In every business, too much time is wasted by owners and senior management on non-productive activities. The result is lower productivity and a significant loss of profits. Here are 5 simple ways to get rid of non-productive tasks and boost your productivity.
1) Keep a work log for at least a week
Write down all of your activities and the time spent doing them. I appreciate this is time-consuming initially but it is essential you get a true picture of your working week.
2) Analyse your activities
Separate your activities into high priority – those that produce a return or where only you have the skills to do the work – and low priority – activities others can do where the activity can be delegated to support staff. You will almost certainly find that you are spending most of your time on low-priority activities rather than activities directly providing a return. In almost all businesses these non-productive activities tend to absorb time at a far greater rate than they should.
3) Delegate non-productive activities
Once you can identify the low priority activities delegate as many as possible to support staff providing training where required. If necessary employ an additional member of staff to take responsibilities – the cost will be more than offset by your improved productivity. There may be a number of low priority activities you are tempted to keep. Unless it is absolutely unavoidable don’t be tempted and don’t get involved in non-productive activities or your productivity will fall.
4) Calculate the time required for any remaining low priority activities
Once you have delegated all that you can, your next step is to calculate how much time you should be spending on the remaining low priority activities to make maximum use of your productive time. Do not work disproportionately hard at these low priority activities and set aside the specific time each day or week to complete them.
5) Prioritise your remaining activities
Once you have cleared out the activities that do not bring you any return, it is time to turn your attention to the activities in your life that are bringing the most reward. Prioritise your activities and concentrate most of your time just on a few high-priority activities.
The objective throughout is to maximize your results from the areas of high return and to delegate those activities that have a low return. Having to spend a disproportionate amount of time on non-productive activities is a major source of stress for many businessmen. Delegating these activities will, therefore, have the added benefit of reducing the stress you are under. It is all about doing less work for the greater return.
For more success in life, whether that is more money, more time with your family or just making time for golf you should start implementing the 80-20 rule immediately. It will help your career as well as your personal life and, as a bonus, following the 80-20 rule day in and day out can make you very wealthy over the long term.