Many of us entrepreneurs share the same struggle: time management. How is it possible that we seem to work non-stop all day, yet never seem to get everything done that we want to? Why are there usually more tasks on our to-do lists at the end of the day, then at the beginning?
This constant go, go, go leaves us wondering: will this hamster wheel of endless work ever end?
Since there’s no way to get more hours in a day, it comes down to working smarter, not harder. The following are some productivity tips for entrepreneurs that work for me; maybe they can for you, too!
Productivity Tip #1: Take Care of Yourself
This tip for productivity goes at the top of our list – and for good reason. If you’re not taking care of yourself, then how can you work productively on your business?
Cutting back on sleep or skipping lunch may seem like a great way to get ahead on your to-dos, but in the end, it will only hurt you. Your body and mind need to function optimally, so get the proper amount of z’s, eat healthily, and make time to exercise.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Each week, take some time away from your business. Try implementing something as simple as enjoying a regular yoga class or staying off the computer on Sundays. Do something that makes you happy and allows you to re-charge!
Productivity Tip #2: Remain Focussed
To get a certain task completed well – and in optimal time – then devote 100% concentration to that task. For example, if the task is on the computer, close all of your non-related tabs, turn your phone to Do Not Disturb, and remind staff that you’re unavailable for the next little while.
Oh, and those eye-catching little email pop-ups at the bottom of your screen? Remember to turn them off – at least until the task at hand is completed.
If you work remotely, this is easier to accomplish. But for those with brick and mortar businesses, remaining focussed is easier said than done. My tip? Find a system that works for you and communicate it well to those around you, such as your staff and family members.
Productivity Tip #3: Embrace Good Habits
I recently read a quote by Mike Murdock that said, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” And I thought to myself, how true that is!
Sometimes, in the mornings when I allow myself to sleep in, the opposite of feeling rejuvenated happens. Instead, getting a late start on my workday makes me feel stressed and anxious and leaves me wondering how I will still get everything accomplished. What’s better for me is to stick to a daily routine. Wake up at a similar time each morning, review my day’s goals, and get on with my day.
After reading this article last year on saving time on emails, I now only check my emails at a select few times each day. I understand that not all businesses can do this (especially e-commerce-based ones), but the article shared a lot of other helpful tips that could work for you.
Productivity Tip #4: Get the Worst Task Done First
Have you heard of the advice, “Start your day by eating the frog”?
Simply said, beginning your day by completing the worst task helps lay a positive foundation for the rest of your day. By accomplishing the most dreaded thing on your to-do list, you typically receive the motivation needed to finish the rest of your tasks.
The dreaded task is different for each of us and could be personal or business-related. Maybe you get frustrated with bookkeeping. Maybe you get bored with inventory management. Or maybe, like me, you hate the thought of exercising. Whatever it is, try starting your day tomorrow with that task and see how much better you feel getting it out of the way!
(Remember, if one of those dreaded tasks is marketing-related, our Toronto copywriters can help!)
Productivity Tip #5: Stay Organized
In many cases, getting stuff done comes down to one simple tip: staying organized. Of course, to stay organized, you need to avoid wasting time as a small business owner. The more time you waste completing unnecessary actions (such as checking social media), the more time you’re taking away from growing your business.
Spend time at the end of each day mapping out what you would like to get done the following day. Block out an appropriate amount of time for each task – and even slot it into an hourly calendar. That way, no time is wasted in-between projects wondering what you should be completing next.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by seeing a big list of things needing to be done. But if you allow an appropriate time to do each task, you will feel less anxious and more centred. This applies to personal business, too – for example, if you have a scheduled doctor’s appointment, be sure to allow adequate time in your work day around that appointment.
We choose to be entrepreneurs for a reason. For many of us, we want to enjoy what we’re doing each day and be more in control of our success. But by being stressed, unfocussed, or disorganized, enjoying what we do becomes nearly impossible.
We know this for sure: it’s impossible to get more hours in a day. So for us to feel less overwhelmed, we need to learn how to work smarter with the time we do have.
At the end of the day, you need to find productivity tips that work for you and your business. Doing so will help eliminate unnecessary frustration, leaving you to enjoy the reasons why you became an entrepreneur in the first place!
I’m curious – how do you manage your time more productively? Share with us below!