As entrepreneurs, we know the feeling of trying to tackle a never-ending to-do list that just keeps growing. It's a stressful feeling! There's nothing worse than falling into bed at night after a long day of hard work and feeling like you accomplished nothing. I've certainly had days like this, when I felt like my to-do list was bigger when I went to bed than when I got up that morning!
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
~Paul J. Meyer
I've learned that good planning and a few productivity tricks can make the difference between a day like the one I just described and a day when things actually move forward in my life and business. Shrinking that to-do list and making progress is often just a matter of prioritizing and finding my focus.
Here are some simple productivity hacks for entrepreneurs to feel less overwhelmed and more productive.
1. Do a Time Audit
If you feel like you're working tons of hours but not getting anywhere, keep track of how you're spending your time for a few days. Every fifteen or thirty minutes, jot down how you spent that time, and then review your record at the end of those few days. You might be surprised how many time sucks find their way into your schedule! Use this info to weed out those time wasters so you can be more productive and actually get things done.
2. Time Blocking
Time blocking is a time management method where you block out large chunks of your day to complete specific tasks. I like to do this in thirty, sixty, or ninety minute segments. Google Calendar is a great way to implement this because you can include things like breaks, lunch, checking social media, etc. Another great thing about this trick is that it encourages us to focus. You've probably noticed that work tends to expand to fit the time we give it (if we plan on taking a week to complete a task, it'll take a week. If you plan on two hours, it'll take two hours.) This means that you get more done in less time!
3. Disconnect and Recharge
It’s very common for entrepreneurs to feel burnt out because it feels like there is ALWAYS something to do. If you don’t take some time every day to recharge, you can easily become fatigued and moody. Taking 5-20 minute breaks to read, make a snack, or take a walk will allow you to clear your mind and focus on the next task at hand.
Are you trying to do everything yourself? I can tell you from experience that this is the quickest way to burn yourself out. You can delegate just about anything to a virtual assistant, OBM, designer, or other professional, so do yourself a favor and hire help so you can focus on growing your business!
5. Keep Your Inbox Clear
A cluttered inbox can be a huge source of stress and distraction. Limit the time you spend going through your inbox and replying to emails and designate two to three times a day to take care of emails. In order to keep your inbox empty, take advantage of filtering and labels, unsubscribe from email lists you aren’t reading, and archive messages.
6. Use Organizational Tools
There are tons of productivity tools out there to choose from! Some of my favorites are Evernote, Trello, Zapier, and Todolist. My all-time favorite tool is Teamwork Project Management because it allows me to keep track of deadlines and collaborate with my team.
I hope this helps! What are your favorite productivity tips?
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