January is the perfect time of year to start setting some goals for yourself and your business. A popular goal amongst both individuals and business owners is to improve focus and productivity.
Being more productive within your business and using your working hours more efficiently is a prime example of working smarter instead of harder and aiming to achieve more without actually putting in any extra effort.
Here are six steps you can take to achieve that goal.
Use Great Software
First of all, remember that it’s 2023 – take advantage of the technology available to you and run your business smarter!
Depending on the nature of your business, you might need specific types of software, such as ITSM, CRM, or a great collaborative platform if your staff works remotely. Consider what you need and do some research on the best programs out there.
Also read: Five Types of Software Your Business Can Use to Maximize Efficiency
Focus on Automation
A more specific line of software to look into is programs that can help automate simple, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks in your day-to-day practice.
You can find programs to assist in the automation of your social media posting and management, invoice sending, expense tracking, data backup and management, accounting processes, scheduling, and more.
Reassess Your Processes
No matter what type of business you’re running, you need to have processes in place for things to run smoothly. Over time, these processes might become outdated, and there might be improvements you could make to boost productivity.
Take a look at your processes and fine-tune them until they seem more efficient. Be sure to create flow charts or diagrams, or at the very least, write out a list of each point in the process so that they’re easy to remember and follow for you and all your employees.
Have a Schedule
Simply waking up and winging every day is never a good plan. Make sure to set yourself a weekly and/or daily schedule, so you know exactly where you need to be and when.
Dedicate specific hours of the day to handling emails, social media engagement, internal meetings, and other specific tasks you might need to handle. This will help you identify gaps in your day that could be filled with more meaningful work.
Try Out Time-Tracking
If you’re suspicious or simply concerned about your staff’s productivity, you might consider using some form of time-tracking software for a few weeks. These programs will automatically track which websites and programs are used throughout the day, and you’ll be able to monitor your staff and your own activities.
This can help you identify productivity killers and time-sucking tasks, and even identify excessive social media use during work hours that may need to be addressed.
Also read: Top Ways Cloud Computing Can Increase Productivity and Profits
Get Honest with Yourself
Finally, you need to be brutally honest about which tasks and activities are truly the most important to you and your business.
Does this really require a meeting, or could it be expressed in an email? Do you really need to respond to every comment on your business’s Instagram page, or could that time be better spent elsewhere? Whenever you’re fulfilling a task, consider how it could be achieved quicker or smarter.