Trade-In Tech
by on March 14, 2022
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Everyone wants to be productive. There’s a great feeling that comes with crossing items off of a to-do list. Unfortunately, wanting to be productive and actually being productive can sometimes be two different things.

 

Or, you might also be like many people that have moments of productivity and then find themselves burned out by mid-day. Fortunately, almost anyone can be and stay productive when they have a plan.

 

If you’re having trouble staying productive, it can make doing anything feel difficult. With that in mind, we want to help you remain productive and achieve great results for your company. By reading this article, you’re going to learn:

 

  • How to get started on the path to peak productivity

  • Scheduling tips to keep distractions at bay

  • What types of work-related tasks to delegate

  • Tips to help you take care of yourself

 

Getting Started

 

 

No matter what you’re doing in life, you have to start somewhere. Because of that, we wanted to kick things off with some tips that will help you get started on your path to peak productivity.

 

Have a Clearly Defined Workspace

 

One of the most important tips to keep you productive is to have a dedicated workspace. If you own or lease office space, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, many new business owners will find themselves working from home. At home, not having a separate workspace can cause a few problems.

 

Without a separate workspace in your home, it can feel like you’re never finished working. If you’re not careful, your entire home could feel like one big office. Over time, this can cause feelings of burnout or displeasure being at home. Understandably, this isn’t a feeling that anyone wants to have.

 

Some people might have a room or part of a room they can turn into an office. If so, that’s great! However, you might be working in a slightly smaller space. Regardless of how much space you have, designate one area of your home for work.

 

For example, let’s imagine that you flip phones. It’s probably safe to assume that doing this in your bedroom isn’t going to be a very productive workspace. Instead, you’ll likely get much more done in a designated workspace.

 

The space you’ll choose depends on your personal preferences. Some people can work well in their living rooms with a television or music playing in the background. For other people, that’s not so easy. Some people might long for a quieter environment, such as a bedroom or dining area.

 

Take time to find where you work best and get distracted the least. This space is where you should consider setting up shop and getting work completed.

Change Out of Your Pajamas

 

More often than not, someone who is starting their own business can work from home. If you don’t have a lot of experience working from home, it can be incredibly tempting to take things easy. One way people do this is by avoiding the morning routine they dreaded doing for so many years.

 

There’s nothing wrong with spending time every now and then working in your pajamas. However, make sure that you don’t neglect your morning routine. Spending an hour or so getting ready for your day is a great way to let yourself naturally wake up.

 

During this time, go through the typical process you would complete to get ready. This means showering or bathing, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and anything else you would normally do.

 

Set Goals That Are Achievable

 

As your company begins, you’re likely to establish business goals that you would like to achieve. While doing this, make sure that the goals you’re creating are at least somewhat achievable. 

 

It’s nice to reach for the moon in the goal-setting process. However, setting goals that are impossible to achieve can typically leave you feeling less than thrilled about your performance, even when you and your team are doing great.

 

With realistic goals, your company can enjoy that feeling of accomplishment that comes from continued success. From there, you can continue creating goals that challenge your business but aren’t impossible.

 

Scheduling

 

 

Another incredibly important aspect of being and staying productive comes down to scheduling. It might not be the most interesting thing to learn about. However, learning how to better schedule your day can help you complete many more tasks than normal.

 

Create a Schedule for Yourself

 

Chances are, you worked at least one job before deciding to start your own company. During your last job, you likely had to adhere to a strict schedule. While it’s not always fun following a company’s schedule, they do this to ensure that you’re staying on task.

 

If you’re going into business for yourself, it’s also wise to create a schedule. Oftentimes, people who become their own bosses sometimes take things a little too easy without a schedule in place.

 

Schedules are also great because they give you a predetermined time range to work within. If you know that your workday starts at 8 am and lasts until 6 pm, you’re likely going to work hard to get everything done within these hours.

 

Take a Break

 

Any person who spends time working can find themselves going through the motions rather than getting things done. Have you been checking your phone a lot recently? Maybe you’re sitting in your workspace, but you’re actually spending time playing games on your computer or smartphone instead of reselling electronics. If so, this is a sign it’s time to take a designated break.

 

There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a quick break. However, make sure that this is an actual break. For example, some people think of break-time as a time to check their emails or respond to business messages on social media. Neither of which is a true break.

 

Use your breaks to focus on non-work-related matters. Giving yourself this time allows your mind and body to jump back into the task you were working on with a clearer head and more energy.

