We’ve almost rolled halfway through 2010 and chances are, many of those changes you were thinking of making to your business may not have been accomplished as originally planned.  If I’m correct, and I think I am, maybe it’s time for a ‘productivity check-up.’

I can already see the roll of your eyes as you imagine yet another uninteresting article, telling you how to simplify, and how to break down uninteresting tasks into manageable tidbits that you still won’t enjoy.

I promise, that’s not the case. This productivity check-up will actually help you to quickly recognize where your time hogging tasks are. By doing so, you’ll be able to change or adjust the way you complete your tasks, and ultimately create more time to check your fantasy baseball stats…err, I mean, to engage in more productive business duties.

Example…I am aware of a local sign business who writes each of their invoices by hand. This task generally takes the owner a good deal of time every Sunday. It’s a task he dreads. What is the reason for the hand written bills? A lack of computers? No, surprisingly it is only because the owner refuses to  stop his regular daily grind long enough to install the necessary software. Sound silly? Maybe, but numerous businesses continue to put off unfamiliar tasks for fear of risking the work momentum.

So, how do we break the unhealthy cycle of defeat? Start by making a list of all the basic things you spend time on during your day. Be sure to include weekly tasks, such as writing invoices by hand.

Now call your spouse or business partner into the room and take a look at your tasks with an extremely critical eye. Is there anything that you do, that could be streamlined? Just as a bit of help, here’s a list of the most common time sucks, along with ways to complete these tasks efficiently.

  • LARGE FILES:  Whether you are trying to store them or share them, large files can become quite a hassle. Do you find yourself repeatedly trying to email or reduce the size of a file? This can take blocks of time out of your work day. MyDocsOnline allows you to store large files in a safe, organized fashion, and seamlessly share them with your clients and colleagues. We can’t help you with poor filing skills, but we will keep them safe.
  • INVOICING HEADACHES? Freshbooks has excellent time tracking tools for the small business owner or the freelancer on the go. Freshbooks creates professional invoices that can conveniently be branded with your business logo.
  • EVENT AND APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING: If you’re still playing phone and email tag with clients or groups of individuals, trying to come up with mutually compatible meeting times, come on out of the dark ages. Doodle is an easy and convenient scheduler that practically makes your appointments for you. Compatible with your Google calendar, Facebook, your mobile phone, and more…You’ll have your appointments and meetings neatly scheduled while you spend time on more important business tasks.

Okay that’s your first three helpers. We’re taking baby steps. Each one of these changes is painless and extremely ‘time management’ approved!

They are without complicated software downloads and can be used immediately. By making them part of your business toolbox, you’ll save countless hours of ‘time hogging’ tasks. What a great way to start your week!