“Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.” -Peter Drucker
Being more productive in less time can be a challenge.
- I constantly feel like I’m running behind on my tasks and projects.
- I feel like every day is filled with activity but I don’t feel like I’m truly driving my business forward.
- I try to fill my employees time with productive projects, but I’m not really sure if they’re getting done (and, I’m not really even sure what they’re doing all the time).
- I want to market and promote my business but can’t ever seem to find the time to do it.
If you answered yes to any of the above, then this article is for you. We’ve all been there.
Being more productive in less time is important for the health and success of your business. Try implementing some of the following tools and strategies to help optimize your time and increase your productivity today!
How can I be productive in less time?
- Build Your Toolbox: 3 tools you can’t believe you lived without.
- 67-33: the rule that moves your business forward.
- Track Your Performance: how to get the most out of you and your employees.
- Treat Yourself: how to put your business first.
1. Build Your Toolbox: 3 Softwares You Can’t Believe You Lived Without
Aren’t using any of these resources for your business? Well you should be.
With G Suite, get Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar for business. All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
Office 365 is built for your business. It’s the Office you know, plus tools to help you work better together, so you can get more done -anytime, anywhere.
Asana - Move work forward.
Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work – and get results. It includes features from task scheduling and timelines to team work spaces and easy document sharing.
2. 67-33: The Rule that Moves your Business Forward
“Put 67% of your resources in the 33% of the initiatives that’ll move the mark for your business, revenue, and customers. This effort should focus on important creative needs that can’t be automated: mastering engaging content, developing buyer personas, integrating the technologies that automate tasks, rethinking nurture tracks based on analytics, etc. Either automate or apply ‘good enough’ marketing for the rest.”
Good productivity is about a lot more than just producing content quickly. Following the 67-33 rules requires focusing a lot of your creative energy and resources into projects that matter the most.
Make a list of the top ten tasks you need to accomplish, either as a company or on an individual level. Then prioritize the most important three and focus your time and energy in completing those tasks first. Next, you can evaluate the next most important or pressing tasks and move forward with the rest of your list. It helps to create a concrete timeline for each task (set due dates) and make an action plan of each step that needs to happen to achieve your goal.
3. Track Your Performance: How to Get the Most Out of You and Your Employees
From "Unleash the Tiger™ For Organizational High Performance" by Dr. Simmie Adams:
Teams comprise of organizational systems…Similar to high performing organizations, high performance teams have both specific and general characteristics. From a high-level, the characteristics to strive for are:
- A leader
- A commitment to excellence; motivated to perform
- A clearly defined purpose
- A collaborative and transparent sense of being one instantiated via, at a minimum, effective processes and communications
The team is a function of its leader. As the leader is, so is the team.
There are lots of effective ways to improve communication with and motivate your employees.
Step 1: Communicate Your Strategy To Your Employees Often
Step 2: Turn Your Employees Into Responsible Collaborators
Step 3: Create Accountability and Responsibility By Tracking Performance
- To be heard.
- To be safe.
- To be paid fairly for the work they do.
- To have opportunities for advancement.
- To have a best friend at work.
- To have a good relationship with their supervisor – Employees leave supervisors not companies.
- To be respected for who they are and what they can contribute.
- To be a part of a collaborative and supportive team, the sum of which is greater than the parts.
- To be given the opportunity to win (no one comes to work to lose).
- To have hope – that things can and will improve.
These findings are validated by a number of well-published authors. To name a few:
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, First Break All the Rules
Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Jim Collins, Great by Choice, Good to Great, and Built to Last
4. Treat Yourself: How to Put Your Business (Marketing) First
Practical Steps You Can Take Today…
Yearly Marketing Retreat: Whether you are a one-man show or large company, take time away from the day-to-day grind to reflect on how you are running your business. If you are going to have more than 5 people at the retreat you may want to consider having a facilitator, especially if marketing isn’t your forte.
Weekly / Bi-Weekly Marketing & Business Development Meeting: Again, whether you have one person at the office or ten, take time on a regular basis to reflect on how you can improve your business and the services you offer.
What do business owners say about business marketing?
Love doing it.
If you don’t love marketing turn it over to someone who does. You will not make marketing a priority if it’s a burden. (James Minick, Owner of Minick Law, P.C.)
One of the biggest and most effective ways we make Marketing and Promoting our priority is by taking every opportunity we can to have a one on one interaction. Personal interactions, especially phone calls, are rare, and we have found that reaching out in a basic human to human way, to be a very effective way to process leads. Generating leads and interest from Marketing/Promoting is obviously crucial, and handling those leads and convincing the lead that you’re a human and would like to help is equally important. (Jackson Kulick, Owner of Blue Ridge Graphics)
Read Experts Daily.
Every day, I read articles and blog posts from websites I’ve subscribed to. This helps keep me in the “marketing” loop and stay ahead. (Joe Miller, Magis Center)
Monthly & Yearly Plans.
We create a yearly plan and then stick to it, checking in monthly to track results and make adjustments. (Dave Hambleton, Owner of Hambleton Construction)
Invest In Your Clients.
A business owner who cares about his customers, produces a quality product, and takes pride in maintaining a good reputation, retaining customers shouldn’t be hard. Those happy customers will then begin to refer you to other people growing your base. (Jack Donohue, Timber Works Tree Care)
There are lots of resources available to help you be productive in less time.
Pick 1 and Implement:
2. 67-33: Create a list of top 10 tasks; focus time and energy on the top 3. Make an action plan and follow through.
3. Track Your Performance: Make a to-do list. Create a detailed step-by-step action plan. Assign tasks to specific team members and set clear deadlines and due dates.
4. Treat Yourself: Put your business first. Set marketing or internal tasks as the first activity of your day. Have weekly/yearly marketing meetings or team retreats.
Jeremy is the Lead Designer & Owner of Enable. Jeremy is a small business connoisseur who helps the little guys conquer big. When he’s not designing websites or writing blogs, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and family.