Melanie King, Author
Earlier this week, an iceberg the size of Delaware broke away from western Antarctica. While this is typical behavior for ice shelves, and scientists have been anticipating the event for months, what makes this event unusual is the size of the iceberg.
Weighing more than one trillion metric tons and estimated to be about 2,239 square miles, the massive sheet of ice, which is big enough to fill lake Erie twice, is now floating independently. While scientists say the event will not have any direct impact on humans, it does dramatically alter the landscape of the Antarctic peninsula.
As a small business owner, you know what a colossal undertaking it is to effect the growth that will change the landscape of your business. You’re taking on operations, sometimes single-handedly, that larger corporations accomplish with teams of experts: think things like managing money, maintaining cash flow, obtaining financing, executing a marketing strategy, and hiring (and training and retaining) great employees, to name a few.
While these tasks are no doubt some of the biggest time depleters you’ll encounter in entrepreneurship, and they’re critical to having a smooth-running business, they’re not the only things that can alter the landscape of your business. You don’t have to wait for a big breakthrough or a major event to make a noticeable impact in your sales, your customer acquisition or the overall health of your business.
These three everyday tasks will not only keep your business afloat, but if you do them consistently, they’ll effect greater change and growth over the short- and long-term life of your business.
- Prioritize your to-do list every day. If you’re not getting to the end of your to-do list each day, you may have a prioritization problem instead of a productivity problem. Try using a to-do list app to help you segment your tasks according to what best fits your daily schedule and your level of motivation. Studies show that we’re more motivated to accomplish bigger tasks when we have checked off a number of smaller tasks first. But many people find the “do the worst task first” approach works best for them. Trying different approaches will help you discover when your high-energy time is and help you better prioritize.
- Become a singletasker. Multitasking has been shown to decrease your productivity by up to 40 percent, not to mention it has been shown to inhibit creativity, increase mistakes and cause anxiety. Rather than jumping from one task to another, try singletasking, even for just 20 minutes at a time. This may mean ignoring emails, silencing phone calls or delaying in-person conversations in order to really focus, but delaying these tasks temporarily will pay off in terms of productivity.
- Learn one new thing each day. This may be as simple as reading through the Daily Rundown on LinkedIn, or something bigger like attending a local business networking event. Turn to podcasts, forums, blogs, other business owners and books for industry insight and knowledge. Spend time Googling your competitors to learn what they’re doing so you can adjust your own business strategy accordingly. Or focus on tracking different business metrics within your own data to gain insight.
While you’ll always have a focus on the big picture, honing in on effective day-to-day routines will ensure your business is keeping good momentum. Prioritizing your to-do list, becoming a singletasker and learning something new each day will not only ensure the important tasks are completed, but help you carve out a profitable future for your business.