How to Increase Productivity as a Small Business Owner

Small business owners are one of the hardest working groups of people everywhere across the world. Some are more successful than others, but it’s usually not because of a lack of trying. Productivity is key to success for entrepreneurs – there’s always so much to do! John Maxwell says, “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” He’s not alone in his view. What is it that you can do every day that will set your path and direct your energy to success?

For entrepreneurs, improving your business rests on improving your personal productivity.We recently came across a piece by Kevin Kruse. In it he shares 15 Surprising Things Productive People Do Differently. His information comes from interviewing successful people in a wide swath of endeavors from business to sports, and he includes some ideas that you may not have considered before.

You can check out his entire slide deck at Because we always want small business employers to be successful, I thought we’d share a few of the ideas that seem particularly impactful:

  • Productive people beat procrastination with time travel. Kruse says that your future self can’t be trusted. He says we will sabotage our best intentions in the future and encourages us to “come up with a solution to defeat your future self.” For example, how much fresh produce do you toss because you “intend” to eat healthy meals all week? What about that exercise equipment being used as a clothes rack or the gym membership card you can’t even find? His solution, obviously from the title, is to simply overcome procrastination. Do it now.

This ties right in with a couple of other suggestions: focus only on one thing and touch things only once. What is your greatest priority? What’s most important to you? Focus everything toward it. That does not mean that is all you do, but everything you do should be done through that lens – how will what you are doing get you closer to your goal – your greatest priority. Eliminate any extra time wasted on other things by taking care of them immediately and eliminate that pile on your desk. Get a bill in the mail? Pay it. Have a problem with an employee? Meet and resolve it. Have a thank you to express? Write the note and mail it.

  • Productive people delegate almost everything. How much of your time and energy is spent taking care of tasks someone else could do faster, and potentially, better? At The Payroll Department we answer this question with payroll processing and bookkeeping services. Outsourcing is the same as delegating and when you outsource, you should expect this delegation is to With The Payroll Department, you don’t have to worry about training anyone or watching over their shoulder and checking every aspect of the process. Even better, you don’t have to worry about payroll tax law changes or the proper way to handle your books. We take care of keeping up to date to provide you with peace of mind as well as time.

All the time and energy you capture from outsourcing (or delegating) can be used to focus on that one biggest priority you have set. Generally with small business owners, that is growing their client list, improving their business, or developing new products or services. We know this one works!

  • Productive people practice a consistent morning routine. The quote that makes this real is one Kruse shares from Hal Elrod:

“While most people focus on ‘becoming’ more to achieve more, The Morning Miracle is about focusing on ‘becoming’ more so that you can start doing less, to achieve more.”

Do you see how that could be the key to increasing your productivity – doing less to achieve more? Most of the morning rituals successful people share are focused on grounding or centering the mind, energizing the body, and feeding the soul and spirit. We all know that the more spun up we are, the less effective and productive we are in our lives and work. Do you have a morning practice that sets the tone for a productive day? If not, perhaps it’s time to establish one. Bear in mind that every person has a routine that is their own. It might take some time to determine what really works for you.

Jim Rohn, John Maxwell, and a bevy of other self-improvement and leadership gurus have expressed the idea that in order to improve our businesses and find success, we have to look at and work on ourselves as individuals. That does not mean we have to continually re-create the wheel. Productive people take heed of what others who are successful do that contribute to their success. Following in their footsteps is not only time-efficient, it is smart. Take up their ideas and then make them your own.

When you are ready to outsource (or delegate) processes in your small business so that you can focus on growth, contact Teresa Ray at The Payroll Department. We can provide payroll services and bookkeeping services that will free up your time, and add to the confidence you have in the success of your business. Learn more about our professional staff on our website or by calling 317-852-2568.

-Elaine of The Payroll Department Blog Team

Posted in: Bookkeeping and Accounting, Operating a Small Business, Payroll, Payroll Processing

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