In the financial advisory industry, there often is not enough time each day to get everything done and we often could use an extra hand to get everything completed. As a business owner, not only do you take care of clients, but you often do everything else it takes to run the business.
In order to be successful at keeping all aspects of the business running smoothly (or at least with fewer bumps along the way) we need to master the art of productivity.
Since I often seem to end my day or week feeling less than productive, I researched the topic and came up with some of the best (often mentioned) ways successful business owners stay productive.
Here are ten ways (reminders) to increase the productivity of you and your team.
- Define your true priorities– this short list helps keep you and your team focused, productive, aligned and accountable. The list of projects and tasks you and your team need to complete is often long. Shorten the list to only those tasks that are really the most important (must get done today, this week) to move the firm toward your longer-term goals. One way to help your team accomplish this is to have them plan for the next day at the end of the current day. Reflect on what successes you had during the day and some of the challenges encountered. Then list the one or two highest impact priorities for the following day.
- Spend time building efficient systems and processes. Over time, the efficiencies gained from utilizing technology and developing processes will help your team be more productive.
- Create a company culture of continuous improvement. Focus on the personal development of your staff.
- Surround yourself with great people and delegate important tasks to them. Particularly, delegate those tasks that keep you from growing your business. This will help develop future leaders in your firm.
- Be disciplined and stay organized.
- Limit distractions to stay focused. Don’t allow yourself to get pulled into low return activities. According to a 2014 Human Capital Study form Deloitte Consulting, almost 70% of senior managers said that “the overwhelmed employee” bombarded with information and interruptions all day long is an “urgent” or “very important” drag on productivity.
- Don’t let obstacles linger- fix them sooner as opposed to later. The sooner these obstacles to your success are dealt with, the sooner you can move on. You or your staff won’t use valuable time thinking about these and can focus on more productive activities.
- Be focused and present. Particularly when your staff asks for your help or guidance, show them they have your entire and focused attention. This will be noticed and appreciated by your staff. It shows you care.
- Make time to think and read. This allows you to focus on longer-term strategic initiatives. As the leader of your organization, you need to take time to focus on the bigger picture.
- Don’t be hard on yourself when you don’t feel like you have been productive. Each action you and your team do every day, even the smallest actions, make a difference. The sum of each of these actions adds up over time. Therefore, every action can and does have an impact on the future success of the business. Remind your staff of this.
Everyone, depending upon their position and the company they work for, can probably add to this list. In addition to the ideas from the list, an important thing keep in mind when making any sort of change or improvement is to be aware of the issue(s) that are keeping you from being or feeling productive. Only then can one make a meaningful change.
Hopefully the list will help you define what is holding you back from being productive and lead you to making a positive change in the productivity of you and your team.
Build your business wisely.