You can’t necessarily get ahead in business solely by boosting your productivity. We often fall into a trap of thinking, “if I was only more productive, I could _____.” Fill in the blank with whatever statement comes to mind. These thoughts range from increased profitability, better revenue, more sleep, new clients and on and on.
We often associate productivity with all-nighters, working weekends and early morning meetings. Even though these overtime sessions may be productive, they’re worse for you in the long run. Entrepreneurs need to achieve work-life balance because it will benefit not only your mental health but your business. If you’re staying up all night to get everything “perfect” before a big meeting, you’re likely not going to do as well as if you had gotten a good night’s sleep.
Recently, productivity has become almost a trend. There is an entire industry dedicated to helping people maximize their time. The good and services range from software, calendars, apps to journals and more. Everyone knows how satisfying it is to cross something off your to-do list. This quick and easy satisfaction can sometimes lead us to speed through tasks instead of taking the amount of time necessary to do it properly. Rushing leads to more work because you’ll need to go back and fix any mistakes made while rushing. It’s important to work smarter not harder.
Focus on “organizational efficiency” instead of productivity. Organizational efficiency means ensuring everyone and everything works together like clockwork. Leverage your business by maximizing everyone’s output. Instead of stressing out about the most urgent tasks and rushing the work, design a schedule to manage your team’s resources. In advance of an important deadline, meet with everyone to ensure their skills are being properly used to get the work done well and on time. Make sure you have your priorities in order and your team members are clear on their objectives.
Taking a little extra time to create a plan makes a world of difference and in turn, increases productivity. The work has to be done but it should be done in an organized, efficient way. Instead of thinking, “how can I cross this off my to-do list quickly?” Think differently. Start asking yourself questions like:
- What is my business’ mission and how can we uphold this mission?
- What tasks are absolutely necessary? If there are tasks that are unnecessary or you don’t have the time or ability to complete them, cross them off your list or give them to someone else.
- What are the best and most efficient ways to use the systems and software I have in place?
- How can I assign the best tasks to the most suitable team members so we all reach our individual goals?
- What business analytics do I need to make note of so that I can discover our flaws (or strengths)?
Valuing organization efficiency over productivity has another benefit: better communication. You’ll get to know the members of your team by figuring out their strengths and weaknesses. Teamwork will help you in all your future endeavours. It’s crucial to focus on leveraging everyone’s skills to put out amazing work rather than getting the work done quickly. Work smarter not harder.