We know from the Small Business Saturday research that entrepreneurs forego love, fun and family time to make their dream business ideas work. So we asked Sage Business Expert Frederique Murphy to tell us her best productivity strategies to help boost your results.The more productive you are, the better you perform and the better you achieve.
Here are 5 productivity strategies that will help you end your year with a big bang; these are most powerful when applied and implemented consistently as you form a new series of productive behaviours:
- Increase your clarity – One of the factors that heavily weighs on your productivity is clarity. Too often, people get caught up in their busyness, and are left with a bad taste in the mouth at the end of their day as they feel they’ve not achieved anything. This has everything to do with clarity, or lack thereof. The clearer you are on what you want to achieve, the most productive you will be at doing so. Boost your productivity by defining what it is you want to achieve, so that you can clearly and effectively set out your activities.
- Set your dates – Have you heard of Parkinson’s law before? It says: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” So, grab your calendar right now and have a look at how many days and weeks you have before the end of the year (this will depend on your business and your clientele). That number is important as it sets the scene and gives you a deadline to work toward Boost your productivity by knowing what your big bang deadline is to maximise your activities between now and then.
- Say No – Distractions take you off track. It’s important to realise that not all of the ideas you, and the people around you, come up with are of value right now. Before jumping in, always ask yourself the following question: “Is this activity going to bring me closer to reaching one of my goals?” And, only jump in when you get a resounding yes! Boost your productivity by learning how to say no to activities that will not bring you closer to your overall outcome.
- Leverage your peaks – Your day is that: YOURS. Make the most of it by taking the time to understand when you are at your best and most productive throughout your day. Keep an activity log (this is a once-‐off task and I suggest you do it for 7 days to get a better picture) and capture the start and end times for each of your activities. Boost your productivity by identifying and leveraging the times when you produce the most activities: these are your personal productive peaks.
- Narrow your focus – While this at first may sound counter‐productive, narrowing your focus is a great strategy to achieve more as it will help you reduce overwhelm. So instead of starting your day by thinking of ALL of the things you want to do today, narrow your focus to your top ones: the ones you want to be focusing on and THE one you absolutely want to complete. Boost your productivity by handpicking the 5 actions you are going to focus on today and highlight the one you’ll start your day with.
There you have them: increase your clarity, set your dates, say no, leverage your peaks and narrow your focus. Any of these strategies will help you boost your productivity to end your year with a big bang. Remember, productivity is not left to chance. Behaving in a productive way will lead you to increasing your productivity, and as a result boost your overall success in your life, career and business.
Which one(s) of these strategies are you going to start using? Which one(s) are you already using? I’d love for you to share; this will be helpful for the other accountants. Comment below!
And join me on Wednesday 2nd December at 15.30 where I will be answering questions on how to give away control in a Twitter Q&A. Ask your questions using #SageAdvice #SmallBizSat