Everyone has a list of things they know they should do but, let’s face it, try to avoid doing at all costs.
For some people, doing the dishes is torture; for others, vacuuming is a fate worse than death. But what habits are you avoiding, as a business owner? It could be that getting your inbox to zero is the equivalent to cleaning toilets, but both are equally important (well, maybe clean toilets are slightly more important, in a general sense.)
Here are 11 business habits you likely don’t do regularly, but should:
Read up on industry news
Yes, there are probably a hundred other things that also need your attention, but staying on top of the latest trends and research in your industry can have a major impact on the health of your business.
Organise your space
If you’re the creative brains behind your company, it may be a challenge to fulfil this task. It’s important, however, for a number of reasons: it can help to increase motivation to work, and it generally leads to higher productivity.
Make exercise a priority
This point may not sound like it’s related to your business, but the truth is, exercising regularly will help your overall energy level, which can lead to more productive business hours. It’s also a great place to clear your head, making it ideal to work off work-related stress.
Check in with employees regularly
If you’re the type of person who isn’t good with people, it can be hard to get out of your office and chat with those who work for you. The more you interact with everyone, however, the more comfortable they’ll be with you, able to tell you if they perceive something is wrong or needs to be changed within the company.
Plan your day
You don’t have to plan every single minute of your work day, including coffee and bathroom breaks. It’s a good idea, however, to designate certain times of every day to checking and answering voicemail, email, and team communication, so that you can concentrate on one task at a time, instead of trying to multitask and not getting as much accomplished.
Turn off your smartphone
You wouldn’t believe how distracting those digital notifications you get from everywhere can be, even when your phone is set to silent. Set a time like lunch, or the very end of the work day, when you’ll allow yourself to check your notifications, but otherwise, turn that thing off.
Don’t just respond as events happen; prioritise
Further to planning your day, prioritising allows you concentrate on one task at a time without falling prey to distractions. For instance, if you’re trying to complete a proposal, stay logged out of your email so that you’re not tempted to respond if an email comes in, or if your phone rings.
Like the organised work space, this method can be more of a challenge to some than to others. The idea is to de-clutter your main email inbox, by filing all emails in their appropriate folders (which you would create, if you hadn’t already) once they’ve been dealt with. This allows you a clearer view of action items in your inbox, so you don’t lose track of anything.
Delegate tasks to other team members
When you’ve built a business from the ground up, it can be a challenge to hand over control over any part of your baby. After all, no one knows the ins and outs better than you, right? But as your company grows, delegating tasks to other staff members can allow you to focus on important elements of your business that may be getting neglected.
Your employees will always be looking to you as the barometer to how the company is doing, and how they should be acting. If you’re having a bad day, make sure they don’t see it, because rumours can develop and spread like wildfire.
Attend industry and networking events
You may not be a social butterfly. In fact, you may absolutely dread attending larger events, but you never know where meetings may lead, or what you may learn.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how far up the food chain you are, in a company. Certain habits can benefit anyone in the business world, helping increase your productivity, and making you a better and more effective business owner.