When we talk about efficiency and productivity, we usually discuss it in terms of businesses and workplaces. But these two qualities matter when it comes to individuals as well. In fact, if people are more efficient, businesses will naturally become more productive as well. As it turns out, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to improve personal efficiency levels either. Below is a list of some of the simplest things individuals, especially independent businesspeople like owner-operators, can do to get more things done in less time:
Make To-Do Lists
Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of the Virgin group, has been making to-do lists for decades. It’s a habit that he had begun back when he was just a wee recording studio owner. Branson would make checklists of things he needed to accomplish during the week, and also during his lifetime. He would write down things like “buy new equipment for office” alongside lofty goals like “learn to fly.” Then he would just get them done. (Branson has learned to fly since he listed it on a checklist in the seventies.) This is a neat trick anyone can benefit from. Independent business owners like truck owner-operators, often have to tackle personal tasks in addition to the tasks associated with hauling loads. Making a to-do list with everything included would fast-track how things get done.
Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks to Apps
We live in the age of technology, so everything doesn’t have to get done by hand. There are apps and various software programs small business owners and self-employed people can use to immensely increase personal productivity levels. For example, Mint is a popular app that lets people manage their finances directly from a smartphone screen. There’s no need to make complicated spreadsheets or anything of the sort. There are specialized apps for certain professions, like Bill Busbice’s HWY Pro for truckers. Owner-operators can use the app to eliminate hours of time waste associated with organizing loads. Likewise, don’t hesitate to use apps and other programs to reduce time consumption for various tasks.
Plan to Sleep 8 Hours a Night
Forget those days when entrepreneurs boasted about sleeping only 4 hours a night. Research has shown that sleeping less than 6 hours a night makes people less productive the following day. Sleep deprivation is bad for your health and your business. Large companies are actively taking steps to improve sleep for employees. Individuals should definitely take the initiative to plan the day in a way that ensures there’s time to get a good night’s rest. This is not an option; it’s a necessity.
Are you spending too much time on some tasks and not enough time on others? Are you constantly running out of time? Then start timing your activities so you know exactly how you spend your day. And then you can make changes so you don’t waste time.
Even a small improvement to the daily schedule can immensely increase a person’s productivity levels. Truck drivers, in particular, can save a lot of time and use it to get much-needed resting time. Improving efficiency is not limited to genius billionaires of course. Everyone can benefit from easy techniques like the ones listed above.