5 Ways to Boost Productivity

5 Ways to Boost Productivity

Productivity is paramount to running a successful business. But for the self-employed it can present a number of challenges as you juggle numerous clients with conflicting workloads and deadlines – then, of course, there’s your own business to manage. How can I cope?! Stay tuned, for help is at hand. The following five points will boost productivity, make you more efficient and hopefully bring some useful apps to your attention.

Tips And Apps To Boost Productivity 

There are many useful online apps and businesses there to support you. The problem isn’t finding one, it’s finding the right ones for you. Without further ado, let’s get started with five great ways you can boost productivity.

1. Asana

Asana is a time and work tracking application available on web and mobile. It was created by by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-engineer Justin Rosenstein, who both worked with Facebook employees to boost productivity. It is an app I use and highly recommend. It helps me plan out a week, month or year and know which of my remote contractors has been assigned which tasks. It send automated email reminders to both you and your remote staff, which is incredibly useful. This is a great project management tool, which has a free option for up to 15 members, and paid plans for larger teams or companies.

2. Calendly

5 Ways to Boost Productivity | Roche Online Business ServicesHaving a calendar to book appointments, meetings and interviews is essential. Calendly is a great choice as integrates with numerous other calendar apps (for example Google Calendar), meaning you don’t have to juggle numerous calendar applications and run the risk of double-booking yourself. This tends not to go over too well. Calendly allows you to email a link to people for them to book a meeting at a time that is convenient to them. It also allows the owner to block out time they are unavailable. It has a free plan, with limited but usable functionality, and more options are various pricing levels should you need extra functionality.

3. Invoicing and Bookkeeping Software

Keeping track of your work and correctly invoicing are essential to boost productivity and earn a living as eating food cannot be underrated Too often people can spend too long trying to backtrack on invoices, fail to account for their time correctly, and miss time and tasks. Also not having an adequate accounting system in place will create havoc and headaches during tax season. Two popular options for small business are Freshbooks and Quickbooks. Neither are free but both have a number of options that are all very affordable, specifically their entry-level options, which are $15 and $13 respectively per month.

4. Time Management

5 Ways to Boost Productivity | Roche Online Business ServicesTake Breaks. That’s Right, It’s Not All Work, Work, Work…

While stopping work might not sound like a great idea when you’re buried in an avalanche of tasks, but plenty of research exists to say that taking brief and regular breaks helps to keep you focused. This can be especially true if you are sat staring at a computer screen all day.

Keep Meetings To A Minimum

Meetings are essential, it’s often how we get new clients, update existing ones, or hire new staff or freelancers. But to boost productivity, keep them to a minimum and keep them short and on-point. It is very easy to get sidetracked and talk at tangents. It is essential, therefore, to control your meetings, keep everyone focused on the task(s) at hand, and ensure that they result it action points.

The Myth of Multitasking

Job posts are a prime example of asking people to be able to multitask. This is not a good idea. Being able to manage deadlines and workflow is essential but focus on one task at a time. Trying to split time invariably ends up wasting time. By planning your workflows, days and weeks (with Asana, for example) it is best to prioritize tasks, allocate sufficient time to completing them and then move on to the next.

5. Hire a Virtual Assistant

You knew it was coming didn’t you?! Well, what kind of business owner would I be if I didn’t indulge in shameless self-promotion (is there any other kind?). The realities are, though, that this can save you time and energy to focus on what is really important – making money.

By hiring a Virtual Assistant to take on tasks that distract you from running your business efficiently you can boost productivity an astounding amount.

I have a number of testimonials that highlight how delegating repetitive, time consuming admin tasks, web management tasks, and social media postings can free up a lot of time.

Think of hiring a Virtual Assistant as an investment in yourself, not as an additional cost. It will be far cheaper in the long run to delegate tasks which consume your time and stop you focusing on what makes you money.

The Importance of Values in Business and How to Realize Your Own

The Importance of Values in Business and How to Realize Your Own

You might be wondering why the owner of a business support agency is writing about the importance of values in business. Who the hell am I to tell you how important your values are? Well, I’m one of the lucky few who has sat down and actually thought long and hard about what my values are. And I’ve experienced how aligning my values with my lifestyle has set me on a course towards success.

What are Values?

A few years ago, I didn’t know what it meant to have ‘values’, I mean, I thought I had them, don’t we all? But if you had to ask me back then what my values actually were, I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint them. I’d maybe rhyme off some generic terms like family, honesty, kindness, etc. but I wouldn’t really know what I was talking about.

How I Discovered my Values

In May 2014, I was lucky enough to be a participant in The Minerva Foundation’s Learning to Lead BC program. I was surrounded by 50 amazing women from all over BC, ranging from 19 years old upwards. We talked about values, leadership, success, trials and tribulations, community and connection.

This was one of the most pivotal turning points in my life.

The curriculum included a session on pinpointing our values. This was the first time that I’d really sat down to consider them. As participants, we picked about 3 words that we believed to be our values. Then we had to sit in silence and ask ourselves why it was a value. What was the underlying reason? If there was a reason, then that reason was the value – not the original value that we picked. Confused yet?

Here’s an example. I first chose financial independence. So I had to think why? Why financial independence? My answer, because I want to be independent. Ok then, why do I want to be independent? Why is that important to me? My response, because I want to be free. Why be free? My response – Why the hell not??!! It just makes sense.

That’s when I realized that my value was freedom. I couldn’t explain it. It just felt right.

The Importance of Values in Business

After repeating this process, I learned that my values are Freedom, Respect/Accountability, Community, Communication, and Love. (Find out more about here). Gaining clarity around my values made me realize what was important to me in life. I started to understand why I wasn’t happy at my old job, why certain things made me unhappy and subsequently, that something needed to change (the last part wasn’t easy!). When circumstances in your life do not align with what you value then you find yourself stuck in a rut, unable to move forward. Ask yourself the following:

  • What are my values? (repeat the steps above until you have 3 – 5 values)
  • In what way does my life align with my values?
  • What can I change to align myself with what I value?
  • How do the people that I surround myself with align with my values?

Once you are clear on your values, you’ll have a tough time continuing to lead a life where you are not aligned with them.

You don’t have to make big changes right away but taking small steps to align yourself will move you towards living a happier more fulfilled life.

And who doesn’t want that? 

As the Owner of a heart-centered business, I understand the importance of values in business. At Roche Online Business Services, we only work with clients whose values align with our own. When working with them, we do our best to ensure that the work we do for them speaks to their values. Helping them live their values allows them to live more fulfilled lives where they have the opportunity to create meaningful change in the world through the work that they do.

To find out more about how we can help your business stay aligned with your values, click below to schedule your complimentary consultation.