Productivity is the great goal of every small business owner. All other things being equal, if you can do more than the competition, you will generally do great. Unfortunately, that’s a lot easier than it sounds. Not everything about running a business will get your heart pumping, and when that’s all you have to face today, it can be hard to muster up the passion and the drive. Here are a few things you can do so you can stop procrastinating and get to work:
1. Do The Hard Things First
Having something nasty or boring on your schedule can put a damper on the whole day. Just thinking about it can drain you of energy and make you worse at everything else you do. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this, and that’s to take on the rough stuff first. Not only will it give you a sense of accomplishment, but it’ll also keep it from casting a shadow over the rest of your day.
2. Break Things Down
There’s a ton of things to do for your small business and taken as a whole; it can seem like an impossible task. It’s best to break things down into smaller steps and chunks to make it seem more manageable. While you’ll eventually still have to accomplish specific goals, breaking things down makes things easier on both you and your schedule. Moving a mountain seems impossible, but anyone can pick up a shovel and move a few mounds of dirt.
3. Get Rid of Distractions
It’s easier than ever before to ignore work. Distractions are everywhere, giving you plenty of excuses that will let you procrastinate. The solution here is simple – get rid of distractions. Keep your phone on silent, delete any games on it, and log out of social media accounts unrelated to your small business. If you have to put on headphones to block out the outside world to get in the zone, do it. You can will yourself to ignore distractions, but it’s far easier to simply not have them in the first place.
4. Learn to Manage Your Time Better
One of the best ways to push procrastination out of the picture is to manage your time better. The more organized you are, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel, preserving your energy. You can start by not settling on a to-do list and upgrading to a schedule. Schedules let you section off parts of your day to specific tasks, and make it easier to visualize how much time something takes. Don’t forget to give yourself some wiggle room in case complications arise, or to give you small opportunities to rest or do something else.
5. Be an Early Bird or Night Owl, Whichever You Are
Some small business owners swear by waking up before dawn, while others believe in late nights at the office. The truth is both methods are viable, as long as they’re what applies to you. Figure out when you’re at your best, and take advantage of that. If you’re an early bird, set your schedule to reflect it. Leave the office early and get an early start on your day consistently.
6. Leave Perfection Behind
Perfection is functionally impossible. More to the point, it’s also unnecessary. You don’t need a perfect product or day to succeed. It’s also scary. You know that it’s impossible, so setting it as a goal works against you. You end up hesitant and unsure because you face an impossible task. Instead of doing that, set realistic and measurable goals.
7. Write Things Down
Procrastination isn’t always because of laziness or distraction. Sometimes, a decision is so difficult to make that you end up paralyzed. A good solution to this problem is to write things down. It makes it easier to visualize your conundrum and can often make it easier to determine which move is better. If not that, it can at least more easily show you why you’re having trouble making a decision.
8. Just Do It
A great piece of advice many writers get is to simply write. A blank piece of paper is scary, but doing nothing won’t get you a book. Only writing will do that. They can always go back and edit. Small business owners can use this attitude to their advantage as well. Even if you don’t feel like it, take that first step and get something done. Just doing things can get you in the mood to work and get you in the zone.
9. Find Your Workspace
Not everyone can work anywhere. In fact, being in the wrong room temperature or even having an uncomfortable chair can be distracting enough to keep you from getting things done. Instead of forcing the issue, see if you can make your workspace the right environment. Not only can you make things more comfortable for yourself, but you can also take the opportunity to cut out any distractions that may be present.
10. Celebrate All Wins
It’s hard to keep trucking on when it feels like you’re not getting anything down. Morale drops, and it’s hard to fight for your small business when your heart is sinking. Fortunately, there may be more to celebrate than you think. Focusing on getting big wins is OK, but don’t forget that those big wins come from small beginnings. Everything you do, even the small things, counts in the long run.
Procrastination is deadly if it takes over your life. You can’t afford to sit back and do nothing when you’re at work. For your small business to succeed, you must defeat it and become as productive as possible.