When you run your own business, it goes without saying that productivity is of paramount importance. It’s productivity that ensures that you’re getting the very best out of your employees. It’s productivity that lays bare the path to growth. It’s productivity that helps to ensure that you get the best possible return on all of your investments in your SME. Much is made of productivity in business blogging, with many business minds chipping in with their productivity tips, tricks and hacks. Some of these are useful and easily integrated into your existing business plan, others are not only a waste of time but can actually create way more problems than they solve. Here we’ll look at productivity hacks that are sure to work whatever the nature of your business and some which are almost certainly doomed to fail…
While you are dedicated and devoted to your hard working team, it’s hard to argue that the increased automation of your processes can lead to a bump in productivity while freeing up your workforce to handle the more strategic operations of your enterprise which can lead to more sustainable growth. Of course your automation is only as good as your machine integration software. When automating your processes (or parts of them) this is one area in which you should not cut costs.
Doesn’t: The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique was first pioneered in the late ‘80s and involves breaking tasks into 25 minute increments. Throughout the day it requires employees to work without distraction or intermission for 25 minutes and resting for 5. It is intended to focus concentration and increase productivity, but in reality it is far more likely to exhaust and stress out employees. Plus, in a busy office where calls and emails come flooding in fast it can be borderline unworkable.
Works: The 5 hour work day
While reducing tasks to 25 minute sprints is often less than effective, condensing tasks to fit within a 5 hour work day has proven effective in many tests. The trick is giving employees autonomy over how to use their time effectively. This pushes them to streamline their processes and find their own most effective ways of working.
We all assume that the more we’re able to juggle at any one time the more efficient we’re being but the science demonstrates something very different. While we may subjectively feel as though we’re being more productive, the truth is that human beings are hardwired to be monotaskers. The more we multitask, the more we increase our propensity for mistakes which we must later go back and correct. This is the very antithesis of efficiency and productivity.
Works: Rewards and encouragement
Finally, a system of rewards can be extremely effective, but so too can the little things like verbal encouragement. When employees reap the rewards (both physical and psychological) of their labours they feel empowered and thus it is much easier for them to remain focused and productive.
How will you integrate or trial these productivity hacks into your enterprise?