below to keep you on track and in the fast lane of productivity.
Utilizing your email calendar can be a great way to stay on task. Email providers like Gmail and software programs like Outlook or Mail have great calendar features just waiting for you to take advantage.
Having a reminder pop up that an important task, or phone call is coming up can do wonders. You may already remember to do the task, but that constant reminder should keep you from procrastinating.
Most of us get hit by a large amount of emails every day. If this is the case for you, having your inbox filled with 200 emails can be overwhelming. A great way to fix this is to label your emails accordingly.
Have a folder for items that need to be addressed immediately, and also folders for co-workers and clients. Once you have read the email, and done the task throw the email into the appropriate folder. This will clean up your inbox, and keep you on task more than you can imagine. Set a goal of keeping only 10 or so emails in your inbox will help keep you on task, and hopefully speed up your response times for clients.
As a business owner you have multiple hats you have to wear. Because of this you should begin each day by making a list of things that need to be accomplished. Put the items that are the most priority at the top of the list and work your way down. Crossing off each item that gets done will also be an added bonus for you, and a visualization of what your accomplishments are for the day.
Plan ahead and think about how long each task should take—and try to stick to it. The goal is to have a set schedule and stay as close as you can to the desired finish time.
If you don’t take breaks, it could actually be counterproductive. Burn out can occur, and you may not produce your best work. If you work from home, get up and walk around the block or go out for lunch. The same goes at the office—clearing your head even for 5-10 minutes can really help.
Limit Social Media
If you engage in social media for your company you may not be able to cut this out completely. If this is the case, schedule an amount of time each day to focus on your social media efforts. This can be good for many reasons, one being your followers will know when to expect to see you on, and engaging with you.
A lot of us can get lost easily on Facebook and Twitter. You see a picture or article you find interesting and then your mind drifts into a new subject and it’s a ripple effect. Next thing you know an hour has passed, and you haven’t done any real work.
Stop Working When You Go Home
If you work from home this could be even more difficult. Pick a time each day when you should be done working, and stick to it. Working yourself to death will do nothing but be counterproductive, and stress you out. If someone sends you an email at 9 o’clock at night, it can wait until the morning. There are far and few between times that you would need to answer it.
Keep your business phone and personal phone separate. There is no need to check up on your work email while you are at the grocery, at your kid's soccer game or any other personal activity. It may be hard at first, but you will soon find it is actually more relaxing when you aren’t thinking about work 24-7.
Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on document management software based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as document software at Resource Nation.