How to be more productive in 2020
Every first and third Thursday of the month, I connect with other business owners through the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. We help one another with business questions such as how to increase sales, how to overcome common obstacles, and most recently, how to be more productive.
When the topic of productivity came up among our group, we found many owners venting about the same problems that impact productivity:
- Too many priorities compete for my time
- I start to feel overwhelmed
- When I feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, I get nothing accomplished
I shared three complimentary influences that have helped me become more productive, especially as a business owner. I hope these ideas help you and your business reach peak efficiency for 2020!
What are you trying to achieve?
If there is one resounding theme among great business books, it is that they all stress the value in planning and setting goals.
Ironically, due to the pressures on our time, planning seems to be one of the first actions that falls to the wayside as we simply try to keep our head above water.
Two of my favorite business books, Traction and The 12 Week Year, identify significant advantages to planning in quarterly increments. Setting quarterly goals, rocks, milestones – whatever buzz words you want to use – helps plot the course for the business.
Establishing the key metrics you are trying to hit for the quarter then proves critical in making strategic business decisions. Is that task bothering you really a priority? It might feel like it if you don’t know what you want to achieve this quarter. Once you go through the exercise, however, this type of questioning should cease.
Additionally, these metrics provide helpful benchmarks to hold ourselves accountable. This saves even more time as we figure out whether a current strategy is working or if we need to course correct on a more frequent basis.
Taking the time to plan up front helps free up more time later and eliminates unnecessary stress created by insignificant tasks. It keeps you laser focused.
The Power List
Once we have a solid plan in place, we need to ensure we don’t fall back underwater putting out the everyday fires presented to business owners.
Utilization of The Power List, introduced by 1st Phorm CEO, Andy Frisella, has helped me optimize my daily productivity.
The idea of The Power List is to write down five critical tasks you need to accomplish in a given day. This is not some “to-do” list you are throwing together. These are business building activities that, if accomplished, will help move you toward accomplishing the quarterly goals you just identified. These are tactics, rather than “to-do’s.”
Before you laugh off accomplishing “only five things”, and start a list of ten plus tasks, I urge you to start with the five. I think you’ll not only be surprised at how much actually gets accomplished by completing five critical business tasks in a day, but you’ll also be surprised just how difficult accomplishing these tactics may be and how non-critical most of the other tasks you’ve been taking on have been.
The Power List will also quickly showcase which tasks you should continue to be handling and which should be outsourced to another team member. As the owner, you may want to be doing and involved in everything, and The Power List will be valuable in addressing what truly is within the scope you should oversee.
Align the two
With our plan and goals outlined and a daily execution system created, it becomes critical to align the two.
I use the service Align Today! to accomplish this. Align Today allows me to input and track my quarterly goals.
Every 90 days I can see exactly how I performed and reflect on what worked and what needs to be refined.
Additionally, the service has a zoomed out daily task calendar that I can input my Power List into. If I accomplish the day and get a win, I mark the day as green. If I lose the day, I mark it red. As the month progresses, I already know if I will be on my way to accomplish my quarterly goals simply by the way my Christmas tree lights are showing.
Make 2020 your most productive year yet
Knowing where you want the business to go, developing a daily execution system, and holding yourself accountable to that system will provide a surefire way to achieving more of your goals.
If you’d like to discuss productivity improvement for your business further, please get in touch.