Time is money, especially for business owners. If you can’t stay on top of all your business projects and company day-to-day operations, you stand to lose potential profits and your business growth suffers. This is why maximizing productivity, the ability to get as many things done as you can in a short period of time, should be a top priority for businesses. How can you do so even if your business is small and has limited human resources? Read on for some tips to maximize business productivity.

1. Plan each day the night before

Heard of the saying “the early bird gets the worm”? Forget that. Productive people don’t start their days early in the morning, they plan and strategize how to optimize each day the night before. Such a habit isn’t difficult to cultivate. You can start with simple things like choosing which work clothes to wear tomorrow, checking tomorrow’s weather and traffic forecast, and deciding what breakfast to eat to save time. Then, you can graduate to creating a daily to-do list at work. After you are confident with a daily task list, create internal deadlines for weekly assignments and monthly or quarterly targets. If you have a lot to do, learn to prioritize – especially if your business has many sudden or unforeseen projects thrown at it.

Better time management requires time for trial and error. You will start out overestimating or underestimating how much you can do in a day, a week, a month, and so on. But do it consistently and the habit will be formed. Smart planning will make you calmer and feel more prepared, no matter how busy your schedule is.

2. Live a healthy life

This may sound very basic, but unfortunately, not many business owners truly pay attention to it. Perhaps because work-life balance is, in reality, very difficult to harmonize.

We all want to work hard to scale our businesses, but pushing too hard will cause burnouts – and your business performance will suffer in the long term. When that happens, you won’t be productive at all. So take some time each day to do something you like, maybe take half an hour to read a novel or watch an episode of your favorite TV show. Cultivate good nutrition and sleeping habits. Encourage your team to maintain healthy habits as well.

3. Don’t be so reactive

This scenario happens often: an email notification pops up on your laptop screen while you were diligently working on your task. Many of us will stop working halfway to open the email. Please don’t. Doing so will only split your focus away from your main task. When you finally go back to your job, you have to recollect your concentration and pick up where you left off. It’s an unnecessary waste of time. Remember that not every email or message needs to be answered right away. Focus on your priorities.

4. Empower your team

When building a business, remember that everyone is required to bring their A game to the table. Learn to trust their expertise and don’t fall into the trap of doing everything yourself. If you can’t delegate properly, you’ll actually end up slowing everyone else down. Give your employees access to the information they need to work efficiently – don’t make them waste precious time hunting around for needed details.

Working hard is, no doubt, the most important method to achieve success. But it is just as important to work smart. It is the recipe to maximize business productivity without creating burnout.

Business productivity is only one element of building a stable, healthy business. Unsure if your business is well-managed? Read “How Healthy Is Your Small Business? 5 Signs to Look For”