 

Make Time to Learn

 

Sometimes, when people become their own bosses, it’s easy for them to become a little too overconfident. It’s certainly important to be proud of yourself for being a business owner. However, don’t let this confidence allow you to think you know everything. More often than not, this way of thinking can unknowingly lead you into potentially making mistakes.

 

You’ll find that many of the world’s most successful business people understand the importance of continually training themselves. If you’re pressed for time, even reading one new article a day can bring about major improvements in how you lead and work. Even many large, Fortune 500 companies have their workers set aside time specifically for continual training.

 

For instance, maybe you’re currently buying and selling electronics. However, you also want to learn about repairing electronics. With that in mind, you could start learning how to obtain your company’s R2 certification during your learning time.

 

Try to Avoid Completing Multiple Tasks at the Same Time

 

Otherwise known as multitasking, it would seem that working on several things at once would help you achieve ultimate productivity. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Backed by research, studies show that few people can truly work on multiple tasks at the same time.

 

Most people’s brains need a few minutes to understand what they’re doing before they can start focusing on the task at hand. Trying to force yourself to multitask will only result in your brain getting confused. The result of this is that you’ll be working slower, making you less productive than normal. Needless to say, this isn’t something you want to happen on a consistent basis.

 

Set a Little Time Aside to Have Fun

 

Chances are, you and each of your employees have attended enough boring meetings for one lifetime. Unfortunately, even though you’re not trying to, your company’s meetings might also be boring.


Understandably, running a business means that issues need to get addressed and resolved. But it’s also important to make sure that you’re taking the time to have a fun meeting every now and then.

 

If you have a team of people working in the same office, order a few pizzas and let everyone enjoy themselves. These fun meetings don’t have to be limited to people who work in the same building as you. There are plenty of ways to have fun remote meetings, even when everyone is working in a separate location.

 

Delegating

 

 

If you’re like most new business owners, there’s a sense of pride that comes from doing everything by yourself. However, as your business continues growing, it’s going to be impossible to complete lots of tasks around the clock. To solve this problem, you’ll need to start delegating or passing off some work to other people.

 

Decide What Tasks to Delegate

 

Before you can officially begin delegating tasks, you’ll need to know which ones other people can complete. Fortunately, with the right people, none of your company’s more menial tasks should be too difficult to knock out.

 

Most business owners find that deciding which tasks to delegate is a matter of personal preference. For instance, some business owners might delegate cold calling because they find it uncomfortable. However, other business owners might decide to delegate sending emails because they find it too time-consuming.

 

Understandably, you might have trouble figuring out what tasks you need to delegate. One way to look at this situation is to think of tasks that don’t require a lot of knowledge to complete. You might also want to delegate your “easiest” tasks, allowing you to focus on the more challenging work that needs to get finished.

 

Automate Certain Tasks

 

Another great way to delegate tasks is through automation. Essentially, automation means having a program automatically complete tasks for your business. In the distant past, automating tasks wasn’t nearly as easy as it is now.

 

To help you out, here’s more information about some of the most popular automation programs and what they’re capable of automating.

 

Zapier

 

Sometimes, automation solutions might not do exactly what you want them to. If you’re looking to create your own automated actions, you’ll want to check out Zapier. You’ll find that Zapier works with almost all of the most popular applications and programs, including Google Calendar, Trello, Facebook, Instagram, Asana, Twitter, OneDrive, and many others.

 

With Zapier, the sky’s the limit on what you can do with this program. You can use Zapier to automatically create social media posts, back up files, and much more. If you have repetitive tasks that you’re sick of completing, Zapier could be what you need.

 

Grammarly

 

While your role in the electronics industry might not be as a writer, it’s likely that you’re going to be doing at least a little bit of writing while you work. Whether you’re sending an email, writing a blog post, or anything else that requires typing up something, Grammarly will be your new best friend.

 

This program is completely free to use and works in almost any internet browser, meaning you don’t have to download any software. The magic behind Grammarly is that it’s an automated grammar and spelling checker. You can choose to either write within Grammarly’s built-in editor or copy and paste something you’ve already written.

 

In a matter of seconds, Grammarly will highlight any errors you’ve made. This automated checker allows you to instantly correct any mistakes in your writing. The free version of Grammarly can also give you suggestions as to how you can make your words sound like they’re coming from a professional writer.

 

If you enjoy Grammarly, you can get the Premium version of this app for $30 per month. This might be worth it if you do a lot of writing. However, for most people, the free version of Grammarly should have everything you need.

 

It’s also important to note that Grammarly won’t make your writing perfect 100% of the time. Sometimes, Grammarly can miss little things like using the wrong word in a sentence that’s spelled correctly. So, you’ll still want to proofread whatever you wrote to double-check it.

