Looking back on 2016, are you happy with how much you accomplished? Or are you surprised by how fast the year went by without reaching your goals?
This year, make it a goal to be productive. The first step in doing so is stopping productivity-zapping habits. Here are 10 that are common among small business owners.
1. You Sit Too Much
Think the number of hours you’re logging behind your desk is ratcheting up your productivity? Think again. Giving your eyes, ears, and mind a break from work is healthy and can be just the refresher you need to produce more.
2. You’re Using Tools You Don’t Like
Not all productivity tools are created equal. If you don’t like something that’s supposed to be making your job easier, stop using it. Find something that works instead.
3. You’re Waiting for Inspiration to Strike
The longer you wait to be inspired, the harder it is to get work done. Start your projects, no matter how ready you feel.
4. You’re Multitasking Excessively
Multitasking is good, sometimes. Other times, it’s a serious time drain. Cut out multitasking as much as possible. Focus on the task at hand and you’ll finish it up much faster than if you tried to do too much at once.
5. You’re Trying to Control Too Much
Do you like to have an hand in everything that happens in your business? It makes sense, but it’s also killing your productivity. By trying to steer the ship without using your team’s talents, you’ll have a harder time finding smooth sailing waters. Give your team flexibility where it makes sense, such as managing the schedule, which is notorious for being a time suck.
6. You’re Buried in Email
Email is one of the biggest time drains in the office. Make a goal of staying out of your inbox as much as possible. Only check your email three times per day. Then, when you do check your email, set a timer so you don’t get stuck in your inbox for too long.
7. You Don’t Plan Your Days
Do you tackle the first thing that lands on your desk in the morning? Are you more focused on putting out fires than putting out work? You’re probably not being as productive as you could be. Plan your days to take on the most essential tasks first.
8. You’re Not Continually Learning
The world is constantly developing. Are you? Make education a priority so you don’t get stuck in a rut of old-fashioned habits.
9. You’re In Denial
Do you know what your bad habits are? If you don’t recognize where you’re spending too much time unnecessarily, you won’t be able to fix it and become more productive.
10. You’re Too Hard On Yourself
Give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. It’s normal to make a mistake but the more you beat yourself up for it, the more you’re expending energy on an unproductive task.
Make New Habits
This year, make new habits to become more productive. By breaking away from the old habits that have drained your productivity, you’re better able to reach your goals.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.