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Ask nearly anyone, and they'll tell you they wish they had an extra hour in every day.
Ask a startup entrepreneur, and they might tell you they wish they had an extra five hours in their day. So, while we might all wish for it, we aren't magical, and we'll have to do with the time we're given.
The best answer to gaining time is to get more productive with your day. In this article, we look at five ways for startups to increase productivity. Do this, and you just might find that elusive extra hour, or two.
#1: Write everything down
Not sure where your time goes? Write it down. Spend a week keeping track of your time down to the minute so you can see where it goes.
Then, you can evaluate where you can maximize your team and even delegate or outsource tasks.
In addition, keep to-do lists on hand. Create them and refer back to them each day, crossing off what you've done. You can either keep track on paper or use a handy app to keep track of your to-dos.
#2: Turn off all notifications
Whether it's a text notification or an email notification, there is nothing more distracting. Even worse is when you leave what you're doing to see what the notification is all about.
You also want to turn off all social media notifications as social media is perhaps the biggest time-waster of all. Ask someone how long they were surfing Facebook, and they might tell you 10 minutes. Turn a timer on, and you might find it was really more like an hour.
If you are feeling really adventurous, you can put your phone in Airplane mode or a Do Not Disturb mode. Do this several times a week and see how much more you get done.
#3: Outsource activities
Many startup owners struggle with needing to "do it all."
One way to conquer this dilemma and increase productivity is to outsource activities that you don't really need to do.
Consider some of your day-to-day activities. You can outsource many of these. They don't have to be all your activities either. Perhaps members of your team are overloaded, and you can outsource some of their tasks.
Bringing in an outsourcing expert is a good idea and frees up valuable time so that you can focus on the tasks you're best at.
#4: Reduce or eliminate meetings
Businesses waste $37 billion on ineffective meetings every year. Don't let your startup fall victim to this waste of money and time.
As a new company, you're watching every penny, and spending extra money on useless meetings doesn't make good business sense.
Meetings waste a lot of time, and you can bet that at least half the time, your staff has zoned out.
If you must have meetings, schedule a start and an end time, and create a very tight agenda. Otherwise, communicate through email.
Some businesses like to use meetings as a way to build team spirit. This is another waste of time. Do something fun with your team or get together for a volunteer project. This is a much better use of everyone's time.
#5: Let your team work remotely
A recent Stanford study shows employees are more productive when they work from home.
The study involved 500 employees. In the end it showed productivity was boosted in the work-at-homers that was equivalent to a full day's work. In addition, attrition decreased 50%, staff had fewer sick days, took less time off work, and worked harder.
Since your team can be more productive at home, consider offering this option a few days a week or more to see if that boosts their productivity.
This may also help you save money on office space and furniture.
Startups can increase productivity, but it takes some research and some planning into where the time goes.
Bottom line – find ways that work for you and your team to be productive. Insist that everyone takes time off. Provide amply time for your staff to balance their work and home lives.
It may take time and effort to make the changes necessary for increased productivity, but it is well worth it.
Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.
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