 

Calendly

 

Another great program is Calendly, a popular scheduling automation tool. If you’re like most business owners, you need to schedule many things throughout the week or month. You could have meetings coming up with other companies, in-house meetings, sales calls, job interviews, and much more.

 

Trying to manage so many things manually can get time-consuming. This can also leave you open to accidentally making scheduling errors, some of which could put off other electronics distributors from wanting to work with your company. For a simple solution to all of these scheduling-related conflicts, Calendly has about everything you could need.

 

Using Calendly is extremely simple. All you have to do is set your availability preferences. This can include both dates and time ranges that you’re free. Next, Calendly saves your schedule and sends an automated message to someone you want to speak with. This puts the ball in the other party’s court, forcing them to choose a date and time based on your availability.

 

Workflow Management

 

 

A workflow is how a person or business takes care of tasks that need to get accomplished. Considering that, workflow management is an important productivity tool to make sure that your business is taking care of this efficiently. To help ensure you remain productive, check out these tips to help you control your company’s workflow.

 

Start Using the Eisenhower Matrix

 

 

Source: Luxafor

 

Life is full of decisions. As someone trying to remain as productive as possible, you might not have the time to work on everything your company needs to move it forward. This is where the Eisenhower Matrix comes in handy. The Eisenhower Matrix is a way for anyone to stay productive.

 

This system is made up of four squares. In the top-left square, you have important tasks that are urgent. Under the Eisenhower Matrix, these are the tasks you need to prioritize above everything else.

 

To the right of your first square, you’ll have another square for things that are not urgent but important. These tasks should remain your next priority. However, you should still complete the important and urgent tasks before jumping onto these other jobs.

 

Moving to the bottom-left square, you have tasks that are urgent but not necessarily important. These tasks are ones that are best to delegate, having other people complete.

 

Lastly, the bottom-right square in the Eisenhower Matrix is reserved for tasks that are neither urgent nor important. These are tasks that you should stop doing and avoid delegating. Chances are, these tasks are time sinks that aren’t doing a lot to bring good results for your business.

 

Complete Your Most Challenging Tasks First

 

Being a business owner puts you in control of many things. With that in mind, you’ll also have control over what tasks you work on and when you start them. Considering that, some experts recommend starting your day by working on your most challenging tasks.

 

It’s great to work this way because your mind and body will be at their most energized when you start the day. As your day progresses, you’ll gradually start losing energy (no matter how many energy drinks or coffees you chug down).

 

By putting your hardest tasks at the end of your day, you’re likely going to be working on them when your mind and body are both ready for you to clock out. Plus, completing your most difficult tasks early in the day gives you a newfound sense of motivation to knock out any easier tasks you have left.

 

If your most important task is finding electronic pallets for sale, start the day by completing this task. As your day progresses, you can move down your to-do list to less challenging work. Unless they’re urgent, save emails and social media-related tasks for the end of the day.

 

Create a To-Do List Each Day

 

You’ll also want to strongly consider beginning your day by making a to-do list. This list doesn’t need to feature every single task you want to accomplish this week or month. Instead, narrow down your tasks by writing down what you need to accomplish today.

 

Having a to-do list lets you take a moment to think about the tasks that lie ahead of you. Plus, research shows that creating these lists actually helps you get more things done. The human brain enjoys the feeling of completing tasks. As you cross off each item on your to-do list, you get a visual sense of accomplishment that you’re getting things done!

 

You can even make a separate to-do list for tasks around the house you might have either put off or forgotten about.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Things Down

 

As you continue operating your company, you’re also probably going to get lots of requests. Companies might be contacting you to work with your business. You’re sure to have lots of people trying to sell you products or services. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

It would be nice to take every opportunity that comes your company’s way. However, some of these opportunities aren’t going to help your company grow. Some of these choices might be bad for your business.

 

When you’re getting bombarded by connection requests and messages, keep in mind that you don’t have to say yes to all of them. Don’t be afraid to kindly decline any opportunities that you don’t think will benefit your company.

 

Utilize Group Chats Instead of Email Chains

 

Whether your company has a team of two or 200 employees, communication is and will always be an important aspect of remaining productive. However, there are many ways for a work team to communicate with each other. With so many communication options available, how do you choose the one that helps your business achieve peak productivity?

 

If you asked many successful business owners, they would likely tell you that group chat programs are the best ways to have a group of people communicate with each other. This communication method is great because you and your team aren’t having to sort through endless emails. Chances are, you can recall a time when you missed an important email and the havoc it caused.

