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Ten quick fixes to improve productivity

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For any small business, it’s imperative to always seek ways to improve productivity in order to be as efficient and successful as possible. 

Through technology, the possibilities are endless and ever-changing but here are some key quick fixes that are great starting points to increase productivity from today.

To-Do lists;;

To-do lists are key fundamental aids to productivity.  Being able to visualise tasks helps to manage and organise them and making lists provides accountability and focus.  There is also a sense of satisfaction to check off the items you’ve accomplished each day.  At the end of a significant amount of time (a month, a quarter, a year) it can be very satisfying to review the tasks you’ve completed in that period.

It’s important to think carefully about what you put on your to-do list, try to avoid putting everything on it.  If the list starts getting too large, prioritisation is a must and assign tasks to specific days if necessary.  It’s also important to consider the goal associated with the specific tasks and make sure you’re clear on them – sometimes having a broader view of a task gives them a different level of significance.

Be realistic with your time;;
Some research suggests that only around 17% of people can accurately estimate the passage of time.  Be careful when estimating how long you think a task will take when setting out your day – it’s always better to under-estimate your available time than over-estimate, and you should always consider unexpected requests that may come in each day that may hinder you completing other tasks.

Sometimes it helps to have a manageable level of self-imposed stress, so giving yourself deadlines and working on specific tasks can aid productivity by focusing the mind and aiming to achieve goals.

Another way to manage your time effectively is to follow Steve Olenski’s Two Minute Rule, which is when a task comes in that you know can be done in two minutes or less, you do it immediately.  Olenski believes that by doing these tasks immediately, saves time in the long run by returning to it later.

Learn to delegate
Delegating can be a huge mental hurdle if you’re not used to it, but when you delegate properly, you have more time to spend on your own work.  The key is to assign the right task to the right person. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most people won’t volunteer to help so you will need to learn to ask.  Also, ensure that you don’t do tasks that are out of your remit and which you can outsource to someone specialised in that field.

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