With tight margins and often-grueling schedules, it’s hard to maintain consistent productivity when running a small business. There’s always varied tasks to be done, new problems constantly arise, and related needs — like training new staff — may come up. But staying productive will ultimately confer major benefits to the operation of your business. Here are three ways you can work on improving productivity at your company.

1. Filter Out the Noise

With so much work to be done, list of tasks can often feel neverending and impossible to complete. For this reason, it’s important to focus on the essentials. If you have a list of duties to complete, ask yourself whether each one will seriously contribute to the functioning of your business. Is a given task absolutely necessary? Can it be put off, or even excised from a list of necessary work?

Apply this tactic to other aspects of your business. When managing e-mail correspondence, focus on responding to only what’s necessary, and unsubscribe from lists or other feeds that don’t contribute to your business’ functioning.

Also, you may want to maintain a flexible and running list of essential needs, to help foster this approach over time.

2. Don’t Hold Unnecessary Meetings

It’s a cliché — but how much office time is wasted in meetings with little purpose? A staff or personal meeting should have a coherent objective and a focused agenda. If you find yourself grasping for reasons, ask yourself whether a given meeting is really needed.

Additionally, work on “delegating” with meetings. If two subordinates can hold a meeting themselves and it’s not necessary for you to be present, allow them to do it without you.

3. Delegate, and Allow For Initiative

As a small business owner, you may feel pressed to micromanage various aspects of your company’s operation to ensure maximum productivity. But ultimately, the company’s operation will actually be more productive if your subordinates can handle tasks by themselves, and feel comfident enough to take needed initiative in getting work done. Giving your employees space to learn the company and grow with it will ultimately maximize efficiency and make the entire operation more productive and sustainable, ensuring consistent returns over time. 

It’s important to recognize that despite how busy and hectic workdays at a small business may feel, there are always options to streamline operations and improve workflow. Consider the above tactics, and in short order, you may find that your business and its employees are dramatically more productive.