 

Having a group chat system is great for companies in the electronics industry. Let’s say that you own a business that flips cell phones. This type of business needs people finding phones, purchasing them, and reselling these items.

 

By using a group chat program like Asana, WhatsApp, or Discord, you and everyone else who’s a part of your company can stay informed of what’s going on. Many of these group chat programs also allow you to keep people in groups, ensuring that your marketing employees aren’t hearing information about what your sales team is up to and vice-versa.

 

Celebrate Victories, No Matter How Small They Are

 

In life, it’s easy to only want to celebrate major victories. Whether they’re personal or business-related, make sure that you’re taking time to celebrate even the smallest of wins. This tip is another one that’s backed by science and research.

 

When your brain is constantly pushing itself to finish another task, never taking time to celebrate any accomplishments, it can sometimes feel hard to stay motivated and keep pushing towards another goal.

 

Instead, take time to celebrate small victories when they happen. This attitude gives you an almost constant sense of accomplishment when you’re working hard. It’s this feeling that can push you and your employees to stay focused and keep achieving their goals.

 

Taking Care of Yourself

 

 

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at ways to improve your productivity. This next section is about taking good care of yourself. And, while you might think they’re unrelated, being in decent shape has a lot to do with how productive you are.

 

Keep Yourself Hydrated

 

Your hydration level plays more of an important role in helping you stay productive than you might believe. What you might not know is that 73% of your brain is made up of water. Because of this, even a slight bout of dehydration can negatively affect your brain. Numerous studies show that being dehydrated lowers your cognitive performance. Considering that, staying dehydrated can cause you to make lots of mistakes.

 

To put it another way, being dehydrated makes it harder to stay productive and use your brain to complete challenging tasks. Another study that took place in 2013 found that staying hydrated while working can boost your productivity by as much as 13%!

 

The next time you’re feeling worn-down and unproductive, drink a glass of water and see if your situation improves.

 

Your Posture is Important

 

In most cases, starting a company is something that takes both hard work and time. When you’re in the middle of adding inventory or pricing electronics, it’s understandable to not spend much time thinking about your posture. However, your posture plays a vital role in how productive you are.

 

People with bad posture might be able to complete some work. However, they’re also likely to spend much of their time dealing with back and neck pain. As you continue working with bad posture, the aches and pains are going to start affecting your ability to remain at peak productiveness.

 

If you want to start improving your posture, follow these tips that experts recommend:

 

  • Make sure that your computer monitor is at eye level. By doing this, you won’t put any strain on your neck by keeping it tilted up or down.

  • Set your back against the back of your chair, slouching forward can cause neck and back pain.

  • Keep your feet flat on the ground, making sure not to keep your ankles or legs crossed for long periods. By not crossing your legs or ankles, you’re allowing the blood in your body to flow more freely.

 

Consider Starting an Exercise Program

 

A critical aspect of staying productive is having enough energy to power through any tasks that lie ahead of you. While we can’t deny the energizing power of a coffee or energy drink, you can also boost your energy levels with a good workout.

 

As strange as it might seem, working out won’t make you feel tired or exhausted for the rest of the day. Instead, exercising releases dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the hormone that’s responsible for making you feel happy and motivated to take on the day.

 

We’re not saying that you need to start a professional bodybuilder’s weightlifting routine or spend hours each day on a treadmill. Even taking 20-30 minutes a few times a week to work out can deliver incredible results for how productive you are.

 

Get Plenty of Rest

 

As the sun begins to set and the night arrives, it’s time for you to relax. Unfortunately, some people don’t take relaxation seriously. You’ll want to avoid not taking the time to relax, as this can cause you to feel burned out.

 

It might seem like you’re making the most of the day by working well into the night. While this can be alright to do every now and then, it’s not something you want to make a habit of. Instead, make sure to treat your relaxation time as you would your work time.

 

By taking relaxation seriously, you can help ensure you’re starting each workday refreshed and ready to remain at peak productivity.

 

As you can see, there are many ways for a business owner to increase their productivity. The next time you feel worn out, take a look at the tips above and put them into action. Soon, you should find that you’re working in a more productive manner. By doing this, you’ll have time to enjoy life away from work. And, while you’re at work, you can continue leading your company to successful outcomes.

 

If you would like more advice, how-to guides, and other content designed to help your electronics business achieve its goals, make sure to visit and bookmark the Trade-In Tech blog. On this blog, you’ll find lots of amazingly helpful content from some of the sharpest minds in the electronics industry.

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