The life of an entrepreneur is usually busy and dynamic. If you’re an entrepreneur you probably have a very tight schedule, which roughly means an early start to your day, spending hours checking your emails, going from meeting to meeting, planning and keeping up with your team. We understand this and we know that sometimes it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of digital marketing company VaynerMedia, says that if startup founders want to make it, they should put in at least 18 hours a day for the first year. So to help you make the most of the time you have, we’ve compiled a list of productivity tips.
Five productivity tips
From planning your day to keeping track of the email you receive to dealing with daily distractions, here are some productivity tips to help you get everything done as efficiently as possible:
- Have a fresh start to your day
- Turn off the distractions
- Use productivity tools
- Do the most dreaded task first
- Take some time for yourself
1. Have a fresh start to your day
First and foremost, you need to know that how you start the day will determine the rhythm for the rest of the day. Our productivity tips for you is to:
Start your day as early as possible: “The early morning has gold in its mouth,” said Benjamin Franklin. Getting up early gives you a kick start for the day as it allows you more hours for your work. It also boosts your speed and reduces your stress levels.
Eat a healthy breakfast: A healthy breakfast is important for maintaining not only your health, but also your concentration and energy throughout the day. No matter how busy you are, eat a decent breakfast. It’ll fuel you for an energized start to your day.
Get some exercise: We’ve already established the fact that healthy people are more productive. Exercise makes you healthier, enhance your well-being and your ability to think more clearly. So, be sure to get some exercise every other day. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to get the benefit of this; take a walk around your neighbourhood, or you can check this article that has 8 exercises that you can do at your desk.
2. Turn off the distractions
In the modern world we live in, one of the major productivity killers are the distractions caused by constant interruptions like emails, phone calls and social media notifications. Although technology is supposed to make our lives easier, sometimes it might make you lose your focus.
On the bright side, you can turn off these distractions, but how?
Internet free time: Although a lot of our daily work requires access to the internet, there are still some tasks you can do without the internet. Our advice to you is to dedicate a couple of hours every week to turn off your WiFi and dive into tasks that don’t require internet.
Limit your social media usage: Checking social media can be somewhat obsessive for some people. Instead of checking that one Tweet you may find yourself losing hours to social media every day. There are apps that you can use to stop that like Offtime that will help you block distracting apps and keep track of how much time you spend on your smartphone.
Do not disturb: For ultimate focus, make sure that your smartphone is set on do not disturb mode. This way you can completely switch off from the outside world and focus on your tasks. Whether it’s a meeting with a client, an important email that needs to be written or a report that you need to write, schedule a block of time to focus, and start working without distractions.
3. Use productivity tools
Prepare a to-do-list: A to do list will make your life much easier and more organized. Put together a list of appointments and meetings, your tasks and the emails that you have to get back to. Decide what you’ll do first and remember to never put a huge project as just one to-do on your list. Instead, break it up into smaller tasks to help you stay on track to reach your final goal.
Don’t overestimate the number of things you can get done in a day and instead of creating a massive list of to-dos, plan to get one large task, three medium-sized tasks, and five small tasks done every day. You can also use apps like Todoist to help you organize your tasks.
Take notes: From client notes to blog drafts and speech scripts, note taking is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. You can use apps like Evernote to get your notes organized effortlessly. So, instead of having clunky mash-up of notebook pages, sticky notes, and Text Edit files you’ll have an organized system to help you take notes that’s synced across your laptop, smartphone and tablet.
Manage your emails: Emails represent an essential communication tool for entrepreneurs.
GoDaddy’s Office 365 plans will simplify your life. You can get all the latest and updated Office apps so you can work on any device, anywhere, anytime. Besides the ability to easily share and collaborate on documents using OneDrive for Business and Office Online, O365 gives you the ability to have real-time online meetings and screen sharing using Skype for Business.
Read relevant news and updates: Are you interested in certain topics, publications or industries? Instead of checking different sources every day, you can organize, read and share the content of your favorite website through an app called Feedly. You’ll have an organized feed with your favorite topics that you can filter through or mute.
4. Do the most dreaded task first
Every one of us has one or more tasks on our to-do list that we dread doing. Maybe it’s that complicated report or that blog post you’ve been putting off writing because you don’t know how to start, or that project that just overwhelms you because it’s so massive.
Whatever it is, it hangs over your head, and you keep on pushing it to the next day. But, it’s time to move it to the top of your to-do list. Because there’s nothing more motivating than crossing that monster off your list first thing in the morning.
So, pull out a piece of paper and brainstorm ideas for that blog post or open that sheet and start working on the report. Even if you weren’t able to finish that overwhelming task in one day, you’ll at least start. Then comes the best part: crossing off that task from your to-do list and carrying on with your day with a huge weight off your shoulders.
5. Take some time for yourself
There’s a misconception that entrepreneurs never rest or take breaks, but they’re human beings after all. There’s a limit to how long someone can devote deep focus to a task. No matter how much you need to get done, after a certain amount of time, fatigue and lack of motivation will get to you.
Our advice to you is to schedule frequent breaks even during the busiest days. Take ten minutes to stand up, stretch, get a drink of water or make small talk with your team. You’ll return to your work refreshed, both mentally and physically, and ready to be even more productive.
Also, don’t forget to take some time off with your family, friends or even alone; that way when you’re back in the office you’ll be as productive as ever.
We know that staying functional and productive all the time is very challenging, that’s why we’ve put together these productivity tips to help you in your journey. Start applying these productivity tips and get ready to be as efficient as you can be.