What Is Productivity in Entrepreneurship?
In economics, productivity has to do with an organisation’s ability to convert measures of input such as labour, capital, machines, and materials into measures of output such as goods or services. In today’s world, however, especially in the world of entrepreneurship, productivity simply means working smarter. It refers to the ability of individuals and organisations to do more work in less time.
Productivity can be measured across these levels:
- Personal Productivity
Personal Productivity is a term that describes the measure of individual accomplishments, both in the workplace in their personal lives. It encompasses how much work a person is able to do throughout the day, week, month, or year.
- Workplace Productivity
This has to do with the aggregate productivity of every individual within an organisation. It is the measurement of the total output of every member of an organisation at the end of a particular period.
- Sector Productivity
Sector Productivity also has to do with aggregate productivity, but it refers to the aggregate productivity of all organisations or companies within a particular sector.
- Team / Department Productivity
This productivity refers to the collective output of one or more individuals who work towards a particular goal.
- National or Global Productivity
National Productivity, also known as global productivity is the aggregate productivity of all industries in a country’s economy.
As entrepreneurs, conservation of time and money is a major skill important for success and survival. Considering that entrepreneurs have to multitask and perform several roles, time management has proven to be a challenge in present times. An entrepreneur’s typical day could be filled with multiple meetings, innumerable emails, and an ever-increasing to-do list. When days like these come and go ever so quickly, tracking progress might even be more difficult.
Increasing productivity as entrepreneurs involves prioritising aggressively, measuring, and optimising maximally.
8 Productivity Hacks Every Entrepreneur Should Know
1. Start by Creating an Achievable Plan
By spending the first few minutes or even the first hour of your week setting up a plan for productivity and achieving your goals, you create an easier environment for you to work efficiently. You are able to work smarter and work in an organised environment. One thing almost every entrepreneur can relate to is the overwhelming emotions that come with thinking about all you have to do. Another thing many entrepreneurs swear by is that listing all the things you have to do helps you get clarity and makes you feel like you’ve won the battle against time management and procrastination. Suddenly, the list makes your tasks seem achievable and not so frightening.
By writing down all you have to do and creating a plan for achieving these things, you give yourself a guideline to follow. This guideline makes you more organised and helps you work better. It also helps you recognise the activities that seem productive, but aren’t contributing to your goals in any way.
2. Set Realistic Timelines
Entrepreneur’s love moving fast and accomplishing a lot in a really short timeframe. Doing more in less time is a major characteristic of a true and successful entrepreneur, but there lies a thin line between been aggressive with timelines and being unrealistic. Sometimes, you may cross this line, especially if you often set plans that you are never able to accomplish. This is probably because you are setting unrealistic timelines for yourself.
3. Prioritise Your Goals and Use Your “No” Power
The reason most entrepreneurs have their to-do lists ever-increasing and ever-growing is because most entrepreneurs do not know how to say “no.” This is often because they are either scared of offending someone or missing out on an opportunity to try something new. Our fear of missing out has us saying more “Yeses” than we can logically afford.
But by prioritising your own goals, focusing on your plans, and considering your timelines, you are able to understand that “No” doesn’t always have to be a bad word. Sometimes, some seeming opportunities are nothing distractions in disguise. Recognise these distractions for what they are, and with more planning and research, you’ll be able to sift out the distractions from opportunities.
4. Follow the Totem Pole
The Totem Pole states; first, emails. Next, calls. Last is, In-person meeting.
One major hindrance to entrepreneurs’ productivity is the failure to follow this rule. Most times, we have physical meetings for things that could have easily been discussed over an email or over a call. By attending so many physical meetings, we spend all of our time moving from place to place that by the time we finally get back to our workplace or home, we are too exhausted to do anything productive. But by following the totem pole, this can easily be avoided. If an issue can be addressed via email, then send an email. If it requires a call, then place a call. Only when none of these work, should you opt for a physical meeting.
5. Clearly Define Each Activity’s Purpose
Before you schedule a meeting or engage in a task, ask yourself what the purpose of that activity is. Define its purpose and find out why you have to be doing it. Is it a task that can be delegated? Or are you the only suitable person able to handle the activity? Remind yourself why you’re doing the tasks you’re engaged in. This reminds you of your goal and helps you with prioritising effectively.
6. Resist the Urge to Procrastinate
This is another problem almost every entrepreneur can relate to. When you take one look at all you have to do and that overwhelming feeling rushes in, the first thing that comes to mind is to procrastinate. While procrastination might be helpful once in a while as it helps you to de-clutter your mind and puts you in a state of calm and serenity, most times, it only hinders you from doing what you need to be doing when you need to be doing it.
Employ Nike’s mantra to “Just do it” even when you don’t feel like it. This will help you in ways more than one.
7. Evaluate, Improve, and Repeat
When you follow these hacks, evaluate them to see how well it’s working for you, and feel free to modify them even as you go. Make maximum use of your time. Listen to your body and take breaks at appropriate times.
Create a daily schedule and stick to it. Organise your tasks each day to enhance your productivity. These practices will not only help you work smarter but also help you be more efficient and productive.
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