Solo Business Owners, Your Multi-Tasking Could Be Reducing Your Business Productivity
Are you a solopreneur with an LLC? Have you ever had one of those days where it’s time to stop working, but you don’t feel like you got anything done and you have no clue how the day got away from you? You leave the office (or log out from your laptop) feeling like you didn’t accomplish anything — and it’s because you didn’t.
There are several reasons this could be happening. Below are some tips on how you can improve your business productivity and leave the office feeling accomplished instead of overwhelmed.
1) Skip Social Media
One of the largest time suckers is social media. On average, millennials check our phones nearly 150 times each day. That’s insane! And it’s crushing your business productivity.
Unless your business actually involves working on social media, turn off all of your notifications and wait until before or after work to scroll through your feed. You would be amazed at how many people get caught up in checking their social media accounts just to see what everyone is up to at any given time.
Afraid of missing something super important? I’m sure someone will call you if the world is about to end! Otherwise, the duck-faced selfies flooding social media have no bearing on how much work you can get accomplished today. During the workday, avoid social media like the plague; it will suck you in and kill your business productivity.
If you have posts you need to put up, use something like Buffer to schedule them all out in advance so you don’t even need to think about opening Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Afraid you actually can’t break the habit? Use a Chrome extension like News Feed Eradicator to remove the Facebook scrolling temptation…or Work Mode to block all social media options.
Think of it this way: there’s nothing in any of your social feeds that’s going to make you more money during the day. So stop wasting your time, and focus instead on the tasks you need to complete.
2) Stop Texting
Your buddy wants to know if you want to come over to watch the game tonight. That conversation turns into whether you want to chow down on some pizza and drink a few cold ones. That rolls into what you want on your pizza. Bottled beer or cans? Down for some shots? Down for whatever? How about snacks? Can you pick up some on your way over? You better text your wife to make sure she’s cool with you going out tonight. Sent.
Finally, time to get back to work. But now you’re completely disconnected from the project you were working on before you were interrupted, and you need to go back over everything to figure out where you left off.
Did you know it takes an average of 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted? Are you back on track yet? Good. You keep going…then your wife texts you. She says it’s cool to hang with your buddy and to have a good time. You reply back that you’ll be home late and not to wait up. She replies back with a kissing emoji. Aww, how cute!
See where I’m going with this? That was only a single conversation. Now you have to go back over your project a second time just to get in the groove and find the right mindset — which could mean almost an hour of productivity lost from just one conversation (that had nothing to do with work).
Think about how many texts you get in a day and how detrimental they are to finishing your work and staying productive. Text messages are a business productivity killer.
3) Turn Off the TV
I truly have no idea how anyone keeps a television on while they are working. I understand some people need background noise for whatever reason; maybe I’m odd, but I like it nice and quiet so I can truly focus on what I’m doing.
I just don’t understand how having a television on isn’t distracting and damaging to your business productivity during the day. If the news is on, how are you not tempted just to glance up and see what’s going on in the world? Turn the television off.
In fact, a better question than, “Why is your TV on?” is, “Why do you have a TV in your office in the first place?” You’re there to work, right? Putting a TV in your workspace is sucking the life out of your creativity and productivity.
It’s hard to stay on task when something keeps pulling your attention away. Just like the texting example above, each time you are pulled away from your work it takes time to get re-situated, understand where you left off and pick up from that point in the right mindset.
You’re wasting valuable time out of your day that you’ll never get back. These distractions might only be a few minutes here and there, but over the course of a week they can add up to hours of lost productivity.
4) Keep Everything You Need in Your Office
You get to the office and need to take a quick restroom break. When you get back, you remember you left your coffee at home, so you walk into the break room or common area and grab a cup. Later in the day you walk back out again for some coffee and a bottle of water. Your nose is running (of course you don’t have tissues in your office), so you head back to the bathroom for some toilet paper. Then you make the trek back to your office once again. These little up and down trips can crush your business productivity.
A smarter solution is to have everything you need in your office: tissues, your thermos of coffee, bottles of water, snacks and anything else you can think of that you’d need throughout the day. If you find you use the printer every day, put one in your office rather than having it in another area. The constant up and down is enough to completely throw off your business productivity and momentum on a project.
5) Schedule Your Day in Blocks
There are businesses out there such as my own (Weik Fitness, LLC) that offer several different services. For example, my business works with clients on creating individualized workout and nutrition programs to help people reach their health and fitness goals.
Another service we provide is content and copywriting primarily for the health, fitness and supplement industries. Our last service deals with business development, sales consulting and brokering for health, fitness and supplement brands. As you can tell, we work on a wide range of services each day. If I go into a day without a clear plan, I’m going to be completely overwhelmed. Therefore, block scheduling is ideal.
Block scheduling allows me to have a set time that I’m going to work on different tasks each day to help with my business productivity. For instance, here’s how my day might be broken up:
- 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Writing, because I’m more creative in the morning
- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Coaching, since clients often come in around their lunch hour
- 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Consulting, so these clients see something fresh in their inbox the next morning
For me, this is an efficient system that lets me hit each piece of my business every day. If I finish all tasks for one part of the business before that block is over, I’ll jump right into the next block and get a head start.Then I head home to spend time with my family; if necessary, I can always go back to the office at night to button up any loose ends after my son goes to sleep.
This scheduling technique allows you to know exactly when you’re going to work on what. It prevents you from juggling multiple pieces of the business all day long without truly completing anything. I set my mind to just one area, complete all necessary tasks and then move onto the next. It works quite well and I highly recommend it.
Also, refrain from checking your email every time it dings or comes through. This is a huge business productivity waster! Better yet, close out your email, and don’t open it until your scheduled block for checking and responding to emails. If you’re like me, you’re getting emails all day every day, and it can get overwhelming if you stop what you’re doing to quickly answer each and every one.
Instead, set a block in your schedule just for responding to emails. You’ll be able to work more productively rather than being scatter-brained due to jumping around from task to task without a real plan.
If you want to be more productive during the day, you could also take some responsibility off of your shoulders by using Incfile to help manage your business. They offer tons of valuable services that can help you stay on top of business accounts, business licenses, and more. Feel free to check them out and see how they can help you get more done during the day.