What do a small business owner and a CEO of a large corporation have in common? Time, or a lack of it. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. It can be difficult to finish every task in a single day which is why businesses are availing of BPO services for help. For the best results sometimes comes from thinking small. Focus on a single task and avoid distractions in business. As author Gary Keller says in his 2013 book, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”
The Power of Focus
You can improve your productivity by setting limits upon yourself. Break down your workload so you have a clear schedule to follow throughout. For example, say you are about to launch a new product line. Set aside like one or two weeks to prepare for it. Then stick to that commitment. All work done in those two weeks should lead up to that goal.
Doing things this way may feel limiting at first. And yes, it does hold you back from seeing other opportunities. However, it also has the positive effect of forcing you to think critically. Constraints allow you to tap into other talents or resources you may not have developed in quite a while. It encourages you to think critically and approach the problem from multiple points of view.
Author Brian Tracy suggests people to “eat their biggest frog first thing in the morning.” Take on the most important task that is needed to be done first and everything else will be smooth sailing afterward. Alternatively, you can try taking on an easy yet still important task as a warm-up. Ticking off boxes in your to-do list could be the push you need to get over the anxiety in taking on such a big task.
Mind Your Environment
Of course, it is not only your mindset which causes you distractions. The work environment also contributes to it, perhaps even more since you can only control it to some degree. You may be working on a task when suddenly; an important call or email arrives. You have to tend to it. Then when the call is done, you find it hard to pick up where you left off.
This is not uncommon. Gloria Mark from the University of California, Irvine published a study that says it takes 23-25 minutes for the brain to refocus on a task. When you consider that the same study also found that the average person switched tasks every three minutes, then all that time lost can be detrimental.
Here is where imposing limits and schedules come into play. You can work out a schedule where you allocate a window where you can answer calls or emails. Keep your notifications off at any other time. Avail of contact center solutions to manage inquiries while you focus on your core tasks.
You can also avoid distractions like workplace noise and chatter by simply moving to a more quiet location. If working in the office is inevitable, you can use things like noise-canceling headphones to help out.
Resist the Urge to Multitask
Harvard University psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert published a study revealing that people spend 47% of their time, thinking about something than what they are currently doing. It is a form of multi-tasking with the physical effort exerted on one task and mental effort exerted on another. It is not good for productivity.
It is unavoidable for an owner to run into multiple tasks while running a business. However, before attempting to get on top of everything, try to consider your options. Avoiding distractions like these can be as simple as delegating tasks; another hallmark of a good leader. It is much better than stretching your capabilities too thin and hurting the final product.
It is this problem which outsourcing services seek to address. Outsourcing routine important tasks that eat up so much of your time will not only help you stay on schedule, it ensures those tasks are handled competently too. It helps maintain your databases with efficient back office solutions and ensures your customer inquiries are answered. It is a way for you to stay on top of things without losing sight of your biggest goals.
This is our purpose here in AGBI. We provide a helping hand for you to reach those milestones necessary for your company’s goals. Give us a call today and see how we can take you there.