small-business-owners-staying-focused | Photo Courtesy of day, a small business owner is presented with unlimited ways to spend his or her limited time, energy and resources. Making the right choice and sticking to it is no easy feat. However, four productivity tips outlined in a recent article on the OPEN Forum small business blog can help. Here are some tools and techniques to help you stay resilient even under stressful, changing circumstances.

  1. Replace multitasking with “serial monofocus:” While multitasking might make you feel (and look) busy, it’s not necessarily an efficient work habit. Instead, increase efficiency by narrowing your focus. To truly focus on one thing at a time, turn off your email inbox or IM alerts and block out time in your calendar for focused work so that people don’t fill your entire day with meetings.
  2. Reduce interruptions by limiting your availability: For many people today, the line between the office and personal life is blurry, and 9-to-5 days are a thing of the past at a lot of companies. But making yourself constantly available to interruptions via your mobile device does not make you productive; it just means that you’re always available.
  3. Use clarity to tame competing priorities: Most people have multiple competing priorities, all of which seem urgent. Make time to think through your daily tasks and responsibilities, deciding which can best help you keep up and evolve with your changing industry. That will give you the necessary clarity to truly prioritize.
  4. Distinguish between time-wasters and short-term rewards: People might think of surfing the web as a waste of time, but it depends on the context. If you’re checking your favorite sites as a way to procrastinate, then yes, that’s a time-waster. But it is important to have some down time, and rewarding yourself for accomplishing a task can improve your productivity. If you’re surfing the web for 10 minutes as a conscious reward, that same activity can serve as an energy booster.

These four productivity tips can help small business owners make the most of their limited time, energy and resources. Using “serial monofocus,” reducing interruptions, clarifying priorities and taking breaks to recover energy can help foster resilience in the face of changing circumstances.

What are your tips for staying productive under stress? Let us know by posting in the comments section!

Source: OPEN Forum, April 2013