This is a guest post written by Jon Mailer, CEO of PROTRADE United.


If you are looking to improve your business’ productivity, efficiencies, and ultimately profitability, then there is no better place to start than with yourself.

A business or team is a reflection of its owner or leader, and this ripples outward from within. We will address shortly some methods to improve business and team productivity. However, it starts with you.

Clarity precedes mastery and if you want to master this area, or continue to improve every day, it is important that you are clear on what a productive life and business is for yourself.

How can productivity be this simple?

  1. Work out exactly what you want to accomplish in both your business and life
  2. Stop doing anything and everything that is not aligned with accomplishing this

The reality is, it is this simple. If you were to look at how you spend every minute of every day, for a week, you may be amazed on how little you spent focusing on what matters most.

Below are some ideas on how to improve your own productivity and lead by example to ensure that your team and your business goes along with you.

1) Weekly time audit

You cannot manage what you do not measure. The simplest way to look at how effective you are is for one whole week itemise how you spend each 15-minute block of time, each day, from the time that you wake up in the morning until the time you go to bed. Given that a large amount of this time will be focused on work activities, ensure you are specific in writing down what work activities you are working on during the workday. After seven days look back and allocate your time usage into four categories:

  1. Urgent – putting out fires
  2. Important – working on the business/life
  3. Non-essential – distractions, interruptions, etc.
  4. Waste

You may be surprised at what shows up in your audit and the category in which it falls into.

2) Clarity of Outcomes

Amongst the whirlwind that is doing the day job of what your business is paid to do, be clear about the number one priority. That is to move your team or your business forward over the next 90 days. After this you must allocate a certain block of time each and every day during the week that focuses on moving this area of the business forward. I am adamant that you can transform, or shift, the results of any area your business is producing within 90 days with this intense focus.

3) Detonate the distractions.

It amazes me how otherwise intelligent people do stupid things. If you were to learn that you had a terminal illness and you only had 90 days to live, I guarantee that the way in which you chose to invest your time would shift significantly.

Stop doing the things that are not adding value to your life and revaluate those that you think are adding value to your life immediately! This will help ensure your what you do with your time is valued to assist in achieving your outcomes.

For example, go on a social media and TV fast for one month, and look at how much time you are able to gain back.

4) Measure your team’s effectiveness.

If you have employees that are out onsite generating income for your business, it is important that you track how many of their hours every week are actually billable to the customer. Ensure that you are heading close to 90% of the hours that you pay someone to be allocated towards a customer or a job.

Your team in the office is there to support the people out onsite generating the income. They are either there to help the people who win the work to win more work, or the people doing the work, to do more of the work with less interruptions.

5) Review.

Take time every day and every week to review your team and your own productivity. Ask yourself questions such as;

What worked?

What didn’t work so well

What is you learning that you can apply into tomorrow and next week? Time management, or self-management, is something that you really never master yet continue to work on to become the most productive and effective individual in your business that you know.

Improving productivity in your trade business

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