Top 10 Proven Strategies to Increase Business Productivity
There are only 24 hours in a day and you want to make every minute count. In a competitive business market every business owner has to be smart. Running your own company is no easy task, it takes guts and an unsurpassed level of determination. Each and every business wants to operate at its optimum efficiency. However, for most people to reach this optimal level of productivity they need to instate a trial and error methodology. What works for one may not necessarily work for the other.
A little help can go a long way in increasing your productivity without having to make costly mistakes. There are a few strategies that remain constant for all businesses. Today we are going to focus on these business mantras. Here are the top 10 proven strategies to increase business productivity for all business owners.
Top 10 Proven Strategies to Increase Business Productivity
1. Improve Workplace Conditions
This is probably the easiest to handle and it should be tackled first. Ergonomic seating, adequate heating and cooling as required to maintain a comfortable temperature, sufficient and if possible smart lighting are some great additions to improve workplace conditions. These small things will go a long way in minimising time away from the desk.
2. Limit Multitasking
It is not possible for one person to do a multitude of tasks all the time. Although you might think multitasking increases efficiency, the truth is that it can result in overall unsatisfactory results. Each person can only do two or maximum three tasks on a given day. If you load them with too many, all the tasks will suffer. It may even result in spending more time on each task as you might need to rework them. Nobody wants to waste time doing the same work all over again. Too much multitasking makes for substandard results.
3. Set Deadlines
Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. Time management is all psychological. It is always good to have deadlines. This creates a little stress to finish on time. Even better are deadlines which are self-imposed. These tend to increase focus and reduce wasteful activities. Surprisingly, you end up being able to do more in limited time. It is all about pushing yourself an extra mile.
4. No Unnecessary Team Meetings
Meetings are very time-consuming activities. These do not add to either productivity or efficiency, but we still hold them and complain about them. In some cases, it might be necessary to have meetings, but most can be done away with. Instead of a meeting you should try having a five minute team huddle. That way you can still tell your team the targets for today and brainstorm any expected issues. Standing meetings finish far quicker as compared to the seated ones. You might want to get your point across but it does not mean a meeting is necessary, most of the time it can be done both over email and in a huddle.
5. Outsource What Can’t Be Done In-House
Some tasks are extremely typical in nature like legal, accounting and IT. If you are not equipped to handle these it makes sense to outsource them. It is normal to outsource IT and legal services these days and in fact most big businesses also do it. This will reduce your costs and save time. In turn, you can productively use your time to perform those tasks which you do the best. Business owners tend to do everything in-house before realising their mistakes. Be ahead of the curb and try to identify what can and cannot be done in-house. Once that outline is clear, look for the most suitable companies that you can outsource to.
6. Be Proactive
What this means is that you need to plan your day/week/month/quarter and year. This should be the same for your employees. Have dedicated time for all aspects of work like responding to emails, finishing tasks, breaks, helping others and answering queries. Don’t work in a haphazard and disorganised manner. A few days is all you need to understand how a normal working day looks for you, so plan accordingly. If you let daily emails and questions dominate, you will be only good at problem-solving. This means your own work will lag behind. In the big picture, it will surely reflect on either process be it downstream or upstream. All in all, a huge waste of time. So, take the bull by the horns and plan your day where you can make time for everything.
7. Positive Reinforcement
Keeping the employees happy and their morale high is the only way to ensure that they always put in their best. People as a generalisation respond to two different things: a fire behind them to move them forward, or a carrot in front to entice them to go where you want them to. Instead of scaring them with consequences, use positive reinforcement as motivation. Recognise the hard work of both individuals and teams, award them and give constant encouragement. Constructive feedback is also helpful in motivating an employee. Use a healthy mix of praise, reward, and recognition in order to nurture a sense of fulfillment amongst all team members.
8. Work in Intervals
It is not possible to work without breaks. Instead of taking one long break spread it over a period of time. For example, take a 5 min break after every one and a half hours. Studies have shown that people who work for 90 minutes and then take a short break are more productive than those who have one long break.
9. Minimise Distractions
Distractions are not only annoying but also deviate attention. Keep distractions to a minimum by keeping the phone on vibration mode and reducing sound wherever possible by creating silent zones and keeping personal calls to a minimum.
10. Go Lean
Finally, its all about the methodology. Invest in studying your processes and expenses. Identify activities that waste time and are redundant. The same stands for expenses. Look for quick hints in solving these issues. Ultimately, this will give you more productive man-hours and bring down costs.
The Final Word
Making your own mistakes is totally fine, but only when you are breaking ground and moving into unchartered territory. If the way your business is ran is similar to thousands of others, use your judgment and the advice of the people who have been there and done that. The above strategies if followed will give you a decent chance to succeed. These strategies are common to all business types irrespective of the scale of operation. The best practice is to learn from other people's mistakes and build on your strengths. Stay good!