Business owners typically start off each new year with some resolutions on how to get more done with the limited resources they have available at their disposal.
How can you accomplish more next year than you did this year? Focus on some fundamentals of productivity, and stick to them. Here are three strategies that work well for me as founder of Little Jack Marketing, and that can be successfully applied to any industry to help you get more done for your business in 2017.
Simplify Your To-Do/Note Systems
Between traditional pen and paper systems, spreadsheets, and the hundreds of available productivity apps, there is only one thing that matters—using the system that works best for you.
What I have found works best for me is to use the simplest and quickest system available, so I can jot down the note quickly and move on to other things. I started off with a single sheet of paper to take daily notes, but in the effort to be more mobile this progressed to a “sticky” note in Evernote, which eventually got organized to a single card in Trello for daily notes.
Keep Your Calendars Concise
Block scheduling works wonders until you have too many blocks. Before scheduling your day, start by identifying the 1 or 2 goals that you absolutely need to accomplish for the day. Everything else you schedule or commit to should be secondary to these goals. (Occasionally, that means you may not have time to do anything else in your work day other than these predefined goals, but if you chose your goals wisely, you’ll still come out ahead.)
In this day and age, it’s way too easy to jump from task to task, continuously “putting out fires”. It’s important to resist this urge by repeatedly reminding yourself that completing 1 thing at a time, in its entirety, will ultimately help you accomplish more.
Make Use of Alerts and Automation Tools
When you start your day an extra 2 hours early to get a jump on your work just to find out everything is on fire and needs your attention, you will need tools and resources to help you get through without missing anything.
These alert tools can be anything from calendar and phone reminders letting you know to take a break and get some fresh air to different types of reminders integrated with apps you use. In my arsenal of productivity tools, Slack’s “remind me” feature has become indispensable to ensuring I do not miss an important message or reply. This way, I simply have to tell Slack to send me a reminder message later in the day, tomorrow, next week, or further out. It takes me about 10 seconds to set one of these reminders, and this usability enables me to set one quickly and get back to what I was doing before.
I hope these three strategies will help you accomplish more in 2017. Do you have your own productivity strategies that help you get more done? We want to know about them! Shoot us an email, or get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter!