While there are countless small businesses spanning almost every sector of the economy today, this extremely varied group has one thing in common: Hard work. With a constant barrage of tasks to complete each day, businesses in every stage of growth are fighting against time in order to be as productive as possible. Finding ways to minimize time wastage while increasing industriousness can be a tricky undertaking, but there are some solid and surprisingly simple tips out there to help you do just that. Here’s a list of our four favorite ways to do so.
1. The Pomodoro Technique
This technique was invented a college student looking to increase his focus across a large set of tasks. Francesco Cirillo used a timer, shaped like a tomato, to keep track of his work and take regular breaks. The system works like this:
- Choose a specific task to work on
- Set a timer (tomato shape optional) for 20-25 minutes
- Work on the task until the timer goes off
- Take a short break (3-5 minutes)
- Set another timer with a different task
- After four of these, take a longer break (10-15 minutes)
This technique utilizes short periodic breaks to keep the brain functioning at top speed. The small intervals also ensure that you stay on track to completing your task.
2. Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
To build off of the above technique, you can optimize your tasks by making them S.M.A.R.T. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This system encourages goals that are realistic and attainable within a certain time frame. By following these guidelines, the chances of completing multiple goals is greatly increased. Use it in combination with the Pomodoro technique for the ultimate strategy.
3. Adjust Work-life Balance
A common issue that people have with productivity is actually caused by working too much. This is particularly prevalent in Asian countries such as Japan, whose industrious work culture has evolved into a deadly practice of overworking to exhaustion. Though this is an extreme case, it’s proof that a certain amount of overtime can be detrimental to your productivity and overall health.
To combat this loss of productivity, a New Zealand company recently experimented with a four-day work week. It found that its employees experienced a significant drop in stress levels and an increase in work-life balance. While giving your employees a three-day weekend may not always be possible, it’s important to consider how much time you spend away from work so that you can be as efficient as possible while on the job.
Sometimes you just can’t do it all alone. Businesses that try to tackle too much at once are often not around for long. If you find your company struggling to handle everyday tasks, consider contracting outside help in order to stay on top of what matters to you most. Mundane chores such as taxes and social media presence are essential to any growing business, but they end up taking so much time away from the core practices of a company. Hiring a service or employee to handle these for you may end up saving your business in the long run.
In addition to maintaining taxes and social media accounts, blogging is one of the biggest time commitments for any company. Blogs are incredibly useful tools for keeping customers in the loop and informing them about why your business matters. At Content Cucumber, our mission is to provide businesses with regular highly-curated blogs for their needs. Check us out to see how your company can benefit from top-notch content marketing.