Sub Total
Excluding delivery and voucher code discounts.
Go to basket

Free Delivery on all orders to UK mainland within 3 working days.

HP Tech@Work
Today's trends for tomorrow's business
10 Best Productivity Hacks for Small Business Owners

10 Best Productivity Hacks for Small Business Owners

Tom Gerencer
Efficiency makes or breaks a business, but too much time management advice goes nowhere. That’s why we’ve collected the 10 best research-backed productivity hacks for small business owners. We’ll give you a real insight into ways to make the most of the precious resource known as time.
These efficiency hacks focus on growing passion, delegating smarter, and choosing goals that ramp up your efficiency. You’ll also find out why some kinds of work breaks are better than others, and why tracking your time can be a great first step.

1. It’s all about the passion

What can 7 billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, 239 entrepreneurs, and 29 straight-A students teach you about productivity? New York Times best-selling author Kevin Kruse interviewed all those high-flying individuals and found a common theme: passion.
“If you’re passionate,” says Kruse, “you’ve got a furnace inside.” That means when a spare couple of minutes pop up, you’ll use them to get one inch closer to your goals, instead of doom-scrolling the news or watching cat videos on Facebook.
Those little minutes add up. Get your team engaged, too, by putting them in charge of their own workflows. They’ll get more done and, with less time spent hand-holding them, you will, too.

2. Hire a virtual assistant

There’s a good reason virtual assistants (VAs) keep gaining in popularity: they work. In a small business, work arrives in feast-or-famine surges, and if you hire for the peaks, you’ll starve through the valleys.
A top-notch VA is one of the best office productivity hacks on the planet. They can be your digital right hand, taking all the non-value-added but necessary chores off your plate.
Hire one for a few hours per week, and you’ll find a growing avalanche of unskilled tasks to give to them. The light bulb will click on it. “How did I ever get things done before? These little things were eating all my time!”
To find a good VA you can rely on, we don’t suggest the job-posting route. Instead, think of someone you like, or post in your networking group or on Facebook VA groups. You can even look on Fiverr. Ask for references so you find the right fit.
First, use your VA to triage calls and emails, handle incoming and outgoing invoices, and take care of small, repetitive tasks that don’t add obvious value to your customers. Since you pay by the hour for contract labour, you can scale up or down depending on your workload.

3. Set SMART goals

The first of our small business productivity hacks was all about passion. You can build passion by setting smarter goals, and fewer goals overall.
What are SMART goals? It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Motivating smart goals can top up your passion tank. Then, cut out those tasks that don’t fit your goals. Warren Buffett famously has an “avoid at all costs" list. He lets himself have five goals at a time, but everything else goes to the avoid list.
When you set just a few engaging goals, they stay top-of-mind and they’ll keep bugging you to act on them. That can give you access to the flywheel effect. Like a giant, heavy flywheel at rest, it’s hard to make an impact in moving it at first. But as you keep throwing your shoulder into the same few goals, your momentum will pick up. Soon, as it gains speed, nothing will stop it.

4. Delegate more

My day just died the death of a thousand cuts.” The little things – the ten thousand things of Taoism – pop up all day long to keep us from getting work done. This is even more true when working from home since you now have the added distraction of house chores and kids along with business emails and reminders flashing across your screen to derail your concentration.
Delegation puts your skills back where they can do the most good. It frees you up to plan and organize, and it develops employees into a force for efficiency. It keeps you focused on your goals. It creates trust and communication, and it unearths star employees who may have struggled in your shade.
Delegation goes beyond the VA level in Step #2. You can delegate higher-level responsibilities to stakeholders outside your small business or to your employees. Start by sharing the reason for the task, getting a commitment, and saying “yes” only to add on tasks you know you can farm out. Just can’t bring yourself to delegate? Join the club, then join a delegation training from the AMA.

5. Stop multitasking

I’m getting ten things done at once!” Actually, you’re probably not. That’s why focusing on one task at a time is on our list of personal productivity hacks. Doing more tasks simultaneously means getting less done. In fact, multitasking is the opposite of setting a few SMART goals and building passion through them. It lets your passion leak out through many tiny holes.
Worse, multitasking overloads your executive function. The word “multitasking” comes from early computers in the 1960s, when engineers realized machines could process more than one task per second. While modern computers like the HP Elite Dragonfly notebook can easily handle several tasks at once, people aren’t machines.
We have one “core” that can only do one job well at a time. Change to a different chore, and there’s some neural housekeeping to do. That takes time. Switch tasks many times and soon your brain spends more energy on switching than on getting those tasks done. So, to accomplish more, do less, but focus like a laser.

