15 Quick Productivity Hacks for Small Business Owners


The title says it all – 15 things you can do to become more industrious, creative and dynamic in your role as the business owner – that’s 15 ideas to keep your business running at an optimal level.

Hack 1: Prioritize.

Use the rule of thirds: Must do, want to do, will do when I can, and tackle them in order of importance. Be careful not to put everything into the “must do” category. Try to balance out the list.

Hack 2: The worst first.

From the Must do category, pick the task on the list that you are dreading the most. Do it first, and the rest of the day will be enjoyable by comparison.

Hack 3: Get and stay organized.

Cut the clutter on and around your desk. Box up or destroy old records to allow room for current records. Here’s a handy guide to show how long to keep financial records. Spend a little time at month’s end to update paper and digital files. If organization isn’t part of your skill set, delegate it to a staff member, or hire a professional organizer for a fee.

productivity hacks for small business owners

Hack 4: Opt for Email.

Most suppliers and utility companies will send you a bill via email. Opt for email to save you from sorting through piles of paper mail, and pay your bills online. Your bank will keep the digital receipts and save you from creating files of receipts.

Hack 5: 5-minute meetings.

Keep meetings to 5 minutes or less. Hold your meeting standing up rather than sitting in a conference room – no one will have time to get comfortable. Or bored.

Hack 6: Best temperature.

The optimal indoor temperature for an office is 70-71 degrees. Productivity is affected at hotter or colder temperatures, so make adjustments as needed.

Hack 7: Take a hike.

Studies show that people who get up and move around several times a day are more productive than those who sit for hours without a break.

Hack 8: Limit social media.

Go online to promote your business, but don’t get distracted by other posts. Give yourself a few minutes to create your update – set a timer and log off when it rings.

Hack 9: Hold the Emails.

Separate your business and personal accounts, and look at your business email every day at a couple of set times. This way, you run your emails, they don’t run you.

Hack 10: Delegate.

Empower your staff to make decisions as needed, and encourage them to come to you with major decisions. Do you really need to decide how many rolls of paper towels to buy?

productivity hacks for small business owners

Hack 11: It’s out there.

Need a template for a shipping label, business card or a gift certificate? Chances are someone has created a blank one, and they are often free. Take advantage of the creative work that’s available on line.

Hack 12: They’re out there.

Don’t bog down your schedule with mundane tasks. Need to make 400 extra pieces? Unpack or pack stock or inventory? You can find temporary workers happy to do something dull for cash. Craig’s List is one place to look. Local colleges are another.

Hack 13: Change the Scenery.

Working from a different perspective – literally – is sure to rev up your creativity. Try cafes or coffee shops with free Wi-Fi for a change of pace.

Hack 14: No mission creep.

On one of your cafe days, write out the core mission of your business. Write out your goals. Post them prominently, and don’t allow other ideas to creep in. (Unless you’re planning an expansion.)

Hack 15: Take care of you.

In addition to regular breaks, your body needs fuel in the form of healthy snacks (bananas, nuts, veggies) and lubrication (water). If you’re feeling dragged down, good food and water will boost your productivity.

As the business owner, you work hard to serve your clients and customers. But jumping from one crisis or problem to the next is counter-productive. Spend a little time on yourself and these habits, and watch your productivity soar.

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