How to boost your productivity at work

Becoming a franchisee is a momentous occasion. And, as with any new-fangled endeavour, when you start out you are likely to have plenty of eagerness for even the dullest of tasks.

How to boost your productivity at work

Becoming a franchisee is a momentous occasion. And, as with any new-fangled endeavour, when you start out you are likely to have plenty of eagerness for even the dullest of tasks. However, sustaining this enthusiasm and efficiency throughout your franchising journey is the key to success. Although, this is easier said than done. Tim Morris, a franchise veteran and customer service expert – now MD of inbound comms specialist, Cymphony – believes there are plenty of ways franchisees can avoid these situations and boost their productivity at work. He gives his top five tips for boosting your productivity at work. 

Identify any hurdles

Before you read on, answer me this: What are your biggest distractions and how could you avoid them? If nothing springs to mind, note down what distracts you every time your attention is pulled away from work. Eventually, you will notice clear patterns in your behaviour emerging and be able to take steps towards addressing the issues ruining your focus and effectiveness. For example, if you find it difficult to tear yourself away from social media during work hours. The solution to this could be to download apps to block your access to time-sapping websites and other software while you are working. Doing this gives you the best chance of decreasing interruptions and staying on task to make the most of your time at work.

Create a great routine

When you become a franchisee, developing a good routine is a sure-fire way to help you hit your targets. So, I recommend learning how to set your priorities for the day. To do this, identify your three most important tasks. Then set time aside in your calendar to accomplish them. This allows members of your team to see that you are busy and not to be disturbed, while simultaneously carving out a chunk of time to focus solely on one task at a time. By time blocking, you can also clearly see how much time you have for smaller tasks.

Also, put time limits on your working day (and actually stick to them). If you carry on working after hours, you run the risk of impacting your productivity during your actual work time. Being constantly connected to work can make it challenging to define boundaries between work, home and leisure. Keeping these aspects of your life separate can help you be more present during each one. Muting your email and social media notifications on your phone when you leave work helps too. Make the most of your routine at the end of each working week by assessing how well you were able to follow your schedule. Note some areas of improvement that worked well for you and consider any adjustments you may need to make to be more successful or reach your goals.

Work smart not hard

Being productive at work means using your time efficiently and squeezing every bit of potential out of it. One way you can work smarter instead of harder is to automate certain tasks that take up hours of your time. Franchisees often find themselves wearing multiple hats whilst running their business. If your workload is hampering your business’s efficacy, perhaps it is time to consider bringing someone in to help.

Hiring a new employees will give you more time to develop and grow your business. However, if the cost of living has you watching your pennies, outsourcing your services can be a far cheaper and more effective alternative. Say you need help answering customer calls or messages; outsourcing your inbound communications will mean your calls will be fielded by a trained customer service expert. And the best part… you only pay for what you use. This means you can focus on other tasks, safe in the knowledge that your inbound communications are being taken care of.

Luckily, as a franchisee, your franchisor will most likely have already developed software or systems that can help you work more constructively. Ensuring you use every bit of support offered in your franchise package is the first step to success. It is also worth speaking to fellow franchisees in the network, as they have probably found helpful solutions and easier ways to complete tasks over their years in business.

“Swallow your frog”

According to Mark Twain, starting the day with your most challenging jobs makes the rest of your day easier. And without a constant sense of dread hanging over you, you are far more likely to enjoy your day and be more productive whilst working. It will take discipline and willpower to master this step, but it is certainly worthwhile for all franchisees to practise. Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen for the rest of the day.” This is an apt metaphor for effective time management, and if you spend the whole day thinking about a boring or difficult task, it can spoil even the fun bits of your work.

Prepare for distractions

If you fail to plan for distractions, then prepare to fail.  No matter how hard you try, the likelihood of your routine going completely to plan every day is unlikely. Even the business heavyweights of this world get distracted. So, do not beat yourself up if you do too. If you are a parent, you may have to collect your child from school when they are sick. In this case, you will be pulled away from your business unexpectedly. One solution could be that you decide to work from home so you can address all your responsibilities at the same time. Another solution is having an outsourced provider you can ‘switch on’ when you are going to be unavailable.

Remember, time is money when it comes to running your franchise territory. So, you cannot just stop answering calls and responding to customer emails. To remove the distraction of customer emails, I suggest using email autoresponders. This allows you to schedule time into your day where you can address customer service issues instead of jumping in and out of them. To cover all bases, outsourcing your inbound communication services is a fantastic way to ensure your business responds to all calls and social media messages too.

It is only human not to feel productive 100% of the time. However, following these tips will help you to switch to a productive mindset and build your successful business in the long term.

Tim Morris
Tim Morris