6. Take recharge breaks

That fuzzy-brained feeling after hours of solid work without a break is telling you something. Sustained focus exhausts your brain and saps your productivity.
Interestingly enough, when a deadline looms and you feel like you don’t have time to take a break, that’s exactly when you need one. Breaks can help you think more clearly, become more efficient and effective, and even make you better at teamwork. But not all breaks are equal.
  • An exercise break like a walk or run, or ten minutes of Thera-Band exercises or callisthenics activity can make you more effective. Getting your body out of your office chair can trigger the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that boosts your cognitive muscle.
  • A 20-minute mid-day nap can reset your brain and allow you to refocus on your most important tasks.
  • A 20-minute meditation break can give your prefrontal cortex a boost. That’s the part of your brain that helps you make decisions, focus, plan, and discipline yourself. In short, it’s your productivity engine.
To zap procrastination, try using meditation, rest, or exercise to boost your ability to strategize and stay on task.

7. Work in short bursts

Along with regular breaks, short sprints of work are great productivity hacks for small business owners. The jury’s still out on how short these bursts should be, but most experts say to work in blocks of 2 hours, 90 minutes, or even 25 minutes.
While research shows that attention span is tied more to interest in our task at hand than a time period, many of us are easily distracted by devices, notifications, and other intrusions into our concentration. To combat this, determine your uninterrupted time allotment, then commit to focused work for that block of time, knowing that you have an upcoming break to grab a snack, check email, or make a phone call.
To give it a try, work 25 minutes with a 5-minute break. Then after four cycles, take a longer 15-minute break. There are some good apps to help you through, but make sure to silence your notifications.

8. Use calendars and lists strategically

What’s better, a to-do list or a calendar? Time management guru Kevin Kruse and his crowd of billionaires and Olympians say calendars. His deep research shows we do what we schedule, while our to-do lists just cause stress as they get longer. That’s why one of his best corporate life hacks is ditching the list.
But other experts say it’s fine to have both lists and calendars.
  • Start with your SMART goals
  • Break them into action items
  • Put these in your calendar
  • As you start each week, make a list of what you’d like to do each day
  • Every morning, make a list for the day
  • Keep a little list of tiny tasks you're working on right now
Fight to keep things off the list that don’t serve your calendar and goals.

9. Track your time

Where does your time go? Do you know? You may assume that time management is about doing things more efficiently. The real ROI comes from learning where you already spend your time, according to management guru Peter F. Drucker. About 70% of us don’t track our time, but it’s the best way to see if you’re creating value or creating waste.
The idea isn’t to shame yourself, but to use the power of “what gets measured gets improved.” Get into the habit of time-tracking, and you’ll naturally gravitate toward value-added activities. If you’re not sure how to start, try a simple spreadsheet you update every hour, or you may prefer to use an app.

10. Use apps

Time management apps simply work.
  • Use Trello for a nice small business productivity hack to keep small teams on the path
  • Consider using Jira for larger teams
  • Slack saves a ton of time on emails, letting you manage multiple teams without wondering where the original thread went
  • Some managers swear by Pomodoro apps
Also, platforms like Google Drive can make you more productive, and you can supersize their power with simple office productivity hacks. For instance, use bookmark folders in Google Chrome or other browsers to keep groups of sites and pages you often visit together. Then right-click the folder’s icon in the browser bar to open the entire group together.
For more great time-saving apps, see our article on the best productivity apps on the web.


This list of the best productivity hacks for small businesses offers strategies to get more done with your most precious resource – time. Ramp up your passion, hire a virtual assistant, and work toward fewer goals with less distraction.
Work in short bursts with strategic, mind-enhancing breaks, and track your time to leverage the power of simple metrics. You’ll soon be wondering how you ever got anything done before.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.


Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See

“Best All In One Printer” and “the easiest printer you’ve ever had to set up” from Wirecutter. ©2020 The Wirecutter, Inc.. All rights reserved. Used under license.

Get Marvel’s Avengers when you purchase HP gaming PCs with qualifying 9th gen or 10th gen Intel® Core™ i5, i7 and i9 processors. Redemption code will be sent out by email within 60 days of purchase. Limited quantities and while supply lasts. Offer valid thru 12/31/2020 only while supplies last. We reserve the right to replace titles in the offer for ones of equal or greater value. Certain titles may not be available to all consumers because of age restrictions. The Offer may be changed, cancelled, or suspended at any time, for any reason, without notice, at Intel’s reasonable discretion if its fairness or integrity affected whether due to human or technical error. The Offer sponsor is Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA. To participate you must create an Intel Digital Hub Account, purchase a qualifying product during the redemption period, enter a valid Master Key, and respond to a brief survey. Information you submit is collected, stored, processed, and used on servers in the USA. For more information on offer details, eligibility, restrictions, and our privacy policy, visit

© 2020 MARVEL. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

The personal information you provide will be used according to the HP Privacy Statement (