Don’t count the days, make the days count.
In a few weeks’ time, we’ll officially be entering Autumn and inundated with countdowns to Black Friday, end of term festivities, Christmas, family gatherings, the New Year…
It’s an exciting time, but it is also overwhelming and exhausting trying to keep up with it all.
The same goes in business; too many of you are still bogged down in the day-to-day, running so hard on that hamster wheel but not really getting anywhere.
This week, I want to focus on 5 ways to increase productivity in your business by more than 50%.
1/ Focus On The Important
Stop getting distracted on Urgent activities that demand your immediate attention. The phone ringing is urgent, but it may not be Important.
Important activities get you from A to B based on your goals and vision; if you don’t do this then you’ll never reach your desired result.
The problem is that these are proactive, so you need to simplify, eliminate or delegate those tasks that are urgent but not important.
2/ Record & Deal With Interruptions
Constant interruptions are stopping your business from growing, so start a basic log/record of these to help deal and plan for them.
There are only 3 reasons for interruptions, and you can manage all of these:
“I don’t know how to”– lack of knowledge is easy to remedy i.e. produce a manual.
“I’m not allowed to”– simply give, or ‘up’ the level of authority.
“I need stroking” – your team want interaction and pop in for chats, so you need to find structured ways to give them praise and attention i.e. 1:1 feedback, team huddles, socials.
My best tip?
- Get a piece of A4 paper and fold it 3 times to give 8 boxes each side.
- Write the names of team members, including you and your family, in each box.
- Instead of constantly interrupting people, jot down what you need to speak to X about, in the relevant box, and then you can forget about it (unless it’s urgent).
- Then use this in your daily/weekly meetings and eventually meetings will come to an end as people eventually start ticking off or getting answers to these “interruptions” off their own back.
This really helps you plan, for example if you always get a last order at the end of the day, then leave half an hour at the end of each day for last minute orders.
3/ Land One Plane At A Time.
The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch outlines that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It’s key for you to identify the 20% of things that are causing the 80% of issues. By solving this you solve lots of issues.
4/ Learn Lessons
Imagine your business always learning from its mistakes. By noting lessons down in a log, and allocating who is accountable for solving each one, you can focus on striking them off.
A business will tell you everything that’s going on, but only if you ask the right questions. And you need to create the right culture to feed this all in.
How do your staff really feel? What are your numbers telling you? How happy are your customers? Why did you lose that contract?
5/ Continuous Feedback
What do you need to STOP doing?
What do you need to START doing?
What should you CONTINUE doing?
We all need and deserve to give/receive feedback; it helps us perform better and succeed. Each member of your team should be expected to share a few things that each of their colleagues and clients should STOP, START, and CONTINUE doing.
So, this week, what are you going to Stop, Start Continue in order to make every single day count?
The Scalability Coach | Britain’s Top 10 Adviser 2018 | Author of #1 bestseller I don’t work Fridays | Ex-CEO of a PLC
PS here’s what Keith, owner of Rock & Rapid Adventures, said:
“Over the last two years, Martin’s tools and tips have helped increase productivity in my business by more than 50%. We’ve moved from ‘firefighting’ into a position where I have been able to grow my business thanks to a focused goal, new services, and of course, increases in efficiencies.”