One of the most important things that I’ve learned while running my small home fragrance business is the idea that it isn’t about “hard work” its about work.
What this means is that you don’t necessarily have to spend longer hours working, you just have to work in the way that best suits your skills. For example, if you’re an artist and you wish to grow your business your option is either make more paintings, or make unique paintings and therefore justify increasing your price.
The productivity tips that have helped me scale my business are suitable for people who want to improve either the quality or quantity of their work as a small business owner.
The goal is to enhance the way in which you work, rather than forcing you to work harder.
- Do the things that you don’t want to do immediately
Behind every unsuccessful person is a laundry list of tasks that they continually avoid, because it’s just not particularly fun or enjoyable. Unfortunately, procrastinating our most detested tasks is the most harmful in the long term. The only thing worse than doing the things that your don’t want to do is thinking about doing all the things that you don’t want to do.
Procrastination is sure to leave you feeling, anxious, off-balanced and insecure. Instead, realize that the sooner that you get those things done, the better you’ll feel and the more creative and inspired you can be while doing the things that you love.
2. Introduce Keystone Habits into Your Routine
Keystone habits are small habits in your daily or weekly routine that trigger the success of other habits. For example, I was able to realize that one habit that I cannot neglect is exercise. When I wake up every morning and go workout at the gym, it almost acts as a mental reset for the day. In the gym I am able to clear my head and focus on some of the tasks that I have on my list for the day. I also make sure that I listen to some type of inspirational audio on my way to the gym and as I workout on the stairmaster.
This allows me to infuse my brain with positivity and high vibrational messaging in the morning when I am most receptive.
Some other keystone habits that you may think of incorporating into your day are meditation, a morning shower, journaling, and washing the dishes everyday.
3. Live in the Present and Control what you can Control
The third productivity tip is to live in the present. Often people hold themselves back from productivity by trying to predict the future. They say things like ” I would do that but I don’t have enough time” before they even try to make time.
The truth is, no one knows what tomorrow will look like and we cannot assume that our calendar is this scary time-sucking entity that takes away all the fun in life. Its actually the opposite depending on how you look at things.
Take a few hours to really look at where you are spending your time and if it is absolutely necessary that things continue to function the way that they are. Often, you’ll find inefficiencies that could save you time, money, and effort.
I don’t believe any productivity tips that don’t include at least one mention of time-blocking.
Time-blocking is the idea of scheduling tasks by the hour or half-hour and setting a detailed schedule. Rather than a big block that says “make candles”, I now make 1 hour lines that specify the scent of candle that I need to makes as well as the amount that I need to make. This makes it easier for me to know what tasks need to be performed and set a reasonable amount of time to get them done.
For more information on time-blocking, Cal Newport has great references for planning out every minute of your day.
Similar to time-blocking, batching is the idea of taking a group of similar tasks and doing it all together rather than spreading the tasks a part. This allows you to make huge strides in productivity in less time.
Batching works great for small business owners who need to focus on things like marketing content creation and inventory. Rather than taking a picture for social media each day, choose one or two days out of the week to focus on making content to use for the next week or so.
This helps to also prevent procrastination and burnout, since you allow yourself to go longer amounts of time without needing to get this work done.
These tips have helped me to better equip myself as a small business owner with the skills that I needed to take control of my schedule and increase my productivity. Ultimately, everything comes down to intention and action.
First, intend on actually getting a good result from making these changes. If you go into these changes with reluctance, you likely wont see very good results.
Secondly is action, you have to at least for the first week of implementation act upon all the changes that you intended to make. Actions create habits and habits create results.