Episode 17 of the Coder's Block podcast out now

It’s not easy to get ahead in the startup world, but it’s even more difficult when you’re actively working against yourself. You might think that you’re doing everything within your power to make your business the best that it can be, but the reality is seldom like this. Why? Because we often overlook one crucial aspect: our productivity! While we might have all our ideas, staff, and plan of action locked down, their effectiveness will be severely blunted if we’re not maximizing our productivity. Below, we show you how to avoid falling into this trap.

Set the Agenda

There are a million and one things to take care of when you’re running a business. But if you’re waiting for everything to “come in” before you react to it, then you’re going to find that you’re spending all of your time dealing with everyday issues, and no time planning and executing your growth. Each week, set an agenda of things you’d like to achieve - or at the very least, explore. As well as company organisation, it’s imperative that you’re self-organised, too. Never underestimate just how effective having a diary filled with where you need to be and when can be.

Record Your Hours

How are you actually spending your days? When you’re running around, it’s easy for a degree of delusion to kick in. You might feel that you “haven’t stopped”, but in reality, there was the coffee break, the catching up with the news, the conversations with your staff, and everything else that can find its way into a day. As such, it’s good practice to record your day, to track how you’re spending your hours. This isn’t necessarily to get you to work longer hours (everyone needs a coffee break), but to highlight any time wasting activities that could be cut.

Let Tech Help You

We live in a technological world, and, used correctly, these devices can send your productivity into the stratosphere. You’ll be well-served by having computers that can handle your requirements sufficiently, opticon scanners that can easily transmit your data, and software that allows you to collaborate with your staff members. The difference in output between a company that had the above, and one that, say, were using machines from the late nineties, would be significant.

2 Minute Tasks

It’s easy for a ‘to-do list’ to grow to be longer than your arm. But take a look at that list: how many actually require that much time to complete? If a task is only going to take you between two and five minutes to complete, then do it straight away. It’s fresh in your mind, solves the issue immediately, and will prevent your list of tasks from getting out of hand.

Knowing When to Stop

With all this being said, it’s important that you know when to stop. Productivity ceases after a certain amount of time. If you keep working, it’ll be pointless. Recognise when your work quality is beginning to slump, and take a break.

Walter Guevara

Walter G. is a software engineer with over 10 years of professional experience. When he isn't blogging or being a CTO he enjoys coding randomly complex things that he hopes many people will get a chance to use one day.

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