If you own your own business, you're an extremely busy person. It's important to find ways to be more productive, but also make sure you're getting the rest and separation you need to be an effective business owner. This can be a lot easier said than done.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a struggle for many managed services providers (MSPs). You are knowledge workers, and process a tremendous amount of information in your day-to-day. But in order to be a topnotch provider for your clients and run a successful MSP business, you need to maximize your time and be as productive as possible. So, as a business owner, how can you increase your productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Start with these three strategies.
1. Maximize Your Mornings
We’re all guilty of this, myself included. We go to sleep with our phones sitting right there on our bedside table. When we wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing that we do? Grab our phone, tap that mail icon and check our email. This is so easy to do first thing in the morning, especially if you’re like me and hate seeing that little red number on your mail icon. You might think that answering a quick question and shooting off those emails is one less thing to do when you get into the office, but in reality, you’re using up your energy that could be spent focusing on higher-level priorities.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, you’re still at your most fresh in the morning. So, it’s much more effective to spend that time and energy focusing on your high-priority activities, rather than going into your email and doing quick checks and fixes. One of the things you can do to be more productive in the morning is to practice not checking email when you get up. Instead, check a task management program, such as Google Keep or Todoist, where you can look through and see what are the top priority things that you need to do that day. Pick one of those, and that’s what you want to focus on in the morning.
2. Create A "To-Do List" in Order of Importance
Speaking of task management, remember that every email does not have to be answered right away, and every voicemail does not need an immediate response. As a business owner, you can boost your productivity by concentrating on your most important tasks first. To-do lists are a very useful tool (if used correctly) to help you focus on your priorities. By correctly, I mean accomplishable. These lists should include tasks that can be checked off during that day or, at the very most, that week.
Start by building a master list of tasks for the week. Then, break that down into daily tasks in order of importance. This will allow you to create daily to-do lists that help you concentrate on the goals you need to accomplish.
Also, since you’re a tech-savvy MSP, you can leverage today’s technology to keep tasks organized. Go digital and put your to-do list on your smartphone so you can access it easily at any time. I’ve already listed some digital to-do list managers above, but other fan favorites include:
Any of these task managers will enable you to create schedules that will help keep you focused throughout the day.
3. Make It a Team Effort
One of the keys to being able to work on more strategic initiatives is to have an amazing team behind you. Enhancing your team’s productivity should definitely be on your to-do list. However, where you can go wrong is putting too much pressure on your team to “work harder” in order to boost efficiency and productivity. Instead, you can create an environment that both motivates your employees and gives them the necessary tools to succeed and eliminate wasted time.
One activity that’s specifically helpful is having mourning huddles, where a team can get together to go over a few key items. This gives everyone an opportunity to provide the rest of the team with important, need-to-know information. To start off on a good note, the first thing they do is talk about a victory they had from the day before. The next thing they answer is; what is their top priority for the day? This is the one thing that absolutely needs to get done that day. And the final thing is, are there any challenges that person has that they need help with from everyone else? Everybody will go through this process, and all in under ten minutes. Holding meetings like this ensures your staff is staying in tune and on top of their responsibilities, which will translate into a more compatible, cohesive workflow.
By Meaghan Moraes
By Gretchen Hoffman