Juggling the running of your own small business with everyday life commitments can be daunting. Between servicing clients and family or personal obligations, you may feel like days are flying by and you’re constantly catching up.
But every now and then, a small miracle happens: A call ends early, or something you thought would take an hour only required a fraction of the time, and behold – you find yourself with 15 minutes to spare.
15 minutes isn’t enough time to dive deep into any project, but it’s the perfect amount of time to do just one, small productive thing that can help take a bite out of your seemingly never-ending to-do list. So instead of wasting that precious time, here are 15 productive things you can do in just 15 minutes:
- Pay your bills.
Whether it’s through an app on your phone or through online banking, getting ahead on your bill payments can take a huge weight off your shoulders. We often schedule blocks of time to do our banking, but with today’s technology, banking can easily be done on the fly.
- Organize your digital desktop
A neat and tidy desktop will make your life easier down the road, potentially saving you hours of sifting through folders, searching for photos or documents. Come up with a system that you can easily keep up, and don’t be afraid to delete old junk you no longer need.
- Clear out your inbox
If you have hundreds of unread messages in your inbox, chances are a lot of that is spam or simply not important. Tackle spam by taking a few minutes to unsubscribe from mailing lists or adjusting your settings. Organize important emails into folders, and if it’s not important, delete it!
- Reconnect with a former client.
Send an email and catch up with a former client to see how they’re doing. Not only does this show your dedication and commitment to their long-term success, but it also creates an opportunity for you to ask if there’s anything you can help them with, opening the door for some potential new business.
- Tidy your workspace
Organization is good for the mind and soul. Take a moment to sort through those piles on your desk, throw out or recycle junk, and find a permanent home for knickknacks that are cluttering your workspace. Cleaning your technology screens takes just a moment, and makes your computer or smartphone feel brand new.
- Plan ahead
Without scheduling, simple tasks and important events can easily slip between the cracks. Updating your to-do lists, calendars and project plans can instantly make you feel more organized and productive.
- Send a thank you card
Write a thank you card to a new client or send a congratulations (business anniversary, birthday, milestone) card to an existing one. Everyone loves to receive mail that is not bills. Sending a quick note, via ‘snail mail’ not only shows that your care about the client’s business, but you are willing to go that extra step in showing that your customers are a priority.
- Get inspired
Read and learn from the success stories of other small business owners - their experience, struggles, and how they’ve succeeded. For quick inspiration, read some motivational quotes or browse through an Instagram profile that lifts your spirits.
- Recognize one of your employees
Employees are key to the success of your small business; yet sometimes we can get so caught up in busyness, we forget to show our appreciation. Send a nice email to a standout employee or team and thank them for their hard work. Not only does this demonstrate your appreciation as a leader, it can also help to boost employee morale and overall productivity in the workspace.
- Brush up on your facts
Do some quick research – there are countless stats at your fingertips, like The Lendified Index, that only take a moment to source and read. A quick google search can reveal what’s trending in your industry – you might stumble upon a great conversation piece to leverage with clients, colleagues or partners.
- Get Social (Online)
Update your social media status or respond to LinkedIn invites and find new industry peers to connect with. Keeping your social media updated and reaching out on LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected with your professional community online. A few minutes spent on social media can result in new business opportunities later on.
- Discover a new local small business
Instead of making that daily trip to your regular coffee chain, take 15 minutes to discover a new spot – opt to support a local, independent small business owner – chat with the people there and introduce yourself as a fellow business owner. You just might make a powerful new connection, or discover a new product you love.
- Listen to a PodCast
Many podcasts are as short as 15 minutes – but even longer broadcasts can be enjoyed in parts. For true productivity, try to find something that inspires you, is relevant to your business or educational in some way. Sit back, put in your ear buds and give your eyes a rest.
Adjust your posture, stretch your legs, and walk around the office. If your job has you sitting on a computer most of the workday, this can be critical for your wellbeing. Find an article or YouTube video on ergonomics and stretching in the workplace for ideas.
- Increase Your Cash flow
Yes, you read correctly! With online loans and alternative lending options like Lendified, applying for a small business loan now takes less than 15 minutes. This means that with no more than 15 minutes to spare, you can acquire the additional capital you need to invest in growth. We can’t think of a more productive way to spend 15 minutes of your time.