Taking a Break to Improve Your Productivity

Taking a Break to Improve Your Productivity

Do you do anything ‘fun’ during your typical work day to help keep you focused? It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of business and often we just need to give our brains a break for the sake of our work, colleagues and customers. Oddly, this intentional act of removing ourselves from our work environment can in fact vastly improve our productivity levels. But taking these brain breaks consistently is no picnic. Whilst there are many ways to take a break from the demands of your business, as with most attempts at behavioral change, incorporating these into your daily routine is the only way to increase your chances of following through and seeing results.

Here are some tips to help you find ways to give yourself a true business break:

Get out for lunch

It may sound far too obvious but eating lunch at your desk five or six days a week is not a lunch break. Continuing work whilst eating not only reduces your effectiveness at the tasks you are completing but it also has a tendency to foster poor nutritional choices when it comes to what you actually eat. A couple of times a week you should actually go out for lunch for a full hour. Even better take a colleague, client or friend with you and make it a point to not talk business. You’ll be surprised about the serendipitous discoveries you may achieve whilst out and what you’ll learn about the people you already know. If you can get away with not having a device with you during lunch, you’ll be giving yourself some space to unwind without projects still floating around in your mind. By the time you get back to the office, the second half of your day should see you refreshed, full of energy and crushing it.

Get some fresh air

There is nothing better than to completely leave the confines of your office and take a walk around the block. Not only will it take your mind temporarily away from what you’re working on, the physical activity will help energise you and shrug off any sluggishness. Whilst walking you may want to just focus on your breathing so that you that you can find another level of calm. Another favourite is to take a picnic rug with you to a local park and sit with your headphones on and your favourite tunes. The goal here is to get you into the real environment that includes fresh air and natural sunlight. These elements can have a huge impact on the rest of your day and will positively impact your productivity more than if you just stayed in front of your computer.

Get in the break routine

Even if all you can manage in your particular work environment is short little breaks from time to time, take them. Even use them to reward yourself throughout the day as something to look forward to. As soon as you finish the next segment of the big project you are working on, celebrate hitting that milestone with a short break. Some people like to work with countdown timers that alert them when a certain period of time is over. This practice helps you stick to the routine of breaks but it will also help you fit more into your day as you give task’s deadlines to these chunks of time. These repeated breaks will help enormously, even if all you do is get out of your chair and in the hallway for a few moments. The idea is to get away from your computer or desk just long enough to feel you’ve been gone from them. Bathroom breaks don’t count.

Get the first break early

One great way to boost your productivity is to have your first break of the day early in your work day. That can be something as simple as a coffee break at 10:00 AM. If you started work at 9:00 AM, you have an hour to accomplish something more than weeding through e-mails and Boom! Time for a break. It will give you great motivation each morning, especially on those Mondays that never seem to end. An early break will make that day seem shorter and if you add another short break at 3:00 PM, you can really bust up a day and still be fresh and productive.

There is nothing wrong with working hard at your business but in the long run if you overdo it you won’t be much fun to be around and your brain will turn to mush. To avoid this try giving your mind and body frequent breaks during the day. In the competitive world of business, you need the edge to stay competitive and your productivity will do that and if you do it right.

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Carl is the co-founder of www.baskpicnicrugs.com.au Bask, an Australian store that specialises in premium picnic rugs designed especially for the lifestyles of active, healthy Australians. Bask’s unique range of picnic blankets compliment their philosophy about the importance of getting outside and among nature more often.

Five Ways to Stabilise Your Small Business Income

Five Ways to Stabilise Your Small Business Income

It’s 2016 and the world around you is changing. More and more people are owning small businesses. The internet has progressed and evolved since its early days, and people are flooding to get their small businesses out there through websites and other platforms. For those of us who are current small business owners, it was not easy to get here. So many hurdles to jump, so many failures to overcome. But here we are and we plan to stay here so long our income continues to go up and not the other way. Stabilizing your small business income should be at the top of your list of important things to keep in mind. With the economy note yet on its feet, it’s best to focus your attention on this subject. In this article we will give you 5 ways to stabilize your small business income.

1. Track All Of Your Expenses

This one might seem like a simple one but creating a budget for literally everything is essential when running a small business. Make sure you are keeping an eye out on ALL of your accounts as your small business keeps growing. It’s as simple as gathering all receipts used throughout the day and making sure to either write down or put in the computer any and all payments coming in and out. Do not leave anything out; meals you eat on the go, gas used to get from one place to another, supplies bought at another location – it all adds up in the end. By not keeping up with all of the expenses, you end up not being able to create a reliable financial statement or conjure up correct reports on your tax returns.

2. Boost your SEO

SEO is important when wanting to up your revenue or attract more customers. SEO is not difficult and should often be updated to keep up a certain amount of traffic on your small business website. You’re going to wanna utilize keywords that are a bit closer to your niche and that have fewer competitors. The URLs you use be able to take your customers back to your main site and should also have indicators of the content on the same page, such as the page title. Also, you’re going to want to avoid using numbers or odd strings of text in your URLs – this is so that you do not lead people away from your page. And finally, every article you publish on your page should also be be accompanied by social share icons that lead to your small business’s Facebook page or Twitter account. In a sense, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

3. Learn To Separate Personal and Business Money

This applies to new and seasoned small business owners alike. It’s important always to keep business, and personal money separate. Try going with easy-to-use software, such as QuickBooks. Honestly, you don’t need to be an accounting expert to keep track of your income and expenses. However, if you know you won’t enter information into the computer software every once in awhile while it’s still fresh in your mind, you might want to get a simple cash book from the local supply store. Make sure to write all the money that comes in and all that goes out. You can end up with way too many financial headaches if you do not organize and optimize your financial records.

4. Stop The Habit Of Using Your Sales Tax Money

This one should come as no surprise to all small business owners. It will certainly cost you way more in future penalties, fees, interest, time and aggravation than obtaining some short term financing. The most reliable strategy is to discipline yourself to deposit all the sales tax money you gain each and every day into a separate bank account. Now, why do this you may ask; it’s simple; tax liabilities grow due to business owners using the tax money they collect and will gain working capital for their current operations

5. Don’t Forget To Pay Yourself The Right Amount And No More

It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s time for the weekend to begin. So like always, you pay yourself what you want and sometimes even take a little more out that you need for whatever weekend plans you might have. In the short run, this seems like an okay thing to do – but in the long term, this is just bankruptcy waiting to happen. Even when the business is thriving, it is important to continue to draw only YOUR salary. This is because the “down times” will be coming eventually through the natural business cycle of your small business. It’s not fun to leave the money in the firm during times of plenty, but it sure is nice to have those reserves when the company is struggling in future. So make sure only to grab what you need and leave the rest. It’ll surely help shortly.

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Joel House runs a leading Queensland based SEO Agency  – Black Shirt Marketing. When he is not growing businesses across Queensland, he has his head in books to ensure he is on the cutting edge of all things small business and digital marketing