How to Be More Productive | NPI Franchise Blog


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Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


How to Be More Productive

 January 9, 2024 |  Business Tips |  small-business, business-growth, motivation, time management

By Michael Trimble, NPI, Inc.'s Content Marketing Coordinator

If you’re anything like me, at the beginning of every year you tend to make a lot of resolutions for the new year. Eat better, get more sleep, read more books, and hit the gym - the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year are usually pretty ambitious and widespread. Unfortunately, I have to admit that my track record of seeing those resolutions through to the end of the year tends to not be so great. Too often, other responsibilities pile up, new tasks or interests take priority, and I find myself feeling not all that productive around December 31st.

In the workplace, most people would jump at the opportunity to accomplish a bit more each day, and depending on your industry, finding ways to push more projects across the finish line can be the key to taking your business to the next level. To discover some of the best strategies and tips to improve productivity this year, I decided to poll the NPI Corporate Office for their best advice!

Make a List, and Check It Twice
Recommended by Celeste Black-Harr, Recruitment Coordinator
When speaking with Celeste, one of our fantastic recruitment coordinators, she talked about making lists of daily tasks at the beginning of each day. She said that visualizing her goals through a physical list, then crossing tasks off as she accomplishes them is a great motivating exercise. Celeste even recommends adding new tasks that come up unexpectedly throughout the day to the list just for the satisfaction of crossing off more things!

As it turns out, lists can be more than just a motivation tool. According to an article by Sean Grover L.C.S.W. over a Psychology Today, lists are proven to be therapeutic, boost self-esteem, and reduce anxiety. Whether you’re working on getting more organized or you suspect you’re more productive than you think, incorporate to-do lists into your daily schedule this year! Thanks for the tip, Celeste.

Take Breaks and Drink Coffee
Recommended by Melisa Rana, Graphic Designer
Melisa, our talented graphic designer, echoed the value of lists in improving her own productivity, though she mentioned using an online project manager called Notion that helps her sort between urgent projects, upcoming projects, backlog projects, and projects “under review.” Beyond lists? Melisa recommends coffee.

Along with getting enough sleep and eating something for breakfast every day, Melisa stresses the importance of good mental and physical health. Some days are more productive than others, and sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break. No one should beat themselves up if they feel they aren’t getting quite as much done as they’d like every day.

I think these are definitely wise points to bring up - thank you, Melisa! While finding new ways to improve productivity can be great, it’s important not to take things too far. Overstressing yourself is certainly a trap that people easily find themselves caught in. If the problem you’re dealing with is burnout, here are a few tips to try out!

Try The Pomodoro Method
Recommended by Stepha Vesper, Senior Communications Strategist
When thinking of specific strategies to try out for improving productivity, Stepha Vesper (our email marketing, social media marketing, and most-everything-else marketing expert) recommended a technique known as “The Pomodoro Technique.” She described the strategy like this:

  • Step 1: Set a timer for 25 minutes and work without interruptions or distractions for the duration of the timer.
  • Step 2: When the timer goes off, take a 5 minute break.
  • Repeat!

These “sprints” of intense focus are supposed to be easier to handle knowing that there is always a reprieve within sight. While there are handy tools freely available (like this nifty timer), anyone can do the Pomodoro Technique just using their phone timer. Even the 25 min./5 min. ratio can be customized to your liking! This strategy sounds like a great way to tackle a massive project that’s been proven a bit more difficult than expected. Thanks for this great tool, Stepha!

Get Organized and Use a Planner
Recommended by Zach Vesper, Senior SEO & Marketing Strategist and Sydney Bailey, Marketing Director
Almost everyone that I spoke to at the NPI Corporate Office stressed the importance of organization in some way when asked about how to improve productivity at work, but when speaking with our SEO expert, Zach, he emphasized this point above everything else. As someone who tends to juggle a lot of different projects simultaneously, Zach said that he always makes sure to sort through ongoing tasks in order to prioritize each item based on time sensitivity and urgency.

While reorganizing and reprioritizing tasks can feel like adding yet another item to the to-do list, mapping things out and creating a game plan is crucial in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that need to be done. In the same vein, our marketing director Sydney Bailey brought up how much she appreciates her planner for the same purposes. For more ideas on how to get organized as a small business owner, read more here!

Embrace the Competition
Recommended by Chris Bates, Vice President, Sales & Development
Our VP Chris Bates has tons of experience within our industry, so when I asked him for his best tips to improve productivity, I wasn’t necessarily surprised to hear how much competition motivates him. While recognizing that this might not be the best idea for everyone, Chris pointed out how effective a competitive mindset is when it comes to hitting goals, then pushing yourself to tackle new hurdles. For business owners who work in a competitive market, consider a new outlook and look to your direct peers as a measuring stick! Read more here on how to effectively perform a competitive analysis!

Chris also pointed out how important it was to get adequate sleep, and also advised following a daily workout routine. For additional motivation, Chris also mentioned the notion of legacy: building for the next generation, and carrying on what the previous generation started. As the son of our founder, Chris said that continuing the business that his father created is a big inspiration that pushes him to accomplish more every single day. Thank you for sharing your insights, Chris!

Learn to Delegate and Don’t be Paralyzed by Perfection
Recommended by David Stamper, President & Chief Financial Officer
Lastly, I decided to finish up by asking our president David Stamper his thoughts on improving productivity. When thinking on this topic, he mentioned a quote he once heard that goes something like this: “50 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing.” Many people battle with being a perfectionist, when they should really be thinking about the minimum viable product. In other words, start out with something, then get feedback, ask forgiveness, and improve on that product as needed.

Another point that David hit on was the importance of delegation for managers and business owners. Small business owners tend to keep their plates too full, even when they have a capable team willing to shoulder some of the load. Understanding your team’s strengths and giving them responsibilities that fit those strengths is the key to delegating well and getting your business to grow. Learn more about delegating right here!

Thanks again to everyone at the NPI Corporate Office for sharing your strategies, tips, and insights on improving productivity!

Interested in learning more about the NPI team and how you can benefit from franchising with National Property Inspections? Request your free info packet today!


About the Author
Michael Trimble, Content Marketing Coordinator
A graduate of the University of South Dakota, Michael has a B.A. in International Studies and English. With a background in research and writing, Michael contributes to NPI’s corporate marketing team as a copywriter and content strategist.

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