Juggling work, family, friends and everything in between is no easy feat. But there are many ways to increase your productivity without working harder or getting more stressed.
Small business owners are true experts in this art, establishing routines and habits to be more efficient with time, money and resources. Here are some top tips recently shared by several small business owners and bloggers as part of the #MakeMoreHappen campaign from Staples, that can help you become more productive at home and work.
Get Tech Savvy
Be willing to outsource certain tasks, like technical troubleshooting. If you’re not an IT specialist, solving such problems can be time consuming and headache-inducing.
“Even small technical problems can take hours of frustration to fix, and most people don’t think about these issues until they have them, especially when it’s too late,” says Cassie Boorn of Maker Mentors and blogger at Design Aglow. “A smart solution is to set up a monthly subscription with a technical support hotline like Staples, so you can have instant access to help any time you need it.”
Whether you’re dealing with professional or personal affairs, doing-it-yourself can often save money and time — from fixing things at home to creating the design elements of a business.
“I create and design my own cards and then print them myself. I create a different card for each platform I’m selling on — the basic design is the same, but the name of the platform is at the top and I use a different color pallet to distinguish each one,” says Michelle Gallagher, the Etsy consultant behind My Craft Assistant.
One-stop shopping sprees at large retailers like Staples can help save time and money. These stores often offer lower prices on products, and shopping for many items at once online can help qualify you for free shipping. Also, these types of retailers tend to feature their own store brand products for further savings.
“Obviously, rationing pencils is not going to single-handedly bring your business out of debt, but you’d be surprised at how quickly seemingly minor expenses can accumulate,” says Nicole Thein of Uniquely Women.
While Thein’s advice focuses on business tools, the same rationale applies to household supplies and personal items.
Use Life-Saving Apps
These days, there are apps for everything. So before hitting the panic button, see if there’s an app that can solve your problem quickly and on a budget. For example, designer and blogger Whitney English, founder of the planner Day Designer recommends Makr for those who need a logo fast.
“It might be something you need for a wedding, like a custom crest or a monogram or you might need an actual logo for your business,” says English. “Enter the Makr app. It’s the solution to all of those things, and then some.”
Everyone can use more time, energy and money. Finding ways to stretch these precious resources can make you happier, healthier and more productive.