Alright, so maybe laziness isn’t a characteristic that people value, so much as they may assume that it is a quality which comes along with their personality, like a spare tire on the back of their otherwise efficient lifestyle. The reality is that, while different approaches to productivity work better for different people, laziness is not so much an innate virtue as a habit which it is easier for some to fall into than others. With that, getting rid of the perception of being lazy and taking steps to squeeze more productivity out of your day can be an exercise that has many positive benefits across your business and personal life, as well as serving to improve the balance between the two. First, stop saying you are lazy. You may not realize just how much power your internal monologue has over your general thought pattern and mood. It can be very tough to break out of a negative cycle of thought once you are in one,

A small business environment is one that lends itself readily to distraction if you are not careful to focus on the priorities you have defined for yourself. This can be especially true if you know that you have a personality that is prone to distraction. A restless mind is by no means a bad thing, and as an entrepreneur you will often be well served by the ability to quickly shift gears and think on your feet. When the time comes for less exciting tasks, however, you might find yourself slipping more than you would like to. In order to manage your productivity while acknowledging the nature of your attention span, consider the following ideas for getting through the workday. Don’t over-caffeinate. Caffeine, when used in a responsible amount, has been generally found to not produce significant side effects, and is recognized as a legitimate aid to productivity within reason. It’s the “within reason” part, however, that some business owners can have problems with, especially if

We’ve written before on this blog about some of what goes into creating a pet friendly workplace, and while it’s not always easy to set up the means to support having furry friends in the office, for business owners who either have employees who place a high value on time with their companion animals, who themselves have pets or  see the potential to do more business by creating a pet friendly atmosphere, it can be worth it provided they have an understanding of the potential cons as well. Is your entire staff ready for pets, or will this cause divisions? Having an animal in the office may be logistically safe after you spend the time needed to identify potential hazards and remove them, but will it create problems among your employees? Making sure that your staff is on the same page about wanting animals in the office should be done before changing your policy. It may be the case that an employee is allergic to animals

A bottleneck refers to a choke-point in your business’s efficiency. While a certain part of your operations may be humming along, if another aspect of your production is not able to keep up, then serious imbalance can build up, with departments beginning to resent each other and communication breaking down alongside of efficiency. There are many reasons why bottlenecks in production can occur, as varied as the industries and components of each small business, but in order to get at the more specific reasons why there is an issue in your business, you need to determine the root cause of the problem and then address it from there. Too much going on. It can sometimes be the case that a business is trying to do too much. This can be hard to self diagnose, since small business owners will often blame themselves if they aren’t able to handle the ambitious workloads they lay upon themselves. That said, it’s important to realize when you are simply trying

What’s Your Friday Habit?

Friday, 22, August , 2014 by

Friday is the most popular day of the week, since for many it represents the beginning of the weekend and a much needed break. However, because of Friday’s boisterous reputation, it can be difficult to get things done when your mind has already clocked out. There are probably things that you could be getting done at the end of the week that you don’t get around to because of a loss of focus. In fact, even when you are seemingly busy at the end of the week, it can be incredibly easy to get drawn into working on tangential tasks that are really just time sinks. In order to get more out of the end of the week, business owners may want to consider creating a new habit for themselves that an help them get things done without the need to mentally scramble to figure out what they should be doing, which can help them to keep sight of long and short term goals. What

  It can be difficult enough for small business owners to define their own value propositions and arrive at comfortable pricing, so when looking outwards at the value of products and services that your business consumes, assessing value may be difficult without some additional contextualization. How much time are you saving? Part of defining the value of a product or service is quantifying the amount of time that using it saves you. First, you must evaluate the value of your time. What would it cost to hire you on an hourly basis? Once you have  number you feel adequately reflects the value of your time, you can calculate the added time value that you have recouped. This should be a serious consideration for business owners when choosing services, since if an additional time investment is required to make an inferior quality service or product create a desired result, it’s highly possible that business owners aren’t actually saving themselves much in the long run, since they could

Meetings are an interesting phenomenon of the business world. When used appropriately, they can be powerful tools for creating team based strategies, but more often they get a bad rap as time sinks where employees and managers will talk in circles in order to avoid losing face or seeming like they aren’t engaged. Then more useless meetings employees are dragged to, the less engaged they tend to become as the point of meeting becomes diluted by the routine postures adapted by participants. Small business owners should avoid calling in meetings constantly, instead only bringing their whole team together when it is actually necessary. Here are some strategies for avoiding calling in unnecessary group meetings while still ensuring that productivity is kept at high levels. Use a wider range of communication tools. Communications during meetings are valuable because of both the immediacy of face to face communication as well as the ability of and entire team to participate and engage. However, team members can use communication technologies

As a business grows in both popularity and production capacity, there will come a time when the physical location that they began with no longer supports the level of business that they are handling. At this point, business owners will either need to open up a second location or move to a larger one in order to make the most of all the potential business they can create. In the event that they opt to go with a larger location, there are a few things that they need to get a handle on before they are able to commit. Fumbling the transfer of their business to a new area can not only disrupt cash flows and waste liquid capital, but it can even lead to them losing business to competition during the down time of their move. In general, business owners should begin to consider moving to a larger location when they are unable to handle the capacity demands imposed on them by business growth.

Managing a business is not easy all alone, but inevitably when other people get brought into the equation things get simultaneously more easy and more difficult. While well trained employees who have been given leadership skills represent a major asset on the part of small business, the more people are added to a staff, the more the sense of accountability in in environment is diffused unless steps are taken to preserve it. Business owners may not always have the time or resources to check up on an in depth level with all of their employees, but when they recognize consistent indicators that something needs correcting, it falls to them to make sure that they take the initiative to follow up on their observations and diagnose any potential issues before they turn into something that can be potentially highly detrimental to the health of their enterprise. There is a difference between problem employees and ones that are not engaged. A problem employee under the best of circumstances will

School is out for the Summer for many College students across the country, and a large number of them are either currently interning or searching for an internship to gain valuable skills and experience they can take back to school with them in the Fall. There are many benefits to having an internship program, for both business owners and for the interns themselves, so if your business is looking for some extra help with entry level tasks, it can be a good idea to take advantage of the flood of college age talent returning home over the Summer looking for something productive to do. Should you choose to bring on some interns, as a courtesy to them (and to ensure that you can get some new ones next year) here are a few things that you should take care of in order to make everyone’s experience a positive one. Make sure they understand the compensation you are offering. Interns are able to either work for a

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