How can I increase my productivity so I can get more done in my business?

Productivity is a measure of how well you are doing in business. It measures the outcome of a business in comparison with what is put into the business. These inputs may be in terms of human resource, time, material resources etc.

Unproductivity may arise when you do not properly manage the resources available to you. It is often caused by bad habits. When these bad habits are dealt with, productivity will improve and you would get to achieve more within a shorter time frame.

When productivity is increased, the business output increases; the business profit also increases. To allow for these increments, the following should be taken note of:

Be positive

Positivity in your speech, actions and inaction will go a long way in spurring productivity. If you do a job well, reward yourself. If you have staffs and they have small wins, celebrate them. When they do not do up to what is expected of them, rather than kill their morale by abusing them, encourage them to do better and criticize them constructively. This way you (and your employers) will strive to do better and increased productivity is assured.

If you have employees in your business, make sure they are happy.

Happy employees tend to show much interest in the jobs they are doing and are generally more productive. Ensure you make your employees happy by showing them respect, giving them rewards and bonuses when possible and appreciate them – try using the magic word, thank you; it truly works magic. Trust me, hostility never pays off. If you are hostile to your employees you will never see their best.

Be time conscious

Take note of the amount of time spent on a task, is it more than expected? To be more productive in business, track the amount of time you or your employees spend on a particular task, if it is more than expected, take deliberate steps to limit the amount of time. Also, imbibe in yourself and staff the culture of time consciousness, this would make you not to spend all day on a particular task – you’d get to move to the next task at hand, and at the end, become more productive. You can also set a deadline for spontaneous jobs and stick to it; this would make you focused.

Eliminate distractions

To increase productivity, try as much as possible to eliminate distractions during working hours. These distractions may be in form of people, impromptu activities, thoughts, social media, e-mail notification and the internet, noise etc. Do not give in to these distractions. Some ways through which you can eliminate distractions include;

  • By managing your thoughts
  • Through thorough planning of your day
  • By creating a distraction-free atmosphere (through e.g. cleaning); and
  • By avoiding multi-tasking

Take breaks from time to time

Working more hours than you should ordinarily may seem like a way through which you can improve productivity. But this is not always true – it is not as it seems – because you may lose concentration when you work for long hours and you might even breakdown, this would go a long way in deteriorating your performance in business and on the long run, reduce your productivity.

Do not multitask, rather share the activities

One way to get much work done within shorter time frame is through division of labor. When jobs are delegated, productivity will increase. if you do many things at a time, you may end up doing nothing at all. Multi-tasking makes you loss time and effort. To increase productivity, try as much as possible to commit to a single task before moving on to the next and also delegate duties where possible. Read also how to overcome laziness to increase productivity.

Learn to say ‘No’

To increase productivity, you must learn to say know to time wasting activities. When you say ‘yes’ to any activity or anyone that requests for your time, you would have little or no time to work and be productive, and even if you are afforded with that time, you may not focus on the main task at hand because you mind may be encumbered with those unimportant activities you said yes to.

work faster with the right tools
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Make the work easier and faster with the right tools and equipment

Harness technology in making your work easier and faster, this way you will be more productive. For instance, ‘paper and biro’ may be replaced with computers. Having the right tools and equipment would also build a reputation for your business.

Work in a conducive environment

A spacious and well-ventilated environment can boost people’s morale and make them to work better as they are not stress by heat. To increase productivity in your business, you must make sure the right working condition is provided for yourself and staff (if you have). Do make sure your air-conditioning systems are functioning properly – heating systems too, for very cold weather.

Management and supervision is important.

If you have employees in your business try to supervise them and make them accountable. If your business is very big and with many employees, you can divide the employees into groups and appoint supervisors, this way everyone would be accountable.

Organize your business

A well-structured business has higher chances of being more productive. When things are not organized, you’ll struggle to do things. To increase your productivity, make sure your business is well organized.

Set realistic goals.

Be pragmatic. Do not set goals that are unrealistic for yourself or your staff (if you have staffs), make sure your goals are attainable. When you have a clear and realistic goal, you will work towards achieving it and your productivity will increase.

After doing all these listed above and you become more productive, your numbers will show (you will make higher profits in business), your employees, if any, would be happy and your customers too will be satisfied. This way everyone would be happy with your business.

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