Running your own business and being the one to call the shots comes with a price. You have to be super productive to stay on top of your game, and that translates to tight schedules, multiple tasks, deadlines and keeping on top of all of it while you’re on the go. When you’re leading, managing and creating, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with work. When this happens, your productivity can lag. However, productivity a non-negotiable. It is what differentiates those who succeed from those who don’t. It’s important to implement tools and train your mind, so that you stay focused, your mind stays clear, and so that you can enjoy what you’re building.
Here are seven tips for busy entrepreneurs:
- Train Yourself to Block out Distractions and Concentrate. When you have so much to do, it is always difficult to concentrate. This is made more difficult by social media, notifications and frankly, too much technology pulling at you for time and attention. To stay productive, you must aggressively block out distractions. You can do this by removing social media from your phone, turning off notifications, or turning off email and syncing at certain times of the day. Blocking out distractions and creating clear boundaries for your work time and space is something you must work on and do consciously every single day until you gain mastery of it.
- Stay focused on one thing at a time. It is a myth that by multi-tasking we achieve more. Focusing your energy on one thing until it yields the result you want is a more practical approach. In your business, develop a laser focus on a business priority and work on it until you are better than anyone else. This is the secret of power that will set you apart from other business owners. This is one of the most important tips for busy entrepreneurs.
- Know when to say NO. Saying “no” to others gives you more time to focus on your goals. Entrepreneurs have many demands on their time. Along with existing and new clients, business development, financials, staffing, quality management, capturing new business, growth and sustainability, new requests for your time will arise. Before committing to something new, even if it seems small, pause to think about whether it aligns with your schedule and goals.
- Make sure you don’t overdo it with meetings. Meetings are compulsory for every business person, yet they can drain productivity when not planned properly. Each meeting should have an agenda and a specific output. Meetings should also have a specific start and end time; and each action should have a person responsible to achieve that action or someone to ensure that it gets assigned and executed by the right person. Also, keep meetings short. Following these suggestions will help you more effectively manage your time and people. It will train people to be brief when they meet with you, and you’ll be able to get more done in day.
- Wake up early. Waking up early in the morning is vital for you. Mornings are usually when the brain is fresh, and at its peak; and, you can get more done when others are still sleeping. This is not implying that if you’re up working late, you need to be up early. Getting enough rest is a key part of being functional; however, balancing your sleep time, by going to bed at a reasonable time, and getting up early has been proven to boost productivity. Most entrepreneurs start their days at or before 6 am. If you have a difficult time getting up this early, start with baby steps.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. Delegate at work and at home. To stay productive, you need to focus all your energy on activities that will produce the best ROI (return on investment) of time for your business. Focus on doing what you’re best at, and delegate the administrative or routine tasks to others. Likewise, at home, if you can, get help with chores such as shopping, cleaning, and laundry, so you can spend time with your family. To get the most important things done at work or at home, delegate the things you can, so you have balance.
- Use Technology to Manage Your Notes and To Do Lists. Every entrepreneur has those dreaded “to do lists”, the ones that keep growing and that grow from one notepad, to another, leaving you with a pile of disorganized papers, with no clear way to track action items. Use technology to keep track of your tasks. Some tools allow you to set reminders, add documents, links, graphics and contacts. All of this eliminates paper, and ne more vital tip for busy entrepreneurs that can help you stay on track is making lists. Lists enable you to remember tasks and keep track of them. Very importantly, never let yourself burn out mentally, so learn to unplug from time to time. It boosts productivity.