We make lists to establish our intentions, whether it’s for the productivity of the business or for our own personal growth. Lists are a simple solution to accountability and making sure we stay on track. But, they can often become a source of stress or anxiety as well. As an entrepreneur or business owner, you’ve probably accepted many responsibilities that cause that list to be quite extensive. You may even get to a point when approaching these tasks realistically, it’s not physically possible to handle them all on your own. Following two key steps can help optimize your work day and better manage your daily tasks. In addition, with improvements to your sleep and work-life balance, you can further boost your productivity.
Make your to do list the night before
This routine is very important in that many of us consider ourselves to be productive “morning workers.” We believe the beginning of the day is when we are the most creative and productive. The process of organizing your tasks should take no more than 5-10 minutes as your prior task list and reflection on the just concluded workday will serve as an easy guide to where focus should be the next day. By making a list of tasks and priorities the night before, you don’t waste any of that valuable time organizing tasks in the most productive portion of your work day.
Prioritize your list based on The 4 D’s
It is also important to distinguish what needs to be done that day, what can be delegated to others, and what can be pushed to a later time or day of the week. A simple concept to help you prioritize your list is referred to as The 4 D’s. When we ignore this step, it can often cause our lists to become long and unrealistic. This tool will help to simplify and significantly shorten your list, thus optimizing your time of productivity. Mike Renahan’s post on Hubspot offers a quick explanation with the chart shown below.
These two steps of creating and optimizing your list are simple practices to relieve stress and improve productivity. As well, maintaining this routine can have greater benefits. This type of preparedness allows you to maintain a more consistent and productive schedule.
To get the maximum productivity at work, you should also focus on sleep and work-life balance as well.
Optimize your rest patterns
A good night’s sleep has been shown to benefit your productivity for the following day by ensuring you have sufficient energy to get the job done. Sleep.org states the many ways that enough sleep can do to benefit your productivity including improved decision making and fewer mistakes. It will improve your mood, enable you to refocus more quickly, and improve your memory. In addition, it is estimated that American businesses lose $62.3 billion a year due to sleep deprivation. That being said, sleep should be of high priority to you, your employees, and to your company.
Work-life balance can improve productivity
While you need to put a tremendous amount of time and energy into your business, it is also important to create a work-life balance which will help increase your mood and performance when it comes time to work again. When you can focus your time away from work on things like family, exercise, and things that you love, you will be less stressed when it comes time to work again.
In an article from Talent International, a study shows that companies that maintain an effective work-life balance actually see their employees work 21% harder those that don’t. In another study from the same article, it’s mentioned that working long, stressful hours can have negative, long-term health impacts such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
So, time away from work is actually valuable for employees to increase and maintain productivity in the workplace and for overall health and wellness. With healthy employees comes less paid sick days and a higher efficiency rate with productivity during office hours. A win-win if you ask me.
As a business owner or entrepreneur it is important to consider each of these opportunities to improve your overall productivity, enhance your mood and get the best long-term results for your business. Small changes in your daily routine can add up to make substantial differences in time. Make sure that these recommendations are at the top of your to do list.
You can find additional articles from Michael Roub at Inflection 360.
Michael Roub is an experienced strategic consultant and Managing Partner of Inflection 360. Michael advises businesses and healthcare practices on a wide range of strategic initiatives.
Follow On: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook