Being an entrepreneur means having a tight schedule, juggling responsibilities, and staying late at the office.
Still, if you don’t keep track of your productivity, you’ll end up feeling exhausted without getting much done.
There’s a myth that entrepreneurs have to work 24/7/365 if they want to succeed. While it’s true that you’ll have to put in long hours at first until you lay a strong foundation for your business, working smarter, not harder, is the rule you should follow as an entrepreneur.
Here’s a guide to help you improve your productivity and effectiveness.
1. Create a To-Do List
It’s much easier to plan your day and week if you write down all your tasks.
When creating a to-do list, make sure to prioritize your tasks and set deadlines. This will give you a structure and provide you with a sense of accomplishment. Namely, crossing items off your list after you’ve finished them will make you feel relieved from the anxiety caused by the overwhelming, piled-up workload.
Digital to-do list apps are convenient as you can use them across your devices and add tasks even when you’re not at the office. Besides, this way, you’ll never lose or misplace your to-do list again.
2. Focus on Your Most Important and Difficult Task First
Some people tend to procrastinate when they have a complex task ahead of them.
In order to eliminate this known productivity killer, it’s best to eat the frog staring at you. Otherwise, the frog will eat you. We’re not talking about real frogs here. It’s a metaphor for a big, unpleasant task you have to complete and yet dread tackling.
Brian Tracy, a popular self-development author, came up with the so-called Eat That Frog productivity technique, according to which it’s best to take action immediately and handle your major task first thing in the morning.
If you adopt this habit and make it a part of your routine, you’ll be able to boost your performance and productivity.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Did you know that it takes 23 minutes to focus on your work again after distraction at work?
In other words, emails, calls, and social media notifications are in the way of your productivity.
While it’s impossible to avoid all communication with other people while you’re working, you can set certain boundaries and minimize alerts and notifications.
We can’t deny that technology makes our lives and staying in touch with our business partners and customers easier, but it’s also true that it can affect our attention.
The trick is to learn how to control that technology and make the most of it. When you have an important task, mute all your notifications, close your office door, and ask your employees not to disturb you.
If you work from home, it’s essential to have a quiet corner where you can be free from any distractions.
4. Delegate and Outsource
Many entrepreneurs are forced to multitask and wear different hats while they’re building their team and growing their business.
It’s a great skill to possess, but you also have to know your own limits.
As a business owner, you need to focus on creative and high-value tasks, and you won’t be able to do that if you’re a one-man-band. Instead of wasting your time and energy trying to do something that you’re maybe not even good at, it’s much better to delegate these activities or outsource them.
It’s crucial to know your team members’ strengths and weaknesses so that you can delegate effectively.
When it comes to outsourcing, think about hiring someone to do your taxes, manage your website and social media channels, and run different chores and errands. As customer support is an important segment of every successful business, you can implement a conversational AI platform that will both pick up the slack and ensure your customers get timely and accurate answers to their questions.
5. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
It’s no secret that entrepreneurs carry a heavy burden that can take a toll on their mental health.
You invest all your energy, effort, and money into building a business, and you can’t be sure whether you’ll fail or succeed. What’s sure is that you’ll have a number of ups and downs, and that rollercoaster can drain you.
That’s why you need to find a way to relax and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Make sure to carve out some time during the day to disconnect and unwind. Take a walk in the park, meditate, or grab lunch with your loved ones.
Try to have at least one day of the weekend for yourself and declutter your mind from all the work and responsibilities.
Also, don’t forget to eat well, exercise, and stay hydrated, as that will give you enough energy and strength for all your daily activities.
These tips can help you achieve greater productivity and run your business more effectively.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.