If your phone is practically an extension of your body, you’re in good company. The market-research group Nielsen found that the average American spends nearly 11 hours every day interacting with some type of media. We spend roughly three hours of that time on a smartphone or tablet, viewing apps, social media, or streaming services.
Three hours a day. Every day. Imagine what your life would look like if you set down the phone (after you finish reading this article, of course!) and spent even half that time pouring into your business.
Highly Successful Habits
Researchers studying the daily habits of the world’s most successful people found one thing in common: they avoid wasting time. They intentionally focus their time and effort into making their businesses and their lives more successful and fulfilling.
Let’s face it: the internet is a black hole. Five minutes on social media leads to ten minutes on a video streaming service, which then leads to an hour surfing random websites in search of nothing in particular. We’ve all been there, caught up in the vicious cycle of time-wasting.
But those who manage profitable businesses know when to close the apps and get back to work. They know when to spend time cultivating friendships and professional relationships. They know how to manage their time to increase productivity and decrease stress.
Increase Productivity With These 15-Minute Tasks
When you evaluate and reconfigure your media consumption, you’ll find more time in your day to devote to your business. You’ll be able to increase your productivity and complete that lingering to-do list you’ve been avoiding.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few tasks that will take you less than 15 minutes to complete. Finishing just a few of these every day can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line.
Clean your desk.
Take 15 minutes to file that growing stack of papers, throw away unnecessary documents, and establish a more organized system for getting your work done. Controlling the chaos on your desk will help your business feel more in control, too.
Get out a notepad and a pen, and start writing. It can be ideas about any facet of your business: marketing, employee incentives, bookkeeping, or designs for a new product. When you spend time thinking, it makes you a more inventive and effective entrepreneur.
Manage your calendar.
As a business owner, time is a valuable commodity. Eliminating unnecessary screen time will carve out more minutes in your day, but you still have to organize and prioritize your time. Sit down with your calendar. What appointments are the most important? Where can you create more time for yourself and your family? Are you making the most of the hours in your day? What has to get done this week, and what tasks can wait?
Work on your website.
Seriously: just 15 minutes a day can add up to an amazing website over time. Not sure where to start? Learn more about how you can create a stunning website with absolutely no coding experience necessary.
Correspond with clients.
Customer service and client management don’t have to be difficult. Connecting with your clients via hand-written notes, personalized emails, or short phone calls make you more memorable. Who knows? Those 15 minutes a day could lead to repeat business and referrals.
Learn a new professional skill.
The business world is continually evolving. Each month, new technology, new terminology, and new industry leaders emerge and change the landscape of your profession. When you close those time-wasting apps and spend your precious working hours learning and perfecting industry-specific skills, you’re making yourself more competitive. Research new techniques for marketing, read a published study by industry leaders, or simply learn a few new commands in Excel.
Listen to a podcast.
The internet is a treasure trove of valuable business-centered advice. Find a podcast that offers entertaining, enlightening information and spend 15 minutes listening. You just might learn something new!
Tools to keep you accountable
Scaling back your mobile phone time is easier said than done. We spend nearly 75% of our waking hours interacting with some sort of media. Those habits won’t change overnight. However, many of today’s mobile phones come equipped with software that tracks your usage time. Make it a goal to decrease your weekly usage by even a few hours. You’ll be amazed at how dedicating that time to your business will make a significant impact.