Everyone struggles with productivity. Even the most efficient people have off-days or become overwhelmed with their workload. Constantly increasing responsibilities, non-stop emails, and distractions at our fingertips all thwart our attempts to be productive.
1. Develop Your Own System
Do you know what you need to accomplish at the beginning of each day? Do you have a way to keep track of which leads are warm and which need more time? No matter what software or platforms your workplace may use, you need a personal system that matches your work style.
However you choose to get organized, always write down everything that you need to accomplish. Recording your to-dos not only gives you a visual list of what you need to accomplish but also gives your mind permission to stop trying to remember them.
2. Don’t Multitask
While it may be tempting to multitask, research has shown time and time again that we’re terrible at it. You’ll do your best, most efficient work by giving your full attention to one task at a time. So write down all the little tasks you need to remember so you can give your full attention to the work before you now.
3. Work in Batches
Since we have difficulty multitasking, it only follows that we can work efficiently by grouping similar tasks together. Schedule your meetings and calls in back-to-back blocks to save time. Your mind will already be in the right mindset and you won’t have time to kill or waste between calls.
Consecutive meetings also cut out wasted time. There’s no chance of a meeting running too long because you don’t have the time to stay a minute longer. By getting everyone else on board, you can set an agenda beforehand, keep the meeting focused, and accomplish more in that set block of time. If this sound rigid, consider others’ time as well. Running over sets everyone back, so more efficient meeting means everyone wins.
4. Finish Small Tasks Immediately
Tasks that don’t take long are easy to finish but also easy to put off. But if you know a task will only take a couple minutes, but no more than five, finish it right away. Instead of telling yourself that you’ll reply to an email later, give a short reply now. Another good rule for email is to never leave an opened email in your inbox. Once you open an email, take some form of action: respond, delete or archive.
5. Automate When Possible
Today’s technology has given us more work and forced salespeople to be available for longer hours and on more platforms. But technology has also given us the gift of automation. Use software to automate small tasks whenever possible. Social media posts can be scheduled and set to post in advance. Automated emails or messaging can immediately let customers know if you’re not available and when they can expect a response. A virtual assistant app can set appointments, set reminders, and backup files. Concentrate your efforts on the work that only a human being could execute effectively.