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Productivity is a huge challenge for businesses of all sizes. But smaller businesses face particular challenges when it comes to time management. With so much to be done and so little time to do it in, it’s almost impossible to end every week with your to-do list fully ticked.

To help people make the most of their time, we conducted a Twitter chat to gather productivity tips from all kinds of business owners. In this post, we’ve gathered together the best ones, along with a few tips of our own.

What day-to-day tasks are major drains on a small business owner’s time?

Multitasking is a huge stumbling block for any business owner. People often like to kid themselves that they’re multitasking in an efficient manner, when in reality they’d be much better off focusing on one thing at a time. In fact, there is evidence which suggests multitasking is a myth.

So how can you avoid falling into the trap of multitasking and focus on getting one thing done at a time? One possibility is to use a time management system such as the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique forces you to concentrate on a single task for a set period of time to stop you becoming distracted. The theory is that by doing this you’ll become more productive. Why not see if it works for you?

Email is also a big problem, especially as alerts can often intrupt you when you’re working on another task. As Nick suggests though, you shouldn’t drop everything just because an email has landed in your inbox. Nick expanded on his technique for managing your email in this article.

How can business owners efficiently tackle administrative tasks?

Admin is the scourge of many small businesses. These tasks are often vital and time consuming, but don’t have any prospects for creating long-term growth for a company. It stands to reason then that tackling your admin in a more efficient manner will free up time to focus on growth and expansion. So what can you do?

Technology is a great way to get more done. Used properly it will allow you to approach your administrative tasks in a more structured, and efficient manner. Tools like OneNote and Microsoft Excel, when used properly, can help reduce the time it takes to do routine admin.

How can small business collaborate over distance?

You’re in your home office, your client is 100 miles away and your team, even if it’s just one or two people is scattered across the whole country. How can you effectively communicate to make sure you deliver what’s needed when it’s needed? This used to be a huge problem for small businesses, but technology has delivered the perfect solution.

How can small business owners spend less time managing email?

We’ve already touched on the issue of email, but it’s a problem that keeps cropping up. What’s the best way to ensure you’re not constantly swamped by emails?

Learning how to make the most of your email provider’s features can go a long way to helping you stay on top of things. But remember not all email software is equal.

What productivity tools do small business owners recommend?

Summing up

Hopefully at least one of these tips will help you become more productive. If you still need more help why not check out this article on using technology to save time, or this whitepaper on how you can increase productivity.

If you’ve got any advice of your own to share, please leave a comment.

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