Productivity is key for a successful business. When you’re running a small business, you’re often wearing many hats. In order to stay sane and on top of everything it’s important to have great tools and resources that you can use to keep everything going smoothly. Although I have a team that I work with, there are many apps that I rely on to stay productive in my business. Here’s a list of some of my favorites.
- Streamline your focus. Instead of trying to get a million things done in a day, write your list then choose the top three things to accomplish each day. These three things should be of the highest priority and once accomplished will leave you feeling satisfied with your productivity. Use the Streaks app to be reminded to accomplish your top 3 daily goals. You can also turn your most important daily tasks into new habits with this app’s features.
- Time block for maximum productivity. Don’t just make a list. Give yourself an allotted time to get things done. When I am planning for events, I often block of chunks of time weeks in advance so that I can research, plan and write my presentations. I often use my morning hours to get it done. So before I even step into the office, I’ve already had a productive day. Blocking time allows you to get into a zone. You can use the Rescue Time app to eliminate distractions from your computer and devices so that while you’re in the zone you are completely focused.
- Start your day with productivity rituals. Every day, I spend time meditating before I start my day. Meditation for at least 15 minutes can get you focused and help to improve productivity. Insight comes early; if you sit quietly in the morning and meditate and then listen within, you will discover brilliant ideas are ready to burst out of you. Find your very own sweet spot where you can get quiet, relax and think big thoughts. Allow your mind to expand and see yourself productive, profitable and progressing toward your goals. To zero in and align your thoughts with your most pressing activities use the app Head Space. It will help you get centered.
- Outsource your personal to-dos. The biggest key to productivity is knowing that you don’t have to do it all yourself. There are some amazing apps with great options for grocery shopping and other personal errands that need attention. Use apps like Amazon Prime Now for restaurant delivery and local shopping in most major cities. There are also other grocery apps like Shipt that will deliver your groceries to your doorstep. Local markets like Walmart and Publix also will shop for you and load your car for free! Just go online to their websites, order your groceries and pick them up within 24 hours.Keep in stock what you use a lot to save time. Amazon allows you to subscribe to your common household items. Target has the cartwheel app that helps you save every time you shop as well. There are many ways to make these weekly duties less time-consuming for you!
- Keep up with team projects and progress. Miscommunication is a big productivity killer. When you and your team are not on the same page, things go awry. So stay up to date on projects by using programs like Asana to manage tasks. You can add a master to-do list or individual lists for team members. Everyone can download the app to stay connected and collaborate easily as well. My team and I use it because it is simple to use without all the frills.
- Take your important docs with you everywhere by using the cloud. Apps like Box.com and Dropbox enables you to access important docs, photos and music and more from any device and anywhere on the go. You can sync the files with your desktop so that you always have the latest version. Team members can comment on files, make revisions and more.
- Create organized reading lists with the Pocket app and Instapaper. As you browse the internet these apps allow you to put articles, videos and other information in a virtual pocket for you to read at your own leisure. Facebook allows you to save videos and Instagram allows you to save posts that you want to reference later as well.
- Keep your mind sharp by reading with Audible. Audio books are a huge time saver. I get through at least 5 books a week listening to audio books. It’s the perfect way to continue to expand your knowledge base and save time. Listen in the morning while getting dressed, while you clean, or work on projects. Stay inspired daily with my 30 Days and 30 Ways to Change Your Life App. This app is filled with daily quotes and affirmations to inspire you to be productive.
- Organize expenses all year long to avoid a tax entanglement later. Apps like Expensify and Xero helps you to track your spending and categorize receipts plus issue reports. If you have a team you can also use Expensify to track their business expenditures as well. This app is easy to use and makes the accounting a lot simpler.
- Save time with Social Media. Let’s face it, social media is here to stay and it plays a major role in business marketing. To stay on top of it all, use Hootsuite, my tried and true app for years, to automate social media posts to Twitter, Facebook and more. The app has gotten more sophisticated over the years and offers many more social media management tools as well. Hootsuite has never let me down. I love that it organizes your time lines, direct messages and mentions so that you can review them easily.
2017 is the year to go big in your business and life. Big business comes with big responsibility, so it’s important to stay progressive and productive all year long to reach your goals. These resources mentioned here are just a few ways to get it done. I’d love to hear what works for you. Comment below with some of your favorite productivity apps.