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My Top 5 Productivity Tips for Business Owners

Most business owners have big goals. Maybe you want to be rich. Maybe you want to make millions. Or maybe you want to thrive and succeed in your career. But for business owners – and especially small business owners – this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. 

Money isn’t just going to fall into your lap, and neither is success. If you really want to accomplish your goals, you’re going to need to put in the work. That’s the harsh reality of it, and the truth is that many people don’t want to hear that. They look for shortcuts, for “get rich quick” schemes, but the best way that you can make your goals a reality is to increase productivity. 

So, your next question is probably “Well how on earth do I do that?!”

You’re in luck, because I’m going to share my top five productivity tips for small business owners, although I think that anyone can benefit from these tips! I’m a business owner myself (I run an ads agency called Snowball Creations), so I like to think that I know what I’m talking about. Whether you’re a big corporation looking for some tips, or you’re looking for small business productivity hacks, you’ve come to the right place.

It's all about cutting out, not adding in

Before I get to the juicy tips, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A lot of the stuff that I’m going to be sharing really isn’t that hard! Sure, it can be difficult to put in long hours and work on time-consuming and repetitive tasks, but most people can cope with that.

The hardest thing isn’t focusing on what you should do, it’s eliminating what you shouldn’t do. But if you’ve got the discipline to be productive and put the necessary effort into your business, you can end up being super successful, rich, and high-achieving. I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that! Anyway, enough rambling on, and let’s get to the good stuff!

I lied. I have one more rambling to insert before I share my best productivity tips. I know that reading long-form blog posts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’d prefer to watch a video of me discussing the content of this, click here! Okay, I promise I’m done now. Nothing but tips from here on out.

Tip #1: cut social media

I know, I know. Your favourite part of the day is when you’ve shut down your laptop, ticked all the items off your to-do list, and you get to sit and mindlessly scroll on TikTok. But that’s poisoning your productivity. 

Let’s face it: you already know this. You know that social media isn’t increasing productivity. The entire purpose of social media is to suck you in and drain your time. It’s like a vampire, intent on draining your productivity. 

Of course, there is some nuance to this. Many people use social media for business purposes, or to connect with loved ones, but in general, social media is not the best use of your time. In fact, it’s one of the most addictive habits that many people are struggling with in the modern age, and I’m sure you can relate. 

We’ve all been there. We pick our phones up in the morning, “just to check our emails”, and before you know it, you’re two hours into your work day and you’ve achieved nothing. Except maybe feeling the sense of comparison and inferiority that often comes with regular social media use, but that’s a topic for another day. 

Or maybe you’re waiting for something to load on your computer, so you promise yourself that you’ll use Instagram for just five minutes. And bam. Five minutes turn into twenty. 

I cut social media out of my life, and the difference in my productivity was massive! And look, I get that going cold turkey might not be an option for you, but you can work on decreasing the time you spend on social media. 

If you cut your social media time by half an hour a day, that’s fifteen hours a month that you can use for other, much more productive things! You can focus on your marketing tasks or other important tasks, squeeze in a workout . . . the possibilities are endless. 

You’ll be able to improve your time management, stay focused on a single task without getting distracted, tick items off your to-do list, and generally just boost productivity. This is genuinely one of the best productivity hacks you can implement.

Tip #2: drink less

You’re probably considering clicking off this post by now. Most people don’t want to hear that they should be drinking less. I’m English, and if you weren’t aware, we’re known for drinking a lot. So this was a hard one for me to learn as well. But if you’re spending multiple nights a week going out and drinking, your productivity is going to take a knock.

Even if you’re not hungover, you’re going to feel sluggish and not super productive the next day, and you’re probably not going to be in the mood to tackle your to-do list. Again, I’m not saying that you need to completely eliminate alcohol. After all, the social element of drinking can actually have a positive impact on your business because you may go out and make some new business connections!

But what I am saying is that you don’t need to be drinking excessively. Limit your drinking to special occasions, and you might just be surprised at the effect it has on your productivity.

Tip #3: limit your spending

So, we know that this whole post is all about how you can be productive, right? But let’s break it down a bit further. For small business owners, the main reason why they want to be productive is that they want to be successful – especially financially. You want to give yourself and your business the highest chance of success. 

