Entrepreneurs are a varied bunch. One thing that binds them together is their supreme dedication to productivity. The idea of being productive—of getting things done in the best way possible—is the epitome of good business. Here are 10 personal and professional productivity tips from the group who knows them best, entrepreneurs.
To avoid burnout and keep my productivity levels high, I like to break up my schedule by category. I time batch all of my meetings back to back to eliminate unnecessary distractions and breaks. Once I’m finished with meetings, I move onto my tasks for the day. I try to spend a certain amount of time on each task every day. It’s important to keep pushing each project along instead of getting caught up on just one. Having a strong team around me that challenges me and keeps me going is inspiring. It helps to keep me on my toes, avoid cabin fever, and break up the day a bit. Also, keeping a dedicated workspace, setting up my home office as if I’m in my work office.
- Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder, Miracle Brand.
Create Variety In Your Work
I notice my productivity levels drop and I become less motivated to push through my work when I work on one project or task for too long. The obvious solutions to this issue are; take a short vacation, change your work environment, or incorporate small breaks into your schedule but at the time of a pandemic these solutions become less viable. From my experience, I can work much harder on a project that is new, exciting, and challenging. I am not one who thrives in repetitive environments. Consistently having the opportunity to do something different and learn is highly rewarding for me and keeps me engaged longer. From an employee standpoint, I would recommend asking to be included in new projects or task forces. Also, time blocking your schedule can help to keep the excitement alive. Making sure you are not overworking yourself by trying to keep up with different time zones if working with people from all over the world. I always stress the importance of rest and work-life balance to all of my employees.
- Jason Akatiff, Co-Founder Boundery.
In order to maintain productivity and effectiveness, we must all prioritize self care and implement habits that will help to improve our state of mind as well as physical wellness. In other words, the power plant needs energy too! Working requires a lot of your energy. That energy must be created to supply you, the power plant. Movement, proper nutrition, and a quick daily dose of de-stressing/positive thinking provides your fuel. Every day you must think how am I going to power up the power plant so it can pour out and supply all the tasks and people around me. Exercise, clean fuel, and a sharp mind then become not just a suggestion but a requirement to thrive.
1. Spend 2 minutes thinking about all things you are grateful for. One can not be stressed and grateful at the same time. This sets the tone for the day.
2. Get 10-20 minutes of high intensity exercise. The higher the intensity the more energy the power plant will get.
3. Prepare your mind during exercise by listening to an entrepreneurial podcast or an audiobook. (Protip: listen on 1.5 or 2x speed to take in more valuable content!)
4. Eat no or a light breakfast. Try just having green juice or a bulletproof coffee to fuel your body with rocket fuel to start the day.
Go make it a great day, you might as well because you will never get it back!
- Dr. Livingood, CEO & Founder of Livingood Daily.
Create a Disciplined Daily Routine
The number one habit that I have implemented into my daily routine, to help me maintain effectiveness and productivity, is to dedicate time to myself every morning before jumping into the workday. This strategy helps to break up my days, helps to eliminate the feeling of repetitiveness, and gets rid of anxiety or stress from the previous day, increasing my likelihood to succeed by allowing me to start my day with a clear and focused mind. Waking up an hour earlier in the morning and setting aside time for physical exercise, followed by a 10/15 minute meditation, has been transformative for my productivity and organization abilities as well as my mental and physical health. I follow my workout and meditation with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. I like to enjoy the time I have to myself and be present while eating, resisting the urge to be on my phone or use any technology. I have been following this rule for a few years and share it with everyone in my life. It is so simple and easy to implement yet so significant when it comes to productivity and overall success.
Focus On One Thing at a Time
As a CEO and co-founder of Dr. Brite and a mom of two, staying productive while working from home is very difficult. I have noticed that to be successful and balance work and home, one needs extreme focus. When working, focus and make sure all your attention and energy is dedicated to the job at hand. There are several exercises to make sure that you are fully focused. One is to move your eyes away from the email you are writing, the paper you are reading, or the excel sheet your team has prepared for Q3, then after counting to 20, resume back and continue with the project you are working on. If your brain is completely focused, you will get the job done in less time with higher efficiency.
- Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, CEO & Co-Founder of Dr. Brite.
Effectively Manage Your Daily Tasks
Use the domino method for task management. Set up a system in which you like to organize the difficulty of your tasks each day. This system will be different for everyone because a task that you might find extremely difficult might be easily accomplished by someone else. Think about the tasks you put off until the next day and are more likely to procrastinate. Put them at the top of your list and get them done first thing in the morning. Once you get a burdensome task checked off your to-do list, you will be motivated to go after the rest of the list. This method creates a domino effect, causing you to get more done quickly by limiting procrastination.
- Tyler Forte, Founder & CEO of Felix Homes.
Learn To Slow Down
I have dramatically altered my productivity approach since the beginning of the pandemic by learning the importance of how to SLOW DOWN, focus on quality and structure in everything I do. Throughout my career, I’ve made a few little mistakes that have caused large problems. I have now learned the value of slowing down, making decisions wisely, and thinking about the long-term. Additionally, fitness has been a huge help in resetting my productivity. It is hard to have an unproductive day after a workout. Lastly, I have also implemented saying no to opportunities that aren’t serving me or taking away from my immediate focus and began time blocking my schedule to stay structured and organized.
- Jordan Smyth, CEO & Founder Gleamin.
Run Your Business Like a Hotel
A strategy I have applied to my daily work routine to help me with productivity is to run my business like a hotel. Whatever rooms I didn’t sell last night, I will never get back, no matter how many rooms I sell tomorrow. Meaning I should never leave anything I can do today for tomorrow. I have learned throughout my career to finish my work immediately, never leaving it for the next day. Right now is a time for surviving, being agile, nimble, and quick, constantly evaluating the headwinds and reacting. Staying occupied at your kitchen table and not procrastinating is key to navigating these uncertain times.
- Jonathan Bass, CEO & Founder of Whom Home.
Think About Beginnings and Endings
I recommend starting and finishing each workday at the same time. Sticking to a routine helps with prioritizing tasks and reducing the possibility of procrastination. Additionally, time blocking is a must. I find that mornings are better suited for more thought requiring tasks because the mind is well-rested and focused. Leave meetings, phone calls, and emails for the afternoon portion of the workday. Time blocking also helps with staying on top of multiple projects at once. Instead of giving all of your time to one project, time block specific days or times to push each project along. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks or take time to strategize alternative systems of operations. This will be an initial time investment but will ultimately lead to more efficiency in the long term.
- Eric Wu, COO & Co-Founder of Gainful.
Focus On Facts
Everyone today has the opportunity to live more intelligently than ever before in the past. Modern technology, when used properly, can help each and every one of us optimize our lives. Technology can tell us if and when we need more sleep or exercise or water or whatever. Embrace the right technology for the right reasons.
- Kevin Miller, CEO of GR0.
Productivity leads to reaching your goals, and reaching your goals is one of the best definitions of success. When it comes to setting goals, though, it’s important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. Whether you are trying to exercise more or read more, it’s easy to do it on day one, but you have to think about day one-hundred. This means planning your life the way you would plan anything you really cared about. Productivity is not just professional, it’s personal.