Time, like money, is one of the most valuable resources for business owners; the phrase “time is money” is a perfect illustration of the situation of most entrepreneurs. After all, you only have 24 hours a day; the way you manage your time is therefore of paramount importance.
Many tips explain how to improve productivity; most were intended for a general audience. However, in this article, we present the ten best productivity tips specifically for merchants and e-merchants. They can be put into practice immediately and provide measurable results; and help you manage the hours of your day more efficiently, save time, and hopefully earn more money.
Becoming a serial entrepreneur (or micro-entrepreneur) makes it possible to create a company in parallel with a salaried activity, a student or retired status. Creating your own business is a simple administrative process. Discover the main steps of creating a serial business and schedule declarations to be made for all entrepreneurs.
Start Your Day Early and Create Good Habits
What do Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Apple CEO Tim Cook have in common? They both start their day before sunrise. They discovered one of the biggest productivity secrets that exist. Innumerable studies have already shown that waking up early promotes productivity, and successful entrepreneurs around the world attribute their success to this habit.
You have more will very early in the morning; this partly explains why starting your day earlier is related to higher productivity.
It is obvious that it takes time to become a morning person. Your body and mind need time to learn to follow a new long-term habit. It is certain, however, that successful entrepreneurs follow habits strictly; whether to meditate, to dress in a specific way, or to consume the same meal every day at the same time. These are decisions already made that provide you with the space to focus on more critical tasks, such as managing your business.
Create To-Do Lists
If you manage several different projects, it is best to document your progress in writing to avoid possible oversights. The creation of task lists can be considered as the cornerstone of the entrepreneurial spirit. These lists allow entrepreneurs and e-merchants who are short of time to identify tasks and prioritize them appropriately quickly.
You are probably already aware of the importance of task lists, and the fact that many successful entrepreneurs use them demonstrates their effectiveness. At the beginning of each day, write down the intimidating and urgent tasks, and complete them as a priority.
Some of the tasks that keep your business running — such as paying for your Internet and electricity bills can also be considered a priority, no matter how comfortable they are.
To create the effective lists, it is essential to divide large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. It would be useless to write “Multiply the volume of sales of my e-shop by two in the next six months.” Instead, this goal should be divided into several steps such as: generating more traffic, optimizing conversions, contact influencers on Instagram; to name a few. You will maximize your productivity.
Are you ready to create your to-do list? Even if you can do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, here are some tools and applications that will allow you to keep digital copies of your lists and to synchronize them between several devices:
· Google Keep
Avoid the Mess
It’s hard to be productive in a messy environment; therefore, put some order in your workspace (office, the point of sale, etc.). According to Fast Company, putting things in order in a work environment is the quickest and easiest way to improve productivity. Disorder negatively impacts mental clarity. It will be difficult for you to accomplish anything if your office is covered with paperwork.
“Digital mess” can be just as harmful as “physical mess.” Make sure you efficiently organize your digital files and documents on your computer to be able to find them easily and optimize the browsing experience on your online store. Your administration interface should also allow you to manage your e-commerce site smoothly.
Although smartphones are the most useful devices ever invented — most people probably cannot do without them — they can be a source of ongoing distractions. We’re not just talking about social networks and apps, but also calls, SMS, and emails.
To maximize your productivity, it’s best to use your phone and only see your inbox near the end of your workday. A survey conducted by Deloitte showed that 40% of people consult their phones within 5 minutes of waking up, 20% of them doing so immediately. According to an article in Psychology Today, this behavior is unproductive since it pushes you from the beginning of the day to adopt a reactive state of mind.
When working on important tasks, consider putting your phone aside so that it is out of your sight and mind. After all, even the fragile sound of a vibrating phone can distract you. Avoiding your phone in the morning and ignoring calls that are not important during the day are other good habits to take; although it sometimes takes time to build them.
If each time you complete and delete tasks from your list, you realize that you need to add new ones to further your advancement; it may be that you lose your concentration by noticing that the work never seems to stop. However, if you want to become more productive, you need to learn to focus selectively on each task; whatever the situation.
Experts argue that “multitasking” or “multitasking” can hurt productivity, and entrepreneurs and e-marketers must learn to work on each task individually. This could mean dedicating two full hours to inventory management, then devoting another hour to staff scheduling. However, it would be impossible to accomplish both tasks simultaneously.
Controlling your attention boils down to effectively managing distractions, so you get better results faster.
Use A Time Management System
To know how to manage one’s time effectively is a skill that is acquired little by little; and when you are just starting out in entrepreneurship, there is no shame in asking for help. There are many applications and time management software that can help you avoid working on multiple tasks at once.
If you want a better understanding of how you manage your time, here are some of our favorite time tracking tools:
· Focus booster
If you manage your business alone, you will not have the time or the ability to do everything yourself. By automating long and repetitive tasks, you can plan and forget about it (processes that can be automated by entrepreneurs are numerous).
The marketing on social networks, for example, has become essential to promoting the activity of any merchant or e-merchant; but, who has the time to tweet or post on Facebook and Instagram several times a day? There are many tools like Buffer and Hootsuite for managing social profiles and planning online content publishing. Even if some of them are paying, they will help you become more efficient and have more productive work weeks.
Not using paper documents is also a way to automate business operations. While it may seem intimidating at first, some companies may work better this way. Receipts, invoices and bank deposits can be easily managed online. By keeping vendor invoices and inventory forms in digital format, you will never need to search through paper boxes to find a particular document; and if you have employees, managing their time sheets and information online will allow you to access them wherever you are.
Outsource and Delegate
Even if you automate many tasks, as an entrepreneur, you will not be able to handle everything else alone. You can become more productive by delegating specific tasks; It’s as simple as that. It is essential to outsource and delegate when you can do it. Activities such as data capture and some aspects of customer service can be outsourced at an affordable cost. If you run an online business but do not have the technical skills to create or redesign your website, you’ll save time by hiring someone to do it for you.
You will be able to free up several hours of your day by hiring freelancers or agencies to take on these tasks.
Organize Yourself in Advance
You probably set monthly, annual or even long-term goals to achieve in your business; but, are you planning your time productively? Most people expect their week on Monday morning; while the most productive entrepreneurs do it on Fridays.
According to an article published by Fast Company, you should spend the last 25 minutes of your Friday planning your next week. For example, you could set a goal for Monday to start the week with a clear mind about the tasks to be done; you could even schedule for Monday an activity that you enjoy immensely to be particularly motivated to start your week.
It is better to accomplish three tasks correctly than to work on ten projects at a time without real concentration.
We must learn to “slow down” to become more productive, as counterintuitive it may seem. To refine your skills and have fun in your work, it is vital to take breaks regularly. It does not just mean vacation days (and days when you’re sick and decide not to work); but also, at small breaks throughout the day.
Managing your time effectively also means never scheduling meetings unexpectedly. Meetings often waste much time, and sometimes it comes out with the impression that nothing has been accomplished. Always plan your meetings and take steps to draw conclusions that will help you move faster.
Finally, it is also vital to take time for yourself; to see friends and family, or perhaps spend uninterrupted time with your children and spouse. Entrepreneurs often feel that it is essential to spend the whole day working. After all, if you do not give yourself enough to accomplish more things, who will do it for you? However, this is a wrong approach. Spending time away from work will allow you to rest your mind and continue to be motivated and productive over time.
Do You Have Productivity Tips to Give?
What secrets did you discover to learn how to be more productive as entrepreneur? Share with us your tips and advice in comments.