By Nathan Strum
Even after nearly a decade of working with business professionals, I still find it difficult to stay focused on important tasks. As the business day wears on, problems pop up and opportunity calls. If you do not know how to remain productive, then you will find yourself falling further and further behind.
Despite the daily challenges of meeting important business deadlines, I have been able to develop several productivity processes that allow me to meet my obligations and still handle those daily surprises. With a little organization, you, too, can remain productive and meet deadlines that you have a reputation for missing.
Use Some Sort of Date Book
You would be surprised at how many business professionals I meet who prefer to “wing it” as opposed to keeping a date book. With all of the time management tools on the average smartphone, it is almost criminal for a business professional to not keep a written log of upcoming events. Spend the last part of your business day mapping out the next day in a digital or hard-copy day planner, and then use that to keep yourself organized.
Know Your Deadlines
Are you one of those people who must complete a new task the moment you get it? While that is admirable, it may not be the best way to stay productive. In the business world, deadlines are critical and missing deadlines costs you money. As you take on new tasks, make note of their deadlines in your day planner and focus your energies on the tasks that are due right now.
One of the perks of being part of the virtual office world is that you become intimately familiar with the services that the Internet has to offer business professionals. Just because you do not have employees does not mean that you are unable to delegate tasks to competent people. If you just do not have time to design that marketing pamphlet, then outsource it to a professional marketing firm. There is great value in doing things for yourself, but there can be even greater productivity in learning how to delegate tasks.
Work Your Productive Hours
Working in a virtual office allows you a few freedoms that you do not have in the traditional office world. For one thing, you are not always required to punch a clock and work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are a night person, then set aside a few hours each night to get work done. If you function better by going to bed early and getting an early start the next day, then fashion your work schedule around your tendencies. Every person has their “sweet spot” during the day when they are most productive. Schedule yourself to work those hours and you will see your productivity skyrocket.
Becoming more productive is just a matter of understanding the resources available to you and using those resources to your advantage. The more adept you become at improving your own productivity, the better you will feel about the direction of your professional career. A happy business professional is a productive business professional.