In order to be successful in business, high productivity is key. So, what's the trick? Why do some people seem like they can effortlessly knock out dozens of items on a to-do list, while others struggle to knock out a single one?
It's all about the way we use our time. Check out these five productivity hacks for entrepreneurial superstars:
1. Make the first hour count
A lot of people make the mistake of checking their email first thing in the morning. All that does is give you instant gratification. False gratification.
Instead, invest that hour into one or two of your higher value activities that actually drive your business forward. Those morning emails you used to focus on just left you treading water and not actually impacting your bottom line.
Whatever it is you're busy working on, make that your morning priority. Imagine gaining another five hours each week dedicated to making a difference in your business. Multiply that by 48 weeks a year and you just gained 240 working hours annually toward your bigger value activities.
2. Don't just celebrate the big stuff
Sure, it's fun to celebrate when we hit our 100,000th order or our first anniversary. However, it's important to celebrate the progress along the way, too. Most business owners are always looking at the end goal. When a team member shares some new win the business owner responds by saying, “Great job, but now let’s focus on…” They end up leaving the entire team feeling like it’s impossible to please their boss.
If you're always shooting for the big things, you're going to miss the important wins along the way that you can share with the team to keep morale up and build company culture in the process.
Maybe the team was able to meet a difficult deadline or fix some product bug. Whatever it is, celebrate it when it happens before moving to the challenge that moves you closer to your overall goals.
3. Quality sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is vital to the way we function throughout the day, but many busy entrepreneurs take it for granted choosing to focus more on the number of hours they work in a day. This was the case for a Colorado lawyer named Megan Hottman. “I was running my law practice as I launched another business, sold and purchased real estate, changed insurance companies and refinanced a commercial real estate loan—all while also training hard physically," Megan recalled. She began noticing health issues arising and started to take sleep more seriously as a way to minimize the effects of a demanding schedule.
Consider these hacks for a better night sleep:
- Use sleep apps like Calm or Headspace to help you fall asleep faster
- Find the right mattress for your needs
- Write out everything that's in your head for the next day’s to-do list
- Avoid screens for a few hours before bed
- Exercising daily helps you fall asleep faster
There’s no doubt that entrepreneurs have incredibly busy schedules, but that’s no reason to take sleep for granted. Instituting the hacks that help get more sleep will help increase performance.
4. When the day ends, let it end
One of the bigger challenges of being an entrepreneur is fighting the urge to work every waking hour of the day. It's important to close your computer or your office door, and be able to experience some downtime. If you don't give yourself a proper break, then you're going to deplete your mental and physical energy. Let the day come to a close at a predetermined time.
5. Don't do so much
It's important to be able to delegate tasks. You don't need to do everything in order for it to be done right. A better idea is to have fewer, but more focused tasks on your plate. You'll be able to be more productive focusing on a set of projects, rather than giving just a small percentage of your attention to several.
Becoming more productive is much easier than you probably thought. It just requires some self-discipline and the willingness to add some life hacks into your daily schedule. With any of the above tips, you'll be on your way to fuller days and lighter nights.