Running a business takes hard work, resolve and motivation. But, despite the challenges, it is almost always worth it. However, there is no denying that it can be tough, especially in those formative years. All too often it feels like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in. So, how do you make your business more productive without it having a detrimental effect on your personal life?

These simple to follow tips should help.

1. Be strategic

No matter what your business does, it pays to start with a strategy. Without establishing your desired goals upfront, there’s a real danger that any wins will be short-term and easily lost.

2. Don’t try to do everything at once

You might have a huge to-do list, but that doesn’t mean you have to tackle everything on it all at once. Take a look at what needs doing and establish which tasks are a priority. Just be careful you don’t fall into the trap of only doing the “urgent” tasks. This reactive way of working can lead to you overlooking the less time-pressing but just as important jobs. Set manageable, achievable goals and look at what you can delegate to someone else.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”.

Stephen Covey

3. Put the right technology in place

Technology can help you to schedule, coordinate and finish your tasks quickly and more effectively. Even better, thanks to the cloud, you can now benefit from previously unattainable access to enterprise-level IT. Usually for one affordable monthly fee. So, with the cloud on your side, your small businesses can tap into the same resources as your larger competitors.

Other benefits of cloud technology include:

  • Access to scalable and flexible technology (so your IT grows with your business)
  • You only ever pay for what you need
  • Access to data, software, and files from anywhere on any device (supporting mobile and flexible working practices)
  • Better collaboration and data sharing between employees
  • No need to worry about maintaining and upgrading your IT (your software provider does this for you)
  • The peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you have access to high levels of security
  • Reliable IT  – with specialists watching your system all the time.

Ultimately, cloud technology streamlines your processes; helping your business to work smarter so you can save time and boost productivity across your operations.

4. Add some structure

Your time is valuable, so it’s vital that you don’t waste it dealing with unproductive tasks. Look at adding structure to your day so that you know what you are doing and when. This is also essential when it comes to meetings (which we all know can be a huge time drain). Have a strict agenda for each meeting with the key points that need resolving and make sure you stick to it.

“Meetings are usually terrible, but they shouldn’t be”.

Patrick Lencioni

5. Take back control

Business leaders are inundated by emails, particularly as they are easily accessible from a range of devices. And it can be hard not to read, react and stress over every message. But you don’t have to let your emails rule you. Instead, for a few hours a day, take control and eliminate the interruptions.

If the thought is just too horrifying, draft an Out-of-Office that clarifies when you’ll be checking your emails again, and let those with urgent queries know that they can call you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people are content to wait for a response.

6. Take a break

We know you have a million things to do, but stepping away every now and again will help you to refocus and re-prioritise. Just getting out for a walk at lunchtime can help to improve your mood and motivation and reduce the likelihood of burnout. You don’t even have to think of it as a break – just use the time to get some headspace and re-energise.

Today’s technology, delivered efficiently from the cloud, is helping smaller businesses to become more productive. Find out more about how our cloud-hosted desktops can help your startup to flourish.