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Productivity tips from Australian small business owner, Corrie McLeod

Corrie McLeod of espresso Communications with some productivity insights
Espresso Communications founder Corrie McLeod opened her Sydney consultancy in 2004. Twelve years on, she heads a team of 14 consultants. Espresso’s clients include more than 20 high tech vendors and organisations.

Espresso Communications is a full-service communications agency that specialises in media and influencer outreach, strategy development and content production, representing clients across consumer, corporate, technology, digital and sustainability practices.

So what tricks to increase productivity and minimise downtime has Corrie learnt along the way? Here are her top tips for getting more done, in less time.

Do what you’re good at

There are 101 tasks involved in running a business. Outsource or delegate the ones you’re not good at, Corrie advises.

“While it might seem more expensive initially, it leaves more time to focus on the stuff you are good at,” Corrie says.

“This increases productivity hugely. I have someone who helps out when it comes to scheduling my time, and someone who attends to all the bills and numbers. That creates so much more time for me to work on areas where I can add value.”

Tackle tough jobs first

Most of us work better in the AM. Tackling the toughest jobs on your ‘To Do’ list before lunch can mean finishing the day further in front.

“I always try to look at my day and work out what the big chunky things are, then focus on them when I’m fresh,” Corrie says.

“Look at what’s most difficult and get stuck in. The afternoon is when I can look at stuff that’s a bit piecemeal.”

Early morning emails

Getting up early and spending half an hour dealing with emails can get the day off to a flying start. Tasks that require attention to detail are best done when you have time to think and concentrate.

“I do it before I leave the house in the morning, while the kids are still asleep,” Corrie says.

“It’s about delegating the day, letting people know what I’ll be doing and checking whether staff need help to get their day done. It helps me get into the office feeling like the machine is working before I’ve sat down at my desk.”

Minimise travel

Capital city living can mean long commutes for many small business owners. Living and working in the same suburb gives Corrie an extra 10 or 12 hours a week to spend on what matters.

“We’re happy to do the trade-off of living in a smaller place so I can put in less hours in the office and on the road,” she says. “I try to work hard from 9 to 5. That means I feel good about my work life, and good about the time I spend with my kids too.”

Get the team together

Holding regular team get-togethers is the most efficient way to ensure staff are kept up to speed with what’s going on. This enables business owners to ensure customer service is kept at a high standard and that staff are made to feel part of a team.

“Often you feel like you tell everyone a lot of stuff,” McLeod says.

“The reality is, you might feel you’ve said something a lot of times but you’ve actually said it to lots of different people. A Monday meeting gets everyone on the same page quickly.”

Forget perfection

Perfectionism and productivity don’t go hand in hand. Do a good job and move on or you’ll find yourself bogged down.

“You just don’t get where you need to go if you can’t let go of things,” Corrie says.

“If you get stuck over perfection you can’t move things through in the way you need to if you’re going to drive a company forward.”

If you’re a business owner and need funds to grow, Prospa may be able to help you with a small business loan. Call us on 1300 882 867 and one of our friendly team will answer any questions you may have.


The information in this post is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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