42% of small business owners say they have experienced burnout in the last month.
Staying productive for new small business owners and first-time entrepreneurs can go one of two ways: either a firehose of productivity that ends in burnout or a feeling of lost panic that sets in on the 3rd day of working from your bedroom.
If you’re one of them, finding new strategies to remain productive without overworking yourself is essential to your company’s long-term success and your own health and wellness.
This article should help. It highlights 8 sustainable ways to stay productive as a small business owner, so keep reading to learn more.
Set an Ironclad Daily Routine
A straightforward daily routine is the first step towards achieving sustained productivity as a business owner. Try to wake up at the same time each morning, finish work at the same time each evening, and go to bed at the same time each night.
This will help you avoid the rollercoaster of productivity that so many small business owners fall victim to, which often reduces the amount of work that gets done while increasing stress levels.
Take Advantage of Scheduling Tools
Once you’ve gotten control over the schedule of your daily routine, you can start mastering the scheduling of your tasks. There are plenty of tools that will help you do this, including:
- Google Calendar
These scheduling tools will help you track everything you need to get done throughout the day and alert you when it’s time to move from one task to the next.
Setting a better schedule will help you work more efficiently by making it easier to focus on one task at a time instead of worrying about everything you need to get done all at once.
Set More Specific Goals
Goal-setting is another significant component of being productive as a business leader. But many company owners set general goals, like “improving sales” or “finding new clients.”
These general goals are a good starting point. But taking them a step further should help you work towards them more efficiently.
For example, instead of setting a goal of improving sales, say that you want to increase your annual or monthly sales by X% or $X. Instead of finding new clients, say you’d like to have a specific number of clients by a certain date.
When you make your goals specific like this, it becomes much easier to track your performance towards them over time and adjust your strategies faster when necessary.
The net result should be that you reach more of your goals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
Delegation is critical to maintaining long-term productivity as a small business owner. But many founders are reluctant to give up control over things like marketing, employee management, and client communication.
You hired the people on your team because you believe in them.
If you’re not allowing them to complete high-level tasks, then now could be the time to start.
Doing so will open up your schedule to focus on the specific management areas where you can have the most considerable value. This should allow you to be more productive with the same hours of work you’re already completing each day.
Plus – your employees may have some great ideas that could improve your company tremendously!
Hire the Right People
Speaking of delegating, hiring the right people to join your team is essential.
This isn’t just good for your business; it can also be very helpful to your productivity, as discussed in the previous section.
Finding employees that you can trust is a process that takes time. There’s no way around that.
But even if you don’t have those people on your team now, you may be able to help develop them by gradually giving promising team members more responsibilities over time.
The main idea here is to build a team you trust with critical delegations.
As long as you have that framework in mind and work towards it over time, you’ll eventually get to the point where your entire organization is more productive, even though you have fewer responsibilities to worry about personally.
Leave Time For Yourself
Part of improving your productivity as a small business owner is reducing how often you feel burnout.
That means leaving time in your schedule to do the things that bring you joy and help you recharge for the next day.
Whether this means going home and spending time with your family each night or taking time on the weekend to pursue your hobbies, enjoying yourself outside of work should improve your productivity when you get back to it.
Schedule Your Distractions
Another good trick is to start scheduling time in your day to be distracted, which sounds counterintuitive, but ends up helping productivity quite a bit.
There’s some research that suggests the average person spends 12% of their workday on unproductive apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
But that’s only part of the story.
You also need to consider how much time it takes to refocus on the tasks you need to complete after allowing yourself to be distracted by these apps. You may spend 15-20% of your work time distracted and unproductive.
So why not build this time into your schedule?
If you allocate 5-10% of your day to being distracted, you’re still going to be more productive daily.
Track Your Progress and Adapt
Some of these strategies may work tremendously well for you, while you may struggle to implement others. That’s why the most important thing you can do is track your progress over time and adapt when necessary.
Make the changes you want and see how they impact your productivity over time. If you’re still not as productive as you’d like, don’t sit back and worry about it.
If you commit to doing that, you’re bound to eventually reach your productivity goals.