As an entrepreneur, one needs to wear a lot of hats and meet a zillion deadlines. You may have to juggle a plethora of tasks at once, whether it is taking care of the day-to-day operations or working on long-term strategies. With so much on your plate, you may find it difficult to maintain your calm and sanity.
The harsh reality is that your to-do list will probably witness a sharp incline with each passing day. The key to reducing exhaustion is to spend your time productively. With the right strategies in place, you can tackle all the tasks on your list effectively.
“One of my hacks is that every Wednesday is my work-from-home day,” says HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan. This productivity hack helps him bolster his efficiency.
Several other successful entrepreneurs like Brian Halligan follow certain tips and tricks in order to make the most of their limited time and be more productive.
Here are a few productivity-enhancing tips that can help you stay on the top of your game.
#1 Focus on the Most Important Tasks
You may have to deal with a thousand things on your list on a daily basis. But, achieving all of them in a single day may not be feasible. Instead, it is better to focus on the prominent tasks of the day without getting distracted until you finish them.
According to Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com, pick one thing and do only that and do it better than anyone else ever could. Focussing strictly on the top priorities can help you give an edge over an average business person and enable you to become successful. Being an expert in a field requires unwavering focus and consistent effort, which comes from deliberate practices conducted at specific times over and over again.
Remember, multitasking is a strict no-no. Your brain requires a certain amount of lag time to get back up to speed every time you switch between priorities. It is, therefore, crucial that you work on a single task at a time and give it your best shot.
More importantly, be extremely selective about expending your energy on the varied tasks. You don’t want to waste your time or energy on trivial matters, which is why you should consider delegating them. Strong businesses aren’t built on a single individual’s talent but on team effort. Moreover, you don’t need to overburden yourself by taking all the responsibilities on your shoulders. Delegating tasks effectively will help you focus on more strategic tasks.
#2 Be Physically Active
Did you know that engaging in regular physical activity can help you become a better entrepreneur?
Being physically active can skyrocket your productivity levels, thereby resulting in increased output. This, in turn, can further improve the health of your business.
Taking intermittent breaks throughout the day helps recharge your brain as well as your physical and emotional capacities that allow you to keep focusing. Apart from this, regular physical activity can lead to increased cognitive function, reduced stress, and better decision-making.
Lack of physical activity, on the other hand, can lead to the depletion of your energy by the mid of the day, making you feel more stressed out.
#3 Use Your Mornings to Seize the Day
Your morning habits can make or break your day. Getting out of bed early in the morning may seem like a pain. However, doing so can help you pursue your goals by bolstering your productivity.
Early risers such as Jack Dorsey and Indra Nooyi can be your ultimate inspiration. Practicing good morning rituals such as meditation, exercise, or a gratitude session will get your work done effectively.
Remember the rule of thumb: the way you begin your day will have an impact on the rest of your day. So, ensure to kick-start your day with good habits and by being in the right frame of mind.
#4 Don’t Be a Slave to Your Emails
So, as soon as you hear the sound of a new inbound email, all you want to do is respond to it!
If that’s the case, you need to work on this issue right away. Not only does doing so result in wastage of time, but it also affects your productivity in a huge manner. You can prevent this from happening by not letting emails distract you from accomplishing your objectives. Instead, consider scheduling time for email checks.
This also applies to social media and other similar distractions. According to Gloria Mark, an assistant professor, Department of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, it takes an average of 25 minutes to recover from trivial interruptions. You can prevent these interruptions from getting in the way of important tasks by planning your day and compartmentalizing tasks well in advance.
Focus is a Mac app, a brilliant tool that can help you focus on important tasks by temporarily blocking social media. If you’re someone who gets distracted easily, then this tool can act as a true saviour.
#5 Make the Most of Technology
Taking on more than what you’re capable of accomplishing can be one of the biggest drains on productivity. But with technology by your side, you can finish all your tasks effectively.
There are a dozen tools that can aid you in improving your productivity. For instance, you can use Dropbox to store files online, AnyMeeting to host a webinar, Trello for keeping track of projects, deadlines, and other minute details, and Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your social media postings.
#6 Adopt Agile Techniques and Use Checklists
Wondering what can help you manage humongous projects at work effectively?
Enter agile techniques.
Tackling big projects may seem intimidating. But, incorporating agile techniques in these projects can help you manage them effectively by breaking tasks into shorter sprints. Further, it can help reduce your anxiety associated with handling bigger tasks.
There’s nothing as effective as checklists when it comes to keeping track of your progress. With a sea of tasks to complete on one hand and time constraint on the other, you can easily feel worked up. Consider using a mind mapping tool such as MindMeister as that can help organize your thoughts into actionable lists of tasks.
Pivotal Tracker is another tool that allows one to track task lists. It forces you to prioritize your to-do list. If you keep the list current, you will always be kept updated of your most important task.
#7 Take Breaks Frequently
If your days at work involve conducting meeting-after-meeting, you need to change that right away. While you may consider that to be an effective way of dealing with important matters, you might end up feeling drained and losing focus quickly.
It is, therefore, important to take frequent breaks. Give yourself some downtime. You’ll feel refreshed when you return to work. Moreover, this will also aid in eliminating the mental fog that often inhibits productivity. This way you’ll be able to tackle all your tasks in a far better manner.
Running a business is no walk in the park. No one wants to be a procrastinating slacker. However, by optimizing a few basic elements, you can streamline your focus and priorities. Following the aforementioned tips will lead to the desired results, saving you from frittering away your money and time. Within no time, you will realize how quickly your overall productivity ratio has climbed up. Your time is valuable and you should know how to salvage it. Make sure to utilize it by doing tasks that are of utmost importance. More importantly, invest your time in tasks that resonate with you and your values. Becoming efficient is integral to success.