Whether it is true or not, small business owners like to believe they are the busiest people in the world.
The sentiment isn't completely without justification, however. With an often small team, limited resources and an entire company to oversee, it's easy to see how these managers can quickly and consistently run out of time.
But by keeping a few handy productivity tips in mind, small business owners can work smarter, not harder, getting more tasks completed each day. Here are a few practices you can implement into your everyday routine.
Avoid the multitasking trap!
While doing more things at once may seem like the most logical way to be more efficient, it can actually be incredibly detrimental.
Multiple studies have shown that multitasking achieves the opposite effect to productivity, and can negatively affect your brain's performance. With your mind switching constantly from task to task, you can easily become mentally fatigued and end up doing far less than you set out to do.
Instead, focus on completing one task at a time, devoting your entire attention to it before moving onto the next item on your list.
A healthy body and mind are essential to performing at your peak and being productive at work.
This has implications on everything from how much sleep you get to what you eat. Try to clock up a reasonable number of hours of sleep per night, avoid unhealthy snacks that can slow you down and inject plenty of physical exercise into your weekly routine.
Start your day before it even begins
To succeed in any area of life, you have to stay ahead. Work this into your daily schedule by planning out each day the night before.
At the conclusion of each work day, set aside a few moments to write a loose plan of your timetable for tomorrow. Having this basic framework to wake up to the next morning will help you start the day on the front foot.
Don't go straight to your inbox
One of the most bizarre temptations in life is to head straight to the inbox at the start of the work day. While emails are important and certainly require constant attention, falling into this routine can slow down the rest of your day.
Respond immediately only to urgent emails, and set aside time to go back to emails during the slow periods of the day. Instead of going to your inbox, start the day with the most pressing or difficult tasks to get them out of the way.
Ambition is an essential trait as an entrepreneur and setting high goals is certainly encouraged. However, it's important to know where your limits are - so avoid assigning too much of a workload for yourself.
Setting unachievable targets and consistently missing them will only hurt your morale. Give yourself challenging and rigorous - but attainable - goals to help you get through your workload efficiently.