Your productivity levels really are a key part of success in your online business. They will determine how much you get done on a day-to-day basis, how fast your business grows and ultimately, how much profit you make from your business – and how much you can actually help your customers.
“What you lack in skill, you can make up in numbers” – Jim Rohn
Learning to master yourself and your productivity levels is a hard task, and it will take a lot of persistence and patience to achieve.
Many of you who have an internet business will be working out of a home office, so it will be especially important for you guys to remain productive as you will most likely only have yourself to rely on!
Here’s a couple of tips to help you make the most use of your time in your business:
Tip #1: Plan Each Day The Night Before
This is the number one key to productivity used by many business owners (across all sectors) to keep themselves achieving amazing things: make sure that you take the time to plan each day the night before.
It needn’t take long. Everybody plans differently, but the priority here is to get down at least 5 tasks (but not more than 10) that are the most important tasks to complete the next day.
This will save you wasting half of the morning planning what to do in the day, when you could be working!
Even the great stock market trader Warren Buffet says that he uses this strategy, so it is definitely something to seriously consider putting into practice.
Tip #2: Get Up Earlier
Getting up earlier isn’t exactly a necessity to become successful, but there is a lot to be said for the link between getting up early and higher productivity levels.
Many entrepreneurs claim that the early morning is the best part of the day, as it is peaceful and quiet (before the 9am emails arrive), and they can get ahead on the day.
Joanne and I have also been testing getting up earlier and the effect that it has on our productivity levels in our business. After pushing back the time that we start work in the morning from 9am, to 8am, and more recently to 6.30am, we have seen our productivity levels more than double in that time.
Now obviously you don’t have to start work that early, but pick a time that is right for you and test the results to see your productivity levels (and results) rise!
Tip #3: Eat That Frog!
The idea is simple: if you had to eat a frog every day, would you be better off if you kept putting it off, or if you got it out of the way first thing in the morning?
Of course, the quicker that you get it done, the quicker that you can enjoy the day without having to worry about it.
The same applies to your work; try and complete your hardest and most gruelling tasks that you are thinking about putting off first thing in the morning, as funnily enough, these are normally the most productive tasks in your day. For many people in their internet business, this may be writing your weekly blog post, creating new products/funnels or possible even tracking your website analytics!
Do this on a daily basis, and not only will you be a productivity machine, but you will also be able to relax into your day knowing that you have got the hardest tasks out of the way.
Tip #4: Set Yourself Up To Be Energized
The bottom line is that you cannot grow your business to the best of your ability if you are sabotaging yourself by not looking after your health.
There are many different ways to feel energized, but two of the main factors which influence how good you feel are what you eat, and how often you exercise. If you ensure that you eat nutritious, healthy food, and that you exercise on a regular basis, then you will be far more productive in your business than somebody who doesn’t.
And getting out for exercise is especially important for us internet marketers, as we commonly spend a whole lot of time sat in front of our computer every day!
Tip: Exercising before work every morning will allow you to be a lot more relaxed at your desk, as you won’t be wishing fidgeting as much or wishing that you could get outside. Set yourself up for success in the morning by going for a run, going to the gym or doing another exercise of your choice to gain momentum early on.
Tip #5: Reduce Distractions
One of the main causes of distraction for those who work online is often social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or instagram. With their flashy buttons, friend updates and interesting articles, it is extremely easy to spend hours of your day looking at these sites when you should be working on your business.
Trying to reduce the time spent on these sites during working hours can be hard, especially if you want to know what your friends are up to.
However, don’t fret! There are some handy bits of software that can be easily downloaded that block these sites during working hours. Click Here to see a list. That being said, there are times which you will most likely need to be on social media to market your business – you will just have to be disciplined for these to remain productive.
Your office set-up is also an important factor in reducing distractions. Make sure that it is light, airy and work-focused with not a lot of distractions to hand to pull you away from your work. Common distractions include children, dogs barking, things to fiddle with on your desk, games, irrelevant books or papers etc.
Surprisingly, it has also bee shown that listening to music without lyrics (such as classical music) compliments work, while on the other hand listening to music with words may distract you from your work as it engages your brain more.
