Busy entrepreneurs often pack their days so full that there’s little time for anything else. However, ramping up your productivity can help create a better work/life balance. Your work environment can make or break you in the early stages of your business or when you’re still learning how you produce best.
Your work environment includes any place you do business. Even your car can be an extension of your office space for example. Getting organized can make all the difference. Your work environment can enhance or detract from your productivity levels.
How an Entrepreneur’s Work Environment Impacts Her Productivity
How Does Work Environment Affect Productivity?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a drop of 0.6% in productivity for the first quarter of 2022. While overall productivity goes up and down, there are many different factors impacting the output of non-farm workers. Even if you work for yourself out of a home office, there are things you can do to improve pacing.
Entrepreneurs must be much more conscious of the time they spend on various tasks and what is a waste of their personal energy resources. You can’t make successful changes unless you know what already is or isn’t working. Here are some things you can try to ramp up output and free up time for creative pursuits or family time.
1. Track Time Spent
For a week, write down how much time you spend on various tasks. It might seem counterintuitive to keep a log as it takes time to do so. However, you’re looking for patterns where you repeat tasks you could automate or spend too much time on something that doesn’t have maximum return on investment (ROI).
Keep track of how much time you spend on relaxation, family tasks and even sleeping and eating. You want a clear picture of where the hours in your day go, so you can tweak your schedule for maximum efficiency. You can’t be too detailed with your notes.
2. Revamp Office Space
You likely spend quite a bit of time working out of an office location. The office may be in your home or at a location you rent. Unless you’re using a shared space, where you can’t really change furniture or move things around, making a few minor adjustments is an easy fix.
Studies show investing in ergonomic quality furniture and paying attention to layout ramps up productivity and improves work satisfaction. If you have employees, talk to them about how to redesign the space so they can be more productive. When they take some of the work off your plate, you’ll have more free time to focus on building your brand.
3. Install Proper Lighting
Bright lighting can help improve mood and give you the visual clarity you need to complete tasks in a timely manner. Natural sunlight is best for lifting the mood, but if you don’t have that option, install lights that feel as close to it as possible.
A small lamp on your desk can give you that extra illumination to review contracts. Overhead lights improve the aesthetics of your space.
4. Cut Clutter
Too much stuff can make it hard to find what you need and slow you down as you’re working. Get organized by placing things you use frequently in bins and labeling everything so other people know where it goes.
You should always keep aisles and walking areas free of clutter as you don’t want to trip and fall or have an employee do so. It’s harder to be productive when you’re in a cast from a broken bone.
5. Tap Into the IoT
Experts predict people will connect 152,200 devices to the Internet of Things (IoT) every minute of the day by 2025. You can save a lot of time by automating processes, such as clocking in employees or sending out meeting reminders by utilizing apps.
Inventory management is streamlined when you add sensors and an automated inventory and ordering system. For solopreneurs, having a machine do the heavy lifting can free up a lot of time for other tasks.
6. Add Plants
Anything you can do to improve your environment can add some inspiration and make work time more focused. For example, add some green plants around your space to bring the outdoors in.
Companies with high output understand happy employees are productive ones. This applies to the owner of the business as well. Add a few photos of people you love, place a few succulents and play music you enjoy to make your space a pleasant one.
7. Invest in Tools
Do you work in your vehicle between appointments? Perhaps you go to a local coffee shop for a change of scenery. Wherever you work, you’ll get more done if you have useful tools. For example, a nice laptop bag can serve as a portable office space with all the things you need to finish tasks.
A small desk that sits in your car’s cup holder and swings across your lap gives you somewhere to write up invoices or pay bills. Keep an eye on new technology, too, as new devices release frequently and some may help with productivity. For example, a timer that works with your smartphone can keep you on task.
Make Small Changes
Don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. While many different tools and things you can adjust are beneficial, you might only have time and money to change a few things for now. Implement different things to improve your environment. Keep what works to improve productivity and lose what doesn’t. Over time, you’ll gain a better grasp of what works for you.
This is a guest post from Eleanor Hecks, Editor-in-Chief at Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn or Twitter!