Are you running from emergency to emergency and struggling to accomplish anything on your to-do list? When you first open your business, it can be difficult to set up a routine, but your routine can help you eliminate the emergencies and work towards reaching your goals. Learn how to implement a solid routine to increase your productivity.
1. Benefits of a Routine
A routine allows you to schedule specific tasks throughout the day. It also allows you to handle the tasks you need to on a daily and weekly basis so that you are no longer jumping from one emergency to another. If you are running a business, such as a restaurant, you should establish an opening and closing routine for your staff, so they can clean and prep the restaurant for customers. The routine lets you know that all of the important tasks for the day have been completed. Similarly, a routine for you allows you to schedule the important recurring tasks and block out time for the intermittent tasks or emergencies that may come up each day.
2. Establishing Your Routine
The best way to establish your routine is to make a list of tasks that you do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Then group the tasks together by type. This allows you to maintain your focus as you accomplish a list of tasks. For example, if you must do payroll, complete a bid proposal, pay your bills, and order supplies for your business, it makes sense to do the ones that involve money together. Since you are already focused on your accounts, it will be easier to complete all those tasks at once. You may set aside one day a week for specific types of tasks. You can work in advance this way and it will prevent you from losing a bill or forgetting to submit a proposal.
3. Scheduling Time to Schedule
Your routine is going to vary slightly each day, because you will have a different set of tasks to accomplish. You can increase your productivity if you take time each day to schedule and prioritize the tasks on your to-do list. Many experts suggest doing this in the morning before you do anything else. This works because you have not yet been distracted by emails or other problems that may come up, and it allows you to focus on the larger picture while working on your to-do list. You can also do a weekly planning, monthly planning and yearly planning session for your larger goals, so that you can break them into smaller tasks you can accomplish on time.
4. Automating Parts of Your Routine
If there are tasks that need to be done each day, you should look for ways to take care of them automatically. You can find computer programs that will handle tasks for you, or hire someone to do it. As a small business owner, you may be worried about your marketing campaign, but find that keeping up with a blog, Facebook posts and Twitter is too much to handle. You can hire someone to do it for you, or you can schedule these activities at the beginning of the month and take care of your marketing efforts on one day. Often the most mundane tasks are the ones that can be automated or passed on to someone else.
5. Eliminating Stress from Your Routine
Pay attention to your day and notice the times that you seem most stressed out. Are these times associated with specific tasks or people? If so, find a way to reduce the stress or eliminate it all together. For example, you may need to stop phone calls from family members or friend during work, if they are stressing you out. Additionally, you may find that certain type of project or a client is causing you stress. Look beyond the person to find out what is triggering your stress, such as taking on a task outside of your skillset, or a tight deadline. Once you identify the real cause of your stress you may be able to solve the problem. If you are not stressed, you will be able to focus and work more effectively.
About the Author: Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com. Her line of work often requires she have reliable large file transfer solutions and a solid strategy for meeting tight deadlines. Any spare time she can scrape together finds her hiking, reading and enjoying the company of great friends.