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6 productivity tips for new brands

2018-09-20

By: Kayla Matthews

The early stages of a brand's lifespan are crucial because it's during that time when it's usually easiest to set expectations and form habits, instead of attempting to do those things for an already established brand or company.

Related: Don't be busy, be productive—7 ways to use time more wisely

Productivity impacts how efficiently employees get things done, whether a brand's goals are met, and if teams can complete projects by deadline. Here are 6 tips to help new brands boost their productivity and increase the likelihood of their success.

1. Encourage employees to focus on one thing at a time

One of the typical characteristics of new brands is that staff members fulfill many roles that weren't part of their initial job descriptions. In other words, they become multitaskers. However, contrary to popular belief, multitasking makes people less productive than doing one task and finishing it before going on to the next one.

The American Psychological Association investigated and found when people attempt to do two things at once, their performance on both of them goes down. That's because the human brain isn't designed for multitasking.

A common productivity hack of successful CEOs is that they devote themselves to focused work instead of getting distracted by numerous unfinished tasks simultaneously. It's smart for the entire workforce associated with a brand to do the same.

2. Understand the power of setting firm boundaries

There's a common perception—especially at customer-facing brands—that being seen as busy is a good thing. It suggests the brand is thriving and in-demand if flurries of activity consistently characterize its offices.

However, being too busy can negatively impact productivity, especially if it means employees don't use their time wisely. When new brands set boundaries, whether interacting with clients or deciding how soon a new task can be accomplished, they'll find it easier to progress steadily toward task completion and not get overwhelmed.

Saying no is difficult for many people in today's society. They fear that by doing it, they'll make others regard them as unwilling to accept responsibility or work hard.

Research shows, though, that people find it easier to set boundaries by saying "I don't" instead of "I can't." The latter response suggests a person might want to do something, while the former indicates there's no room for debate.

When individuals associated with new brands initially get into the habit of effective boundary-setting, they'll likely feel that they're letting people down. However, firm boundaries boost productivity by ensuring brand representatives don't take on too much.

3. Don't urge workers to sacrifice sleep

Many people who assist with bringing new brands to profitability might only sleep a few hours per night. They justify it by telling themselves things like, "I'll get back to a healthier sleep schedule after we finish the logo design / once we can hire a full-time social media manager / as soon as we release that new product line," and so on.

What they don't realize is that a lack of sleep is probably making their productivity plummet by causing a lack of mental clarity, poor decision-making and other unwanted side effects. Scientists have also discovered that when people don't sleep, they have trouble regulating and processing emotions.

That could result in a problem where a new brand's company culture becomes full of tension, frustration and not enough thorough judgment. Plus, when people are deprived of sleep, they might have trouble even keeping their eyes open during meetings. That's definitely not the tone you want to set in the office.

4. Use some carefully chosen productivity tools

Some productivity tools encourage collaboration, while others block access to certain websites during work hours. Leadership might resist investing in some of them due to a desire to save money. Fortunately, various productivity tools have free options, allowing business owners and others to try them without paying.

Science shows that certain aspects of the workday or environment—such as superiors who constantly interrupt workers or meetings that are too long and frequent—could cut down people's productivity so much that they aren't to blame.

Rather, their employers or workplaces are the culprits. That's why it's useful to see which productivity tools could reduce interruptions or foster fluid collaboration that would make lengthy meetings less necessary.

For example, a brand templating platform can save your team hours of time by providing brand-approved templates for every kind of marketing collateral. Teams can collaborate on designs and submit them to management for approval. Rather than waiting weeks to get creative work back, everyone has what they need, right when they need it.

5. Don't waste too much time studying competitors

New brands often get bogged down by paying attention to competitors' actions. That may seem like a smart thing to do, especially if the competitors are significantly more successful than the newer brand. However, finding success when launching a new brand requires paying attention to the target audience and what they want.

Customers appreciate when brands understand their needs and aim to cater to them. It's impossible to do those things without getting acquainted with a target audience first.

In one study, 80% of respondents said brands hadn't ever communicated with them in ways that were too invasive or personalized. So, instead of getting hyper-focused on other members of the marketplace, new brands should be using their resources to get to know their clients.

6. Consider setting "quiet hours"

Most workplaces feature an assortment of sounds—ringing phones, chatter and people typing on keyboards—that eliminates the potential for anything close to silence. As established earlier, people perform their best work when they're focused on one thing at a time... but noisy workplaces prevent that from happening.

Some companies have established quiet hours intended to increase productivity. During those periods, people cannot send or receive emails. They don't get or make phone calls during quiet hours, either.

There may be instances where it's not feasible to stick rigidly to the rules, especially if a person requires email and phone communications to complete a project. When those occasions arise, it's useful to set aside a particular place for individuals to go—such as an unused meeting room—to take care of activities that cause noise.

Scientists know silence gives the brain a break, and that people subjected to environments with lots of noise are often more stressed than those who are in quieter places.

Depending on what a brand needs to get done, scheduled blocks of silence could help everyone buckle down and accomplish things, then feel refreshed when the noise level in the office returns to its usual din.

Key takeaway: Practice productivity from the start

A brand's performance could depend on some of the longest-standing principles the company sets in the beginning. Regardless of the industry, productivity is a necessary ingredient for ongoing competitiveness and prosperity.

It's better for leaders and their employees to adopt solid productivity habits every day than to form bad habits and try breaking them later.

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Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a branding and marketing writer whose work has appeared on Marketing Dive, Contently, Inc.com and PR Newswire. To read more about Kayla's latest projects, visit her About.Me page.

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