New Years Resolutions for Small Business

Scaling / December 29, 2014 / Kristie

As 2014 comes to an end, celebrate by preparing for the New Year. Take this opportunity to set new goals that will excite and challenge you as you move your business forward. Setting goals is a fun time to get ramped up about taking your business to the next level. Review what has worked out well for your business, and throw out anything that has held you back. You’re worth too much to be bogged down by things that don’t work and that don’t help you progress. Human beings and businesses need to grow.

new year

Work with your team or set aside some time for yourself to write out realistic goals that will keep you motivated in the New Year.

If you’re stuck, feel free to borrow some of these ideas.

5 Goals for Improving Productivity:

#1. Delegate More

You’re not superman or superwoman. Make the decision to delegate what doesn’t need to be done by yourself. Trust that you’ve made the right decision in hiring capable people, then let them do the job you hired them to do.

You can also make it a personal habit to use Daylite to your advantage to help with this. Instead of forwarding an email for someone to respond, or forwarding an email to set up a time to discuss the contents, make it a habit to delegate the task in Daylite. When you forward an email to a team member that requires action, this will more than likely end up as a task on their worklist. Skip the extra step of them processing the email, and create the task for them, then delegate. This way you refrain from adding to their inbox and email distractions, and they can prioritize the task more easily (especially if you assign a deadline). They will still have all the info they need because the email is linked to the task.

#2. Screen Your Tasks

The potential to create new tasks is endless. The time to complete them is limited. Make it a new habit to asses each task and decide if it is related to your overall goals or not.  Learn how to say no. If a task is not related to one of your goals, why are you adding it to your list? Sure, it may seem like something you “should” do, but it is probably just wasting your time and distracting you from your main objectives. Treat new tasks like spies that are scheming to sabotage your internal plans.

Question each new task that slides its way in front of you.  Is this related to my goals? Is the task necessary for any part of my goals, or is it just a distraction that will waste valuable time?

#3. Book Appointments with Yourself

Anything that you need to do in a day takes time. Be proactive and schedule where that time will be spent. If your list of tasks is growing and becoming overwhelming, try treating tasks as appointments. At the start of each day, view what needs to be accomplished, estimate the time each task will take, and schedule blocks of time in your calendar. This allows you to be realistic about what can be completed in your day. This also helps you visually see where most of your time is spent each day. You can use categories in Daylite to colour code the type of work, which also helps visually asses your time.

Depending on your line of work, you may want to leave a few blocks of time open for miscellaneous things that come about during the day. “Checking Email” is another appointment you can make with yourself so you allot a reasonable amount of time to read and respond to emails, without allowing yourself to get trapped in your inbox. You may find that with this workflow that it becomes easier to say “no” to things that come up. You may find that this workflow also challenges you to complete tasks efficiently, because you know how much time is left before you need to move onto the next thing.

#4. Set Weekly or Bi-Weekly Goals

It’s easy to set an ambitious goal that you want to achieve by the next quarter or end of the year. Make this goal attainable by breaking it up into digestible chunks. What needs to be done each week, every other week, or each month for you to accomplish this? By checking in regularly, you’re able to make sure you stay on track and reach your targets. You can make your goal a project in Daylite, and set tasks with deadlines for each section.

Weekly or bi-weekly check-ins will also help keep your team motivated and on the same page. Each team member will know what they need to accomplish for the week or month ahead, so they can prioritize their time. It also gives them something to look forward to rather than setting a long-term goal that is quickly forgotten.

#5. Learn Something New

In order to grow, we need to learn new things and be challenged. When we stop learning, we stop growing. Make it a priority to learn something new each month. That may seem like a lot, but it doesn’t have to be something big like learning a new language. Write down 12 things you’re interested in learning or learning about. You may be interested in a specific topic and want to devote 30 minutes a day for one month to research this topic. Maybe you want to learn how to cook, so once a week for a month you try a new recipe.

You may not be a gourmet chef or a award-winning researcher by the end of the year, but you will most likely notice that you feel more motivated and inspired each month. You will probably also find that your new skills or topics of interest spark ideas related to your business. It’s amazing the ideas people come up with when they combine passions.

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