5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

(*Being busy is not necessarily being productive.)

Have you ever heard the term “busy idiot”? Of course, I’m not suggesting for a moment that you are one, but many of us business owners sail close to the wind on this one from time to time. It was Gordon Ramsay who coined this phrase, in recognition of those who were ‘working hard in all the wrong places, or getting useless things accomplished’.

The fact is, it’s easy to get dragged down rabbit holes when you’re running a business and the less productive you are, the more fire-fighting you’ll do and prioritising will suffer as a result. Beware the busy idiot!

Productivity is something we all strive for in business and I work with many people to help them improve theirs. To me, it means using time wisely, achieving perhaps more than I set out to, with minimal effort – something a CRM is perfect for.

For the past few years, 20th June has been designated World Productivity Day. In honour of this, I thought I’d share some tips for being more productive.

1.    Prioritising and delegating

Although this might sound like two things, I see them as opposite ends of the same task. As a business owner, being involved in everything will create a bottle neck. Neither you nor your business will be productive if you cannot delegate.

Start by deciding what you absolutely need to be involved in – this might be final checks before work is passed to a client, it might be business development if you don’t have a sales manager. Whatever these tasks are, they should be prioritised for you so make sure they are recorded on your to do list in your CRM.

Anything else needs to be examined to see how it can be simplified. Can you automate the task? Sometimes admin tasks can be outsourced or even done using apps. Anything to save time where you can’t add personal value.

2.    Batching

Many of my CRM clients love seeing how a system like Capsule can help them to bring similar tasks together and deliver them in a batch.

Do you have several similar tasks that can be batched and delivered at the same time? This is a really effective way of using certain times of the day or week to get specific jobs done, sometimes even based on when your energy or mood suits a particular activity.

You might find admin a burden but perhaps you can allocate Friday morning for it. Grab a cuppa, sit down and attack that pile, and then celebrate when it’s done in time for the weekend.

3.    Document and deliver

When we are firefighting, (or being busy idiots) we often waste time reinventing the wheel. We might type a very similar email on a regular basis when we could create a template, in our CRM, or even in a document which you can copy and paste into an email, and even schedule it to go using the delay delivery functionality in Office – or an app.

By creating tracks which clearly show the steps we take in our business, Capsule enables us to recognise these patterns and prepare for them. It also acts as a memory-jog so you don’t find yourself wracking your brains to remember what you did last month that we so effective.

Use Capsule to get your processes documented and then deliver them on auto-pilot. I always call Capsule ‘a clone of your best self’ because you can capture and re-deliver the most productive day every time.

4.    A reminder to recharge

It might sound counterproductive, but taking regular breaks improves your output. With a calm mind and focused approach, you’ll speed through your work. But this only comes if you give yourself a chance to chill every now and again.

However, we’ve all experienced that day in the office when we suddenly look at the clock and it’s nearly home time. Set reminders in your schedule to take a break. Whether it’s stopping to make a drink or getting outside for half an hour every lunchtime, get your system to set a task for you and remind you when to stop.

Don’t forget a CRM is also great at holding the fort when you decide to take some well-earned leave from your business. With integrations to accounting software, like Xero, or email marketing, such as Mailchimp, it can keep things ticking over as well as making it easier for a colleague to step in and carry out essential tasks.

5.    Focus, focus, focus

Finally, stop trying to do multiple tasks at once. The concept of multi-tasking is all wrong. We can’t ask our brains to deliver more than one quality output at a time. By taking the time to set up good workflows based on deadlines, you can then lean on your CRM to tell you what needs doing and when. Trust that you’ve put the work into planning and follow the instructions it gives you.

You’ll almost certainly find it a relief to slow down yet achieve more and besides, it’s been well documented that we can’t store more than 7 things in our memory at any one time. Save yourself the stress and keep your mind free for things you can achieve.

Here’s something to consider: according to Forbes.com, productive people take more holidays. They ran a survey for World Productivity Day in 2019 and found that 48% of highly productive people used all their available holiday time, compared to 37% of those who ‘coasted’ and weren’t working in a productive way. Another great reason to follow some of the tips and use your time in the best possible way.

If you’d like to get to grips with your productivity; explore using CapsuleCRM to improve your productivity; or, just to improve the organisation and running of your business, please get in touch. You can call 01635 592020 or email hello@blakeconsultants.co.uk

 

Who Am I?

I have been working with CapsuleCRM for over a decade and helped many clients increase revenue, reduce costs, make the most of their contacts, manage their pipeline, deliver great customer service and be more productive! Capsule is an excellent way to capture your leads and clients once you’ve identified them using your avatar.

I can design and install the perfect bespoke version of Capsule to meet your needs. Capsule really is a great solution for consultants and service based business owners, and when it is integrated with Mailchimp and Xero you have really solid foundations in place to grow your business.

I’m always happy to have a chat – you can contact me at julia.blake@blakeconsultants.co.uk and sign up to receive my Growth Hack Bulletin too.

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