It’s always a matter of finishing a to-do list, isn’t it? You always think that with just a bit of effort, you’ll be up to date – but you never quite get there.
As an entrepreneur, you need to accept that there are only 24 hours in a day, but the truth is that if we learn to work better, we can do way more in less time.
Want to know how to improve your productivity?
Today’s post is going to explain 7 tricks that will help you win the war against time. ;)
👉 What does increasing productivity mean when you have an ecommerce?
According to the definition:
Productivity is a special measure of the performance carried out when using minimal resources in a defined period of time.
The fewer resources needed, the higher the productivity will be.
But, what do we mean when we talk about productivity when it comes to managing an ecommerce?
Mostly, we mean the time required to manage the business; that’s to say, how to do more things in less time.
👉 What are the obstacles stopping you from being more productive?
Anything that gets you off track from what you should be doing, even for just a second, is an obstacle to your productivity.
Working online, there are 5 major types of limitations to your daily performance?
✅ 1. Interruptions and distractions
The number 1 problem for online productivity is that it’s super easy to get distracted.
How many times have you started looking for information and ended up looking at pictures of your competitors on Instagram?
Or you could be focusing on a task when somebody calls you or sends an email to ask about whatever.
Each time you get distracted or are interrupted you lose not only that time, but also the time needed to refocus on whatever you were doing.
And those interruptions add up a lot of wasted hours each week. We’ll tell you more about how to minimize them later. ;)
✅ 2. Lack of focus
If you start working without a clear objective, it’s way easier to get distracted and demotivated because you don’t have a way of measuring whether or not you’re doing it well.
Work with daily goals that will allow you to focus and avoid distractions.
If you have a long-term plan, establish your daily goal so that it gets you closer to your final objective.
For example, if your goal is to get 10,000 Instagram followers in a year so that you can add links to your Stories, that simply can’t be a daily goal.
What can you do?
Establish specific objectives related to the bigger overall goal, such as:
- Create an editorial calendar with all the topics for your posts.
- Get the images and texts ready for the following week.
These are specific goals that you can achieve in a single day. Therefore, you’ll know what you have to do each day and you’ll feel that you’re making progress.
✅ 3. Doing it all at once
You can call it “being overoptimistic”. It normally happens when you have several tasks to complete and you try to do everything at the same time so that you think you’re achieving more.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When you try to do more than one thing at the same time, you end up not doing them well because (again) you lose focus and your effectiveness for each task is drastically reduced.
Complete each task individually or establish blocks of time for each one (and respect them).
✅ 4. Not knowing how to prioritize
There are thousands of things to do each and every day, and they all seem so important, but if you don’t get organized, you’ll likely end up forgetting or overlooking something.
In order to avoid this and to know what’s the most urgent and important (two different concepts, by the way), it’s essential to work with objectives.
It’s better to focus on one task at the time and to prioritize the urgent ones. Watch out! Try not to get overwhelmed with priority tasks and lose focus by trying to do more than 3 things at the same time.
✅ 5. Wasting time trying to look for something
We make lots of mistakes and we waste a lot of time with issues like these. That’s why it’s crucial to create processes.
A process is an organized relationship between actions that you need to carry out (and how each one should be done) to create a specific task.
For example, shipping a product:
- Getting the order.
- Managing the stock in the warehouse.
- Verifying the shipping address.
- Getting the package.
- Contacting the delivery company.
- Delivering the product to the client.
- Sending a thank you email asking for social proof.
If you know all the steps that you need to follow to do something, you can say goodbye to improvisation and thinking “how did I use to do that?” or “where would I have put this?”
👉 Recommendations to increase your online company’s productivity
We’ve already identified the main problems that lead to decreased productivity for ecommerce – are any of them familiar to you? ;)
Luckily, there are loads of online tools to help increase productivity.
✅ 1. Organize your documents so that they are available from any device
Is there anybody who doesn’t use Google Drive when working online?
It’s a powerful and functional tool that allows you to:
- Share documents among people on the same team.
- Organize files in folders.
- Create documents directly in the cloud.
In addition, since it’s a Google tool, it’s free and accessible from any device connected to the Internet.
If you haven’t tried it yet, let Google itself convince you.
✅ 2. Establish a schedule for your email
You can’t live without an email account because it’s essential for an online business. However, if you’re constantly on the lookout for emails, you won’t be able to do anything else.
- Set a schedule for when to check your email.
- Respond to the emails and then archive or delete them.
- Note which emails will take you longer to answer (for example, complaints).
You can establish 2 hours per day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon).
The rest of the time, say adios to your inbox and you’ll see just how much more productive you can be when you’re not constantly checking your inbox.
✅ 3. Automate the most repetitive tasks
If there’s a task that you often repeat, it’s probably better to automate it.
- Answering clients’ emails: create an answer template that helps you minimize the time it takes to respond.
- Paying suppliers and employees: set up repeating periodic transfers with your bank app.
- Update your social networks: there are many tools that let you program your posts, such as Hootsuite or Metricool. If you also repeat content on some of them, have a look at IFTTT.
Check your work and take note of the tasks that you repeat frequently.
Once they are automated, verify that the automation is working properly.
✅ 4. Use a calendar to organize your day, your week, and your month
If you want to simplify it even more, don’t use just any calendar – use Google Calendar.
You can integrate it with many other tools to increase your productivity and it’s also accessible from your phone, which will let you check the appointments and tasks you have planned.
Plan your tasks weekly and even monthly, if possible. If you can avoid wasting time each morning thinking about what you have to do that day, that will add up to a lot of saved time at the end of the month.
Leave an hour per week to organize your calendar; it will ease your daily management.
✅ 5. Break down big tasks into smaller tasks
Sometimes you know that you have to do something that will take up a lot of time, so you put it off and put it off until it becomes a huge task that requires a whole day, if not more.
If you break down each big task into smaller parts, they will be much easier to face and you’ll see the progress that you’re making.
For example: monthly invoicing can be a nightmare when at the end of a tax quarter.
However, if you establish something like:
- One hour a week to review client invoices.
- Another hour for suppliers.
- Another one to check accounts.
Then, when you finish the quarter, you’ll get the job done in the blink of an eye.
There are also some tools that allow you to get organized in an easy and visual way.
Trello is a digital board that lets you create lists, each with independent tasks. You can move them, add due dates, tag them as “done”, and so on. It’s perfect for businesses without a huge workload.
Have a look and see just how easy it is to use.
Asana is similar, but it’s made to work with bigger teams, so it’s best to use once your project grows.
The free version allows up to 15 team members and unlimited tasks.
✅ 6. Avoid distractions
In addition to keeping your inbox closed, social networks can be another major source of distraction, especially Facebook.
Here you have two tools to tackle that issue:
- Kill News Feed: an extension for Chrome that blocks the latest news so that you don’t get distracted with irrelevant content.
- Cold Turkey: if you don’t use Chrome, but at least have Windows, this one limits access to social networks and some other websites from your computer for as long as you set it up to be in effect.
If you tend to get lost watching videos (probably of cats), close the doors on temptation. ;)
✅ 7. Delegate the most unproductive tasks
This seems impossible when you’re a small project starting from scratch.
When your business starts to grow, in order to improve your productivity, you need to focus on the tasks that are really profitable.
Make a list of the tasks that you don’t like doing so much and that don’t need to be completed by you. Delegating or hiring a third party isn’t an expense: it’s an investment in time so that you can do other important things.
👉 Avoid distractions and start improving your productivity
Honestly, how many of these distractions do you deal with every day? ;)
While it may seem tedious, if you start using some of these tricks, you’ll see that you get a whole lot more done by the end of the day.