Tip #6: Learn To Say No More Often
This is a BIGGIE – especially if you are new to business.
When we are just getting into business, we are full of energy, bubbly and possibly slightly naive. When you open your online business, your goal should be to make some money as quickly as possible (in an ethical manner of course), as good cash-flow is a priority to secure the stability of your business.
The problem can come when a new business owner can’t learn to say no. They get plastered with all sorts of opportunities, courses, and a whole manner of different roads that they could travel down (and take their business down). If they are not focused, then they could find themselves always chasing the next ‘golden egg’, and never actually sticking at something long enough to achieve it.
To overcome this, discover your vision, set a plan, prioritise tasks and stick to getting those tasks complete. That is the only way that you can truly stay productive on the road to what you want to achieve in your business.
The real cost to becoming distracted isn’t just short-term productivity. It is opportunity cost. You see, when you were chasing those rabbits down holes (and getting distracted by every opportunity that arises), you could have been working on your main business, and you could have been a lot further along your path.
Not every opportunity is for you, and sometimes you need to let go of the good ones to get the great ones!
Tip #7: Take Staged Breaks
This tip ties in with tip #4, as taking staged breaks throughout the day will help keep you energized, and working at your best.
How often you decide to take a break, and how many breaks that you want to take in a working day is entirely up to you. Different people need different amounts of downtime, but as a general rule, it is good to take a 10-20 minute break after every hour or so of work to stay focused and productive.
Going for a short walk, sitting in your garden and having a quick 10-20 minute workout are all examples of energetic things that will stretch your legs, get the blood flowing, and break up monotonous tasks during the working day.
The real beauty of owning your own business is the freedom to pick and choose your hours, so by having a slightly longer working day, but with more breaks, you will find that you will get a lot more done than if you just grind all day.
Tip #8: Put Due Dates on Everything
Having a sense of urgency is extremely important in business, and this is especially true in an internet business as the online marketplace changes so fast!
When you plan to do something it is essential that you set goals for when to get it done by – whether you are working on a new product, your website, a new series of emails or anything else.
These deadlines will allow you to become accountable to yourself, so that you can ensure that you complete your business goals on time. It is common for us as business owners to have nobody to hold us accountable to get tasks done, so measures such as putting in due dates for projects will help keep you on track.
They will also increase your productivity tenfold.
If you are after a great bit of software to track your projects and various goals, then we can highly recommend TargetProcess. We personally use it to track all of our different projects, and the beauty of it is that you can have multiple user accounts for your business partners/staff. It also has a free trial – we would highly recommend it!
Tip #9: Put Aside Some ‘Me Time’ Everyday
And plan it!
There is a big difference between relaxing time sat around doing nothing (or ‘slump time’), and quality time with your friends, family or doing specific activities. The latter will make you feel more fulfilled.
You see, if you section quality time off for yourself, even if it is 10 minutes in the morning, then you will be a lot happier, and a lot more productive when at work.
Being happy will give you lots more energy, lots more drive, better relationships with people and better results at work.
Heck, it has even been shown that happier people make better decisions – and think what a positive effect that will have on your business!
Remember that business is a marathon and not a sprint, so you need to take time to stop on the journey and regather yourself before you hit it hard again.
Tip #10: Join a Community to Be Held Accountable
If you really want to increase your levels of productivity, then joining a community to hold you accountable is one of the best things that you could ever do.
You see, we as human beings are group animals – we don’t like to feel excluded, and we all love the feeling of being in a positive environment where everybody helps everyone else.
And that’s why the human race has evolved and grown to the extent that it has.
If you really want to get fantastic results in your business, then stay close to the fire and join a community that can support you. I’m guessing that you are an internet marketer, so a few examples might be joining a forum online, attending local meetups or even better, joining a mastermind program (where you will be directly held accountable by a positive, friendly group of others).
You could also sign up to our mailing list (fill in the form on the top right-hand side), as you will find many of the resources that we email out on a frequent basis useful for holding yourself accountable, and expanding your knowledge of online marketing.
What other methods do you use to boost your productivity levels at work?