Table of contents
- Prioritize work by their impact
- Focus on a single task at a time
- Create and use a to-do list
- Track how you spend your time
- Delegate or automate tasks
- Eliminate distractions
- Take breaks when you need to recharge
- Get enough sleep and exercise regularly
- Eat healthy foods
As an entrepreneur, you must wear many hats and juggle many balls. You have a business to run, employees to manage, products or services to sell, customers to please… the list goes on. It’s no wonder many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed and struggle with productivity. The good news is that you can do some simple things to increase productivity and get more things done in less time.
Prioritize work by their impact
Some tasks will have a bigger impact on your business than others. Figure out what those high-impact tasks are and prioritize them. This doesn’t mean you should only work on high-impact tasks and ignore everything else. But it does mean that you should start with the most important tasks and get them out of the way first.
Evaluate the impact of a task by considering how it impacts goals. For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 20%, then a task that will help you achieve that goal would be considered high-impact.
Focus on a single task at a time
When you’re trying to accomplish too many things at once, you end up doing many things halfway. By focusing on one task at a time, you can give it your full attention and get it done more quickly and effectively.
Several different time management techniques help you focus, including timeboxing, time blocking, and Pomodoro. Timeboxing is when you allocate a certain amount of time to work on a task and then stop when the time is up, even if you’re not done. Time blocking is when you schedule specific blocks of time in your day for different tasks. Finally, Pomodoro is when you work for a set period (usually 25 minutes) and then take a break.
Create and use a to-do list
A to-do list can help you keep track of everything you need to do in one place. But it’s not enough to just make a list – you must use it and update it regularly. There are several different ways to create a to-do list, from using a simple pen and paper to using a digital productivity app like Todoist.
When creating a to-do list, break down your tasks into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks. This not only makes it easier to accomplish them, but it also feels good to check them off as you go.
Finally, try to set deadlines and stick to them. If a task doesn’t have a deadline, it’s easy to push it off indefinitely. B t when you set a deadline, it becomes a priority. Make sure your deadlines are realistic and then do whatever it takes to meet them.
Track how you spend your time
An important step to increasing productivity is to find out how you’re spending your time. Especially as time is a scarce resource, and you only have so much of it. Are you spending too much time on social media? Are you getting distracted by emails or phone calls? Are there certain tasks that are taking longer than they should?
While you can write down on paper what you've been doing and for how long, several apps are making this process easier and less tedious. An example is Daily, which tracks time by periodically asking what you're doing, removing the need to toggle timers. At the end of your working day or week, you have a clear timesheet showing exactly how much time you spent working on what activities.
The resulting insights can be used to plan better and hence, goes hand-in-hand with creating a (realistic) to-do list.
Delegate or automate tasks
As an entrepreneur, you probably feel like you have to do everything yourself. But the truth is that you can’t – and you shouldn’t try to. Delegating tasks to others will not only free up your time but will also help your business run more smoothly.
Of course, delegation doesn’t mean you can hand off all of your responsibilities to someone else. But there are probably a few tasks that you can give to someone else, such as social media, customer service, or bookkeeping.
Services like Upwork and Fiverr make it easy to find freelancers who can help you with specific tasks. Also, consider automating repetitive tasks. Solutions like Zapier or IFTTT help you connect (digital) products and make them do things for you.
In today’s world, a million and one distractions are vying for our attention. But if you want to be productive, you need to eliminate as many of these distractions as possible.
First, take a look at your physical workspace. Is it organized in a way that promotes productivity? Or is it cluttered and full of distractions? If it’s the latter, take some time to declutter and organize your space.
Next, take a look at your digital workspace. Are there any productivity-killing apps or websites that you can eliminate? For example, do you need to have social media notifications turned on? If not, turn them off.
Take breaks when you need to recharge
It’s also important to take a break when you feel like you need one. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or stressed, step away from your work and take some time for yourself. Consider going for a walk, as that’s good for your brain.
The key is to listen to your body and mind. If you’re starting to feel sluggish, take a break. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to work.
Get enough sleep and exercise regularly
This one might seem obvious, but it’s important to mention nonetheless. Getting enough sleep and exercise are both crucial for productivity. When well-rested, you can think more clearly and make better decisions. And when you exercise regularly, you have more energy and stamina throughout the day.
On average, humans perform best when they have around eight hours of sleep. But this can vary from person to person. If you feel like you need more or less sleep, adjust accordingly. The important thing is to make sure you’re getting enough rest.
The same goes for exercise. It doesn’t matter if you go for a run, lift weights, or do yoga – as long as you’re moving your body, you’re doing yourself a favor. Exercise has countless benefits, including increased productivity.
Eat healthy foods
Another important factor in productivity is diet. Eating healthy foods helps improve brain function and gives you sustained energy throughout the day. On the other hand, eating unhealthy foods can make you feel sluggish and lead to productivity-killing sugar crashes.
To ensure you’re eating healthy, make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. And if you can, try to avoid processed foods and sugary snacks.
Of course, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while. But when it comes to productivity, healthy eating habits are key.
Being an entrepreneur is a lot of work, and by increasing your productivity, you can get more (valuable) work done in less time. By following our recommendations, you can make sure you’re working smarter, not harder, and also live a more healthy life.