Regardless of the industry that you’re in, productivity is one of many ways for you to improve the bottom line. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, it could be as something as simple as listening to soothing music or mediating. But, how can a business owner increase productivity from the top to the bottom? Start with these 8 techniques.

1. Implement the 80/20 Rule

Developed by an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is an effective way in boosting the productivity of your business by helping you determine which tasks to focus on. This is achieved since the rule states that 80% of your results are going to come from 20% of your efforts.

For business owners, you can implement the 80/20 to identify the areas where you most effective and focusing on those areas. Let’s say you’re freelancer. You’re focusing on the skills that you’re most skilled at and market those services. Additionally, you could use it to determine who your top-paying client are so that you can focus on attracting more clients like that in the future.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, suggests that you perform an 80/20 analysis of your efforts each month because “As a business owner, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of being busy, and being busy is not necessarily productive.”

2. Upgrade and Use Tech

Research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found SMBs leveraging technology grow revenue and profitability at a much faster rate. Instead of using older computers and gadgets that take long to load or are constantly crashing, invest in newer tech that is faster and reliable.

SCORE also recommends that business owners use online customer relationship management (CRM) to automatically handle customer service and loyalty processes, along with moving items onto the cloud and giving employees mobile devices.

3. Keep Priority Lists Short

As a business owner, you probably have a lengthy to-do-list of essential tasks that have to be accomplished. The problem with having a seemingly endless to-do-list is that it prevents you from getting most of these chores completed.

That’s why Chris Licata, owner of Blake’s All Natural Foods in New Hampshire, told Entrepreneur,

“My best tip for staying productive is to embrace the reality that there is no such thing as a list of 10 priorities. Defining a very short list of true priorities helps focus teams and create alignment behind those projects that truly are the most important.”

4. Encourage Intraprenuership and Flexibility

You should make it convenient for your employees to share ideas and give them the tools, resources, and encouragement for creative thinking. To continue outside-of-the-box thinking, reward your employees for doing so.

Additionally, you should also give employees, and yourself, a flexible schedule. Studies have discovered that allowing people to work remotely or favorable to their lifestyle, is better for the their overall health, boost morale, and increase productivity.

5. Rethink Meetings

Let’s be honest. Most business meetings are a major waste time. Instead of taking the time out of the workday to bore everyone with information that could have been shared through email or explained more effectively, rethink the way that you plan meetings.

When planning meetings going forward, create an agenda, be 100% prepared, and conclude each meeting with actionable steps. Finally, try to keep meetings as short as a possible so that everyone can get back to work.

6. Optimize the Workplace

Believe it or not the way that the workplace is set-up can also influence productivity. That’s why Business Insider suggests that you do small design features to enhance productivity. This includes allowing in natural light, filling the workplace with plants, allowing employees to being in personalized items, and making sure that they’re comfortable with the right desk chairs.

7. Learn How to Delegate

Delegation is important for business owners because when done properly delegation with improve efficiency and development. To successfully delegate, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Clearly explain the desired outcome.
  • Describe the constraints and boundaries.
  • Bring-in other team members when possible.
  • Balance the amount of authority and responsibility.
  • Delegate to the lowest level possible.
  • Provide adequate resources.
  • Focus on the results.
  • Ask for solutions, don’t just provide answers.
  • Motivate employees and maintain control.

8. Clear Your Head So You Can Plan For the Long-Term

Roman Stanek, CEO if GoodData, informed Business Insider that strategic thinking often gets pushed aside because of the everyday tasks that business owners must face. Stanek believes “that a CEO should spend at least a day, if not two days, a month outside of the office on a bike or something.” This time away will help you think about long-term strategies like “Where is the industry going, where is the company going, what should we do differently, what should we do better.”

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Hi, I'm Albert. I'm a content ninja. When I'm not writing and brainstorming content ideas, this New Jersey native spends his time traveling, blasting music, and keeping his chocolate lab at bay.

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