As an entrepreneur, there’s just so much for you to do with very little time to complete them. There’s this assumption that successful entrepreneurs have this magical power that allows them to do every single task on their plate.
Truth is, they don’t. They, however, understand that productivity is key to your entrepreneurial success. Because it’s not by doing a lot, but by doing the most important things first.
Here are a few proven and tested productivity tips that entrepreneurs like you can follow to be more successful in 2020 and beyond.
1. Learn How to Manage Your Energy
When most people think about productivity, they mostly think in terms of time management. But just as important is energy management. This is because for you to enhance your productivity, you need to be energized and in a positive mental state.
Part of energy management is knowing your peak energy levels and prioritizing highly mental tasks to those periods. This ensures that you execute on the most important tasks at maximum efficiency.
For example, if your energy level is at its peak in the morning — then you can schedule tasks like strategic planning or brainstorming product ideas at that time, and schedule conference calls for the afternoon.
At the other end of the spectrum is engaging in healthy habits. This includes eating healthy, balanced diets, working out, sleeping well, etc
2. Get Rid of Distractions
It also involves eliminating important tasks and just focusing on one task until completion.
Here are some ways you can get rid of distractions:
- Setting deadlines for your daily tasks.
- Turning off your phone and social media notification.
- Working in quiet environments devoid of noise.
- Scheduling all your meetings to avoid any unexpected meeting.
- Staying from negative people.
- Avoiding talkative colleagues.
3. Create a To-do List
Having a to-do list will give you a structured plan that you can stick to and ensure that you accomplish your most important tasks.
It’ll help you streamline all your activities for the day so you can stay on track and accomplish very specific tasks, rather than jumping around from one task to another.
And, there’s this refreshing feeling of accomplishment that you have when you cross off a task from your to-do list.
4. Learn How to Delegate Tasks
Knowing your strengths and how they can grow your business is essential for your success.
However, you have to realize that you are just one person. During the beginning phase of your business, it can be incredibly difficult to delegate, mostly due to financial constraints.
But as your business grows, delegating task becomes a necessity or you might be setting yourself up for burnout.
Delegating tasks can involve hiring a part-time assistant or a freelancer to help you carry out some tasks. It can also involve taking advantage of available technology to take care of menial, repetitive, administrative tasks. This will save you a lot of time and energy.
5. Create a Routine
Human beings are creatures of habit, and as such, taking advantage of this will immensely improve your productivity.
This means you create daily, weekly, monthly and yearly routine and following it religiously until it becomes a habit.
6. Avoid Multitasking
I get it — Your days are usually incredibly busy. But as much as you can, avoid multitasking.
Being pulled in a thousand different directions a day makes it very easy to move from one task to another and in the process lose your focus. This is a very inefficient way of execution because most jobs will be left open and incomplete, and there’s likely to be lots of mistakes due to oversight.
7. Take a Break, Unplug and Relax
“There is a virtue in work and there is a virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
– Alan Cohen
Being an entrepreneur makes it easy to be “on” at all times. This can hamper your creativity, negatively affect your efficiency and eventually lead to mental burnout.
To avoid these, you might have to force yourself to take a break from work.
This can involve simple things like taking small breaks in between tasks, switching off your phone every evening, ignoring weekend emails to things like meditating, taking long vacations, socializing (not on social media) and engaging in your favorite hobbies.
Another thing worth pointing out is the importance of rest and sleep. When running your business, making out time to rest and get adequate amounts of sleep might be the last thing on your mind.
However, with research showing that American businesses lose $63.2 billion annually due to lost productivity because of lack of sleep. It’s in your best interest to take out time to rest and get adequate sleep, especially if your work involves staring at computer screens.
If you regularly take time to decompress, your mind and business will thank you.
8. Learn The Fine Art of Saying “NO”
Billionaire Investor Warren Buffett has mentioned that every successful person says “NO” to a lot of things.
Learning how to say “no” is essential for your business. Saying yes to everything means you’ll have a lot of (most meaningless tasks) to follow up on and this can affect your focus.
Being an entrepreneur is a strenuous real juggling act. By improving your motivation, you boost your productivity which in turn increases your chances of success.
Nissar Ahamed is the Founder & CEO of CareerMetis.com, a publication dedicated to helping job seekers and freelancers with actionable advice and resources. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast and the co-host of The C.A.R.E. Podcast