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As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your bottom line – and one of the biggest improvements you can make is boosting your productivity. Whether you work solo or have a few employees, there are always a few tactics you can employ to keep you on track and happy for the new business year.
Unplug from Social Media
Social media is becoming a lot more common in the workplace than anyone may have realized it would become. You have employees constantly checking their status update or perhaps your own phone is constantly alerting you of new things. No matter what, you need to unplug during work hours. That may mean creating a policy where employees must stay off social media or even blocking social media sites from their computers.
Add More Computer Monitors
Are you working on just one computer screen? You are limiting your productivity potential. You can increase productivity by as much as 50 percent by adding another screen. Just think about how much more you will accomplish when you aren’t using ALT+TAB every few seconds. Multiple screens aren’t just for day traders and studies have shown they increase productivity remarkably.
Try to Make the Most Out of Your Lost Hours
Do you spend a few hours getting to work each day? Why not use public transit so you can take the time you travel into billable hours. You could work on a project, read up on the news that affects your industry or do something to get more out of that time. If you absolutely must drive, skip the hands-free devices and don’t be tempted to do work while driving – we’re aiming for productivity not reckless behavior here.
Start a Schedule and While You’re at it, a To-Do List
Most people who feel they are unproductive have something in common: they lack a schedule. Create a daily schedule that tells you what you need to be done and by what time. Then, create a daily to do list spelling out what tasks must be done today, that week, this month, etc. Prioritize your tasks and ensure you have tasks for employees too. To do lists don’t just improve your productivity, they ensure no employee is sitting around with nothing to do.
Declutter the Workspace
Cluttered workspaces will always make you less efficient. If you have papers stacked up, now is the time to go through them. File them, shred them, and just get them off your desk. Organization helps you stay on task.
Arm Yourself with Productivity Tools
Seriously, have you looked at the selection of productivity tools out there? From team collaboration tools to timers and productivity apps. You could literally keep yourself on task with everything from reports to meetings to brushing your teeth after lunch if you want to. Start looking at the productivity apps available and see what works for your business – there are even some out there that cater specifically to entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Consider Taking Your Meetings to the Web
Instead of wasting time driving to clients or even meeting with vendors, save everyone the hassles of a commute by taking your meetings and introductions to the web. There are plenty of web conferencing apps out there that help you stay connected and you can even have meetings with employees not on the job site so that you can discuss and get back to the tasks. Just a few we recommend include WebEx Meeting Center, Join.Me, and GlobalMeet.
Take the Team Mobile with VoIP
VoIP or Virtual Phone Systems are perfect for companies that need to stay mobile or even those that work from home. They also help you remain more productive because you can use softphone features to answer your company phone on the road, assign extensions for faster customer directing, etc. Just a few of our favorites include RingCentral, VirtualPBX and Phone.com.
No matter what your business plans are for the New Year, don’t forget to incorporate a few of these productivity hacks into that plan. More productivity always means more revenue – and most of these hacks are free. So if you aren’t productive in 2016, don’t say we didn’t give you a few ideas to get those numbers looking better.