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It’s a new month and the stress is already visible in everything you do. It’s not the easiest economic climate to do business but higher productivity and greater efficiency is the key to success in such tough times. So you need to re-focus, re-order and re-align. Here’s 6 ways to do just that:

1 Forget Multitasking

Sometimes, the juggling act is the wrong way to go. There’s nothing more rewarding than having a single focus and making it happen… completely. Multi-tasking has its place but it can reduce efficiency by as much as 40%. Make this month the one where you work on one project at a time and start ticking them off the list. Your concentration will be improved on the task in hand and very probably when you return to the ‘neglected’ projects in a few days or weeks time your fresh look and new focus will help you crack on with those even more efficiently too.

2 Build an extra hour into every day

Some times even productive days need a little help. Just by starting your day half hour earlier and ending your day half hour later that’s an extra hour per day. Even if you allow yourself weekends of that’s 5 whole hours and nearly an extra day’s work per week. That’s a lot of productivity. You don’t want to do it forever, but a push this month will mean you get ahead for next month and that will probably make you more efficient all round too.

3 Set your goals today

Ok. Turn off your PC. Switch off the phones and grab an old fashioned pencil and a piece of paper. What do you need to get done this month? What do you want to achieve? Brain-storm them all then try to prioritise and order them. Set some milestones for the each of the next few weeks ahead. Give yourself realistic targets so that you can feel the benefit as your achieve them throughout the month. Getting those millstones from off your neck like projects that have been incomplete for months, will have a massive positive effect on your stress levels. Less stress = better performance = happier you in every respect.

4 Look after yourself

The work-life balance is important, too much work will have a negative impact on your productivity, so keep those extra hours under control too. If this month is the one for your new regime then include in that you dietary needs too. Plan in proper meal times, a balance of foods and also some proper sleep. All done right your productivity improves, which means actually in the long-run you should find yourself spending less time stressing and working. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

5 Have communication free times and stick to them

Every day make sure you have a set time to ‘catch-up’ or firmly focus on the job in hand. Keep phones off, stay away from email and keep it simple. Use those tools as rewards for later in the day when you have served your communication free time and got some work under your belt. It’s all part of the balance and prioritising.

6 Brainstorm with others

Even if you are a one-person operator you can learn from others. Plan at least one session with others. It could be a meet and greet drinks, a seminar or just a meeting, but somewhere where business is on the agenda and you can talk. Just airing your thoughts will ease the stress and make the thought-process flow better. You don’t have to give away state secrets but just talking around the topic will no doubt spring a few new ideas to mind and offer you a slightly different angle to take away to look at.

Of course there are more, but to remain productive you need to be focused. Stick to these six for just one month and your will see your productivity increase, your stress levels drop and hopefully your profitability rise.

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