Here is a little productivity technique I use that you may find useful. It is mainly to see how your business is progressing.
Usually I come in and one of the first things I do is write my todo list for the day. I then have a key that I use to mark-up the list:
I put a number (5) in brackets next to all the tasks on my todo list that are admin type tasks like sending out invoices.
next to any actual work for existing ongoing clients add (4)
have a (3) on any work related to managing newer clients
place a (2) on anything to do with setting up new clients and projects that have recently signed up
write (1) for tasks to do with working on generating new enquiries and on converting fresh enquiries
And a (0) for any work on improving the business as opposed to working in the business. This includes improving the efficiency of the business, developing new offerings, working on your business strategy, implementing new software, systematising or automating parts of the business.
Then look over your todo list. If most of your tasks have high numbers on them such as 4s and 5s then your business is standing still, it is treading water. This can be dangerous as it can take a long time to replace the loss of a few big clients or projects so you should never spend all your time doing this.
The lower your average the more likely it is that your business is progressing and moving forward.
Some people start their business spending a lot of time in (0) but don’t go back to it. When this happens your offering can become outdated as you fail to keep up with improvements in technology or adapt to competitors.
Some small businesses drop (0),(1) and (2) whenever they get busy and come back to it in a panic at a later date, but these tasks take time to provide a return.
This doesn’t mean that tasks (3),(4) and (5) aren’t important or that they should take a back seat. Like most systems balance is important for peak performance. Spending all your time at one extreme or the other is what causes problems. Some people spend all their time at (0) using it as an excuse to hide behind their desk instead of getting out there and promoting themselves. If you are guilty of always working on one extreme or the other you should start your day with the tasks on the opposite end of the spectrum.
If there are more than a few people in the business you may be better looking at the average across the firm as different people will be tasked with different duties. Some people may spend all their time working on (3),(4) and (5) with others that specialise in (0),(1) and (2).
Pretty Simple aye!