PICTURE THIS: Your sales pipeline is full of hot prospects, referrals are pouring in, and you’re on target to meet or exceed your goals for the quarter. It sounds like a dream come true, but what about the flip side? When business is thriving, you’re likely also faced with an overflowing email inbox, a jam-packed calendar, long hours, and an overall higher demand on your time and energy.
How can you juggle the extra demands while performing at your best? Use these productivity tips to stay focused, efficient, and motivated during peak times.
1. Ask for Help
When your schedule is at capacity, you can’t expect to operate the same way you would during slower periods. Recognizing this and making the necessary adjustments will help you avoid disappointment and frustration. If you need extra help, hire a temporary assistant or an intern to offset some of the load.
2. Communicate With Customers
It’s also a good idea to let your clientele know that you’re experiencing a higher volume of activity and that it may affect response or turnaround times. You can reassure them by connecting customers with an assistant or teammate that they can contact if you’re unavailable. When in doubt, remember that it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver.
3. Be Intentional With Your Time
To make your time count, you need to be able to hit the ground running every day. If you start your day without a clear focus, you could end up wasting precious time and being pulled in a million different directions. Don’t let that happen. Plan ahead by creating a daily and weekly list of top priorities and tasks. This exercise will give you a chance to prepare mentally for what’s next on your plate and say no to things that can wait. It will also allow you to shift your thoughts away from work at the end of each day, so you’re not spending all night worrying about who to call tomorrow or what items you might have missed.
4. Don’t Try to Multitask
With multiple priorities to balance, it can be tempting to work on multiple tasks at once. You might think you’re saving time by checking email while chatting on the phone with a client, but you’re just making your brain work harder and creating more room for error. Research has proven that multitasking is impossible. The human brain can only focus on one task at a time, so the idea of doing multiple things at once only results in your being more distracted and less productive. When working on a project, eliminate distractions and set aside specific times to check email, make phone calls, respond to texts, and catch up on social media.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
Unless you’re extremely disciplined, most of us need some external guardrails to help us stay accountable to our goals. And that’s ok! Think of it like having a workout buddy, but in the form of a colleague or mentor with whom you can share your business goals and deadlines and conduct regular check-ins. Accountability can also be achieved with the right tools and technology. If you keep forgetting to notify clients of important milestones or updates, it may be time to sign up for software that will automate those communications for you.
6. Improve Your Workspace
Working in a cluttered or dysfunctional environment is bad for productivity. If you spend most of your day at work, shouldn’t it be a place that motivates you to do your best? Try making some improvements to your office setup, such as adding plants and repositioning your desk near a natural light source. One study found that office greenery can boost productivity by 15%. Plus, plants offer the added benefits of purifying the air and reducing stress. Speaking of stress, remember to take care of yourself. Eat well, get enough sleep, stay active, and commit to having a life outside of work. Avoid burnout so you can give your best to your customers, your team, and yourself.