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How to Increase Business Productivity This Year


No one sets out to be unproductive,
but of course we all can have “one of those days”...

A few drinks the night before might make for a less than stellar day at the office, and you can’t deny that a day off is begging to be spent curled up on your couch ready to binge watch the newest Netflix hit. If you’ve noticed a drop in your productivity over the holidays, it’s time to reevaluate, refocus and reenergize! If lack of productivity has begun to impinge on your focus at work more than just an “off day” here and there, it’s time to rekindle the spark!

Competition in business is fiercer than ever. Whether it’s rival businesses undercutting your prices, a lack of focused marketing or if you’re struggling to solidify business processes, it’s a dog-eat-dog world... and you need to be THE dog! Increasing productivity and efficiency is a great way to stay competitive in the ever-changing world of business.

If you’re an SMB owner, getting yourself and your employees motivated could be the key to a successful year. You can’t afford to sit back and let things just happen for themselves. Here are a few tips on how to increase business productivity this year for you and your employees.

1. Take Time Every Morning

Okay, so this first step may sound a little strange when you’re trying to increase productivity… but hear me out! Taking a few moments at the beginning of your morning will get the work day off to a calm and collected start. This will increase your chances of being more productive as you will have time to mentally prepare for your day and plan out what needs to be accomplished. Planning is an integral piece of the productivity pie. If you have a plan, or even a loose outline of how your day is going to unravel, your focus, motivation and determination can and will improve drastically.

Being prepared for your day is essential to increasing productivity, but that’s only part of it. Mindfulness works in tandem with being well prepared at the start of your day. Mindfulness begins with emptying your head of any thoughts, stressors or anxieties that might cause hang-ups during your workday. These thoughts easily draw your focus and make it hard to concentrate on your workload.

Still with me?

If you have trouble clearing your mind, remember to stay in the moment and always focus on breathing deeply and thoroughly. This will help calm your body and will allow you to clear your mind of unnecessary thoughts while you begin to prepare for your newly productive work day.

2. Quit Multitasking!

Who said that multitasking was a good idea? They were wrong.

While multitasking it may seem like you’re getting more done because you’re working on numerous tasks at once, but in fact multitasking can negatively impact your productivity by as much as 40 percent!

WOW. Did that sink in? 40 percent.

It’s time for you to focus on one task at a time. Focus is the key word. When you’re multitasking, you’re spending the majority of your time jumping from task to task, thinking about what you have to do next, and ultimately not putting your full focus into any one thing. This drastically decreases your efficiency on each individual project!

Multitasking is such an easy thing to get sucked into, especially when you have not planned your day. It’s time for you to abandon the concept of multitasking and commit to “singletasking”. Yes, singletasking, and it shouldn’t be long before it comes as second nature to you.

Asking yourself “how?” It’s easy, I promise.

Pick just one thing that you are going to work on and stick with it until you have finished it or accomplished all that can be done for the time being. This means you should not stop working on your task to refresh your email every 10 minutes, check your text messages or review tonight’s theater showtimes. If the temptation is too strong at first, try silencing your phone alerts or logging out of your inbox while you’re working. You can always check these in between projects or during your lunch hour!

QUICK TIP: It’s always a great idea to have a physical notebook at your desk so that you can jot down spur of the moment thoughts and ideas. Physically taking notes does not require much of your attention so there is less of a chance of being sidetracked. Additionally, the most valuable benefit of physical note-taking is being able to clear your mind of thoughts that are occupying space in your brain, allowing you to maintain full concentration on your current project.

3. Reassess Work Hours

We all know that the traditional 9 to 5 work day is going the way of the dinosaur, but is the “around the clock” work day actually counterproductive? I think so.

Think about it… how productive is your employee going to be at 10pm on a Tuesday when they are finally home on the couch with a glass of wine, ready to sink into the next episode of Making a Murderer? I would imagine the answer is not very.

While not all companies can afford to be quite as extreme as some of the trendier startups, it is definitely worth considering a shorter or more reasonable work day for you and your employees. Requiring yourself and your employees to work around the clock is not reasonable and can actually be considered the opposite of increased productivity.

Some of these startups have taken the hammer to “always on the clock” mindset that has made it’s way into many businesses over the past number of years. Studies have shown that people tend to be more productive earlier in the day and making people sit in an office for 8 hours a day might actually promote time-wasting activities. By shortening the work day, employees will be encouraged to work harder, but for a more concentrated amount of time. A shorter work day could instill a greater sense of urgency for your employees, who will respect and appreciate the company’s consideration of their personal lives.

Depending on your business, changing working hours may not be practical, but it’s still something to consider. Even if you cut your work day by an hour or two, it will make a significant difference to the employees and, in turn, will increase their motivation and productivity.

If you’d like to find out how implementing better IT and more efficient procedures can help you beat the productivity blues, get in touch with DCS today. We would be happy to offer you a consultation to find out how we can help make your life easier and make your business run seamlessly.