Productivity tips for small businesses


We’ve never spoke to a small business owner who wasn’t incredibly busy – it unfortunately comes with the territory. Your to-do list is a mile long and there are never enough hours in the day. But small changes can make a big difference. We asked our community of small businesses for some tips and techniques for how they manage their time and become more productive. Here are some examples of what works for them.

Time management techniques

How do you prioritise tasks, minimise distractions, and make every minute count? Different things work for different people. We recommend trying out a few different things and see what works for you. Here are a few to try!

  • Pomodoro technique: Break your work into intervals, typically 25 minutes each, separated by short breaks. This helps maintain focus and prevent burnout.
  • Time blocking: Allocate specific time blocks for different tasks or categories of work. This creates structure and prevents task overlap, increasing efficiency. For example, block off every Tuesday morning for social media content development, so it’s not following you around all week.
  • Eat the frog: Start your day by tackling your most challenging or important task—the “frog.” By prioritising difficult tasks early, you set a productive tone for the rest of the day. For example, let’s say you hate financial management, do this first thing in the morning so you get it out of the way.

Project management tools

For some of us, pen and paper (or Post-its!) is the way to go when managing projects and tasks. But when you have complex, longer-term initiatives in play, or need to collaborate and communicate with others, digital project management tools can be a game changer. A good place to start is the Action Plan tool on Digital Boost. This allows you to capture tasks, track progress, and share actions with your mentors. Check it out on your dashboard.

If you have more complex needs, there are also lots of online tools available – most with free versions. Again, we’d recommend you try some out and see what works for you. Some popular options include:

  • Trello: A visual collaboration tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to organise projects and tasks. Offers a lot of flexibility and is very user friendly.
  • Asana: A versatile project management tool that allows you to create tasks, set deadlines, assign responsibilities, and track progress—all in one place.
  • A centralised project tracking system to enables tracking, communication, and collaboration. Good for slightly larger teams or more complex projects

Automation tools

Think about those tasks that you need to do all the time – they’re often boring and time consuming. Could digital tools help you to automate them and save time? This might sound daunting but most of these systems are actually easy to use, and can be cost effective, given the time you’ll save. Here at Digital Boost, we use automation to help us with many repetitive tasks including:

  • Financial management: Accounting software like Sage or Xero can help you save time on invoice generation, payment reminders, cash flows, and financial reporting.
  • Email marketing: Platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact can help you more efficiently manage lists, run campaigns and personalise communications.
  • Social media management: Social media may feel like it never ends – you’re always having to create content and post. Social media tools can make this easier by allowing you to schedule posts, track engagement, and analyse performance across multiple platforms.

Small changes can make a big difference

It might sound counter-intuitive, but often the best thing you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed and out of time, is to stop. Take a pause and think about how you could work better. That’s where productivity techniques and tools can help.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to a Digital Boost business mentor – they can share their experience, help you weigh up different options, and give you tips for implementing systems and software that could save you time, hassle and money.

What are your favourite productivity tips? We’d love to know.

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