That’s why you need to limit your spending. You need to build cash reserves. If you’re spending less on things like extravagant nights out or even just popping to your local cafe for a coffee, you’ll naturally be more inclined to spend your time productively, so limiting your spending helps with this.  Limiting your spending will help you spend more time on valuable tasks because you will inevitably have more time in your day to focus on critical tasks.

But it also helps with the bigger goal of being financially successful, because you’re going to be holding on to your money and building up your cash reserves.

Cutting spending may not seem like it’s a productivity hack at first glance, but if you give it a try, you’ll improve your time management and task management, while also learning skills like delegating tasks.

Being smart with your money is one of the most effective ways of being successful, so give it a try and see how it impacts your life!

Tip #4: cut off bad friends

Grab your bandaids, because this can get painful! You’ve probably heard that the people you surround yourself with affect your life, and while it may sound cliche, it’s true. Not only will cutting off bad friends increase productivity, but you will likely also just be a happier version of yourself.

You need to surround yourself with people who push you, who believe in you, who have your best interests at heart, and whose values align with yours. This doesn’t mean that you should cut off your friends just because your lifestyles are different, but it does mean that you need to really do some closer examination to see which friendships are rotten apples that are just plain bad. 

You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones who try to twist your arm to go for a drink and tell you to leave your work for tomorrow. The ones who are always trying to pull you away from what’s important to you. Essentially, you need to cut off anyone who’s a bad influence. 

If you want to become who you’re meant to be, you need to keep moving forward, which means you can’t have people in your life who hold you back. 

People who try to keep you away from new opportunities or try to make you have second thoughts about your decisions may seem like they’re trying to help, but more often than not, they’re just keeping you from moving onwards and upwards. 

Don’t worry, cutting off your bad friends isn’t going to leave you a friendless loser. Instead, it’s going to open doors to help you meet new people who are ambitious and don’t mind pushing you to become a better version of yourself.

Tip #5: get up earlier

Okay, this one’s going to be controversial, because not everyone has the lifestyle or genetics to go to bed early and wake up early. But I went from being a night owl to a morning bird, and it’s changed my life. 

When I was a young lad, I would often stay up until the wee hours of the morning. And then one day I went to bed at around 10 p.m., and I woke up a changed person. I was energised, I was motivated, and best of all – I had so much free time on my hands! This is one of the productivity tips that helped me the most!

I personally feel like we get more sluggish with every hour, which means that by the time it’s evening, you’re likely not going to be your most motivated self. But every hour in the morning, when it’s just you and the rest of the house is asleep . . . man, you’ll feel on top of the world!

Again, I get that this approach won’t be for everyone. Some people really do their best work late at night. But if you’ve been struggling to improve productivity, I highly recommend giving this a shot! Go to bed early and wake up early, and just see how that feels. 

Bonus tip: take baby steps

Chances are that all the productivity tips I’ve mentioned so far sound nearly impossible. In a society where we place so much emphasis on social media, drinking, excessive spending, friends, and late nights, it can feel like eliminating even just one of those things is overwhelming. 

So, don’t be too hard on yourself. Like I said, you don’t need to entirely cut out social media or completely cut out alcohol. If you currently spend five hours a day on social media, try to spend four and a half hours a day on it for a month. Then four, then three . . . You get the idea. If you go out drinking three days a week and you drink five drinks each time, maybe try just going out twice a week. Or drinking four drinks each time you go out. 

Small changes build up over time! Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to do everything I’ve mentioned. As with all advice, take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Tweak it until it works for you. The aim is just to get some type of plan in action so that you can improve productivity and be a successful business owner. 

If you want to make it big, you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late. Rather start implementing these good habits now. Small business productivity leads to big business success, and if you boost productivity, you boost the success of your business.

In conclusion

The quest for productivity is a never-ending journey. There will always be obstacles and reasons why it’s not easy to improve productivity, but you need to stay strong – at least if you want to be successful. 

Sure, you can likely run an average business by doing the bare minimum, but who wants to simply be average? I don’t, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either, since you clicked on this post. Productivity isn’t glamorous. It’s not fun. No one’s denying that. So I get why you may want to spend your time going to parties and hanging out with all the cool kids instead of putting away your phone and spending a few hours doing solitary deep work. 

The thing, though, is that the former will give you short-term happiness and satisfaction, whereas the latter could help you build habits that will positively impact your life for years to come. Just some food for thought! I hope that these productivity tips gave you some helpful insights into how you can increase productivity.