Now, as an entrepreneur you most likely are an employer. Aren’t you? Whether your answer is yes or no – the fact is that many leaders and employers harp about staff productivity when they themselves are shockingly unproductive. Isn’t this true? I believe you are well conversant with this term ‘productivity’ I’m talking about. If not, I will simply say productivity is a measure of efficiency. It is the measure of output per unit of input, and in this case we are talking about the input of man-hours for you the entrepreneur. What output do you achieve per hour of work?
Candidly, are you a personally productive entrepreneur? Do you make the best use of your time and effort input? Can you for example confidently show what you personally achieved to do in light of the time and effort you put into your enterprise in a given period, say per day or week? Or rather you prefer to rebuke your employees into a comma regarding this agenda of productivity? Yeah – their productivity determines to a large extent your enterprise performance, but yourself cannot be entirely left out of the hook. So, how do you personally improve your productivity? Let us consider some leads here.
- Planning, prioritization and focus are vital in improving your productivity, Mr. Entrepreneur. I’m talking about choice, control, discipline, pro-action, organization etc. Planning your workload and schedule involves looking ahead and being proactive. It’s about organization and scheduling. Prioritization means you can identify the vital things that must take precedence to the rest, and act on them first. In focus, you refuse to be distracted by anything but relentlessly put effort on something specific to conclusion. Am I making sense here? How do you asses yourself in these aspects? These factors principally determine your output for every hour input you have.
- Delegation of work enables you an entrepreneur to have time to lead and not just manage. Of course you might be just starting and the whole staffing arrangement in your enterprise comprises yourself. Don’t worry – just continue and get things right, and one day you will be able to brag about employing ten or a hundred people. Don’t you think so? When you employ people in your enterprise, you have to learn the art of delegation and practice it. This will not only free up time for you to focus on other critical and strategic issues for the enterprise, and become more productive yourself, but will also motivate and develop your staffs. Ensure you involve and commit your staffs by delegation. If you choose to pathetically cling to everything including opening the office, counting every coin that finds its way into your enterprise, going for field marketing etc, that is your own business. Don’t blame anybody if you work so hard and don’t see results. OK?
- Good time management can also dramatically improve an entrepreneur’s productivity. Time indeed is a commodity that is tangible and can be priced and traded in today’s busy world. Do you know your most productive hours as an entrepreneur? If so, try and make the best use of that time and never let anything silly come in there. Do you understand how your time management impacts your execution culture and productivity? Are you the type that accommodates anything at any time? I mean, you could be so accommodating that people determine your day, including what you do and where you go. Can you add value to your idle hours? Are you deploying modern time management tools to improve your productivity? I leave the rest to you Mr. Entrepreneur.
- Sharpening the saw ensures that you boost your productivity and remain at a high productivity zone. Ever heard about this term? I’m not saying you go and procure a saw and introduce saw sharpening into your daily business routine! I’m talking about utilizing several approaches to re-energize, keep healthy, avoid burnout, manage stress, and live a balanced life. People have done researches on entrepreneur burnout, based on past experiences and tragedies. It’s not a joking matter. Sharpening the saw is a very powerful productivity booster for you the entrepreneur and also your staffs – and it’s necessary that you encourage your staffs to attach value to this. Don’t you think this makes a lot of sense Mr. Entrepreneur? Don’t work without rest, relaxation and recreation – 24/7 (24 hours for seven days in a week) for weeks and months, and then pack into the intensive care unit to be managed by the medics. Do you get me? They will have a good laugh at you (internally and quietly due to courtesy and possibly medical ethics of course) while smiling to the bank with valuable cheques drawn from your business account. If you must go for medical care, please go for better reasons. Be smart!
- Self-motivation keeps you very productive, as you are working on your enterprise goals and objectives both short-term and long-term. Do you sometimes or oftentimes have the internal driving forces that get you out of the bed early morning, and get you on the road for the day? Are your goals big and active enough to make you get out of bed and jot down a new idea in the middle of the night? Is passion entwined into your actions? If your answer to these is yes then you have some foundational issues that can improve your personal productivity as an entrepreneur. Without motivation you can be very docile, without drivers that keep you on your toes. Don’t you agree with me?
- Avoiding the trap of urgency but working around important things is another cornerstone of personal productivity. I do hope you already know that not every urgent thing is important anyway. Do you? I oftentimes get very amused by some individuals who only focus on urgent things while critical and very important things suffer. They end up working on a crisis basis handling urgent things always because they forgot to do the important things that could have enabled them avoid the urgent ones.
- Infusing fun into your work is another good guide to improving your productivity Mr. Entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs simply take business too seriously, and you can see it in their faces and lifestyles. Don’t get me wrong – business is important and you have got to work hard and make profits. I know that. I like Sir Richard Branson’s (Virgin Group) approach of infusing fun into his enterprises. I mean Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson – the guy who reportedly controls over 400 companies. You might have another Richard Branson and Virgin something possibly! It’s a big world. Now, just imagine that you are too serious over 400+ companies; do you think you can survive on this earth? Come on.
I guess it’s time to run now. Just one shot before I run – you’d better keep this article close to you if you an entrepreneur struggling with productivity. You could even share it with your struggling entrepreneur friend or relative. Don’t you think so?
Until then – cheers and best wishes!
The Wise Entrepreneur