If there’s one thing other than money that an entrepreneur likes to save, it’s time. Time is everything, since there is always a lot to do, and always a limited time to do it.
However, there are some strategies that any entrepreneur can employ to be more efficient with their time and more productive.
Anyone who starts a business wants to make sure that every day is filled doing things to grow revenue and to push the business forward. That means prioritizing tasks and focusing on the things that will provide the most impact.
If you find that you spend large portions of your day doing things that aren’t growing your business, then you need to employ some strategies to fix that. Here are some of the top 5 productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.
Make a Plan
Have you ever sat down at your desk in the morning, opened your email and task tracking software, and wondered where to start?
You might sit there for a few minutes feeling overwhelmed, and then the phone rings or a staff member asks you a question. Right then, your day is already off the rails and it’s only been a few minutes.
One of the keys to productivity is working with purpose. Make a plan at the end of the day for the day to come. Take time to decide on your priorities, and if you can, schedule the tasks you need to complete for certain timeframes of the day.
If there are tasks that don’t fit within your main priorities of that day or that week, then you can push them off to another day. Instead of getting overwhelmed, you will start biting off the important chunks of your task list and feeling accomplished.
There are many repetitive and tedious tasks that need to be taken care of, but they don’t necessarily need to be handled by you. This can include data entry, scheduling, and filtering your inbox, for example.
A remote virtual assistant can take care of these important yet simple tasks that take up a lot of your time. Delegate to others so that you can spend time being productive in ways that grow your business.
Swallow the Frog
Swallowing a frog sounds like a very unpleasant experience. However, doing just that as soon as you start your workday can help you be more productive. Too many times we put off doing things we don’t want to do. Either because it’s difficult or stressful, or it’s tedious.
That avoided task can end up hanging over your head through the whole day. No matter what you do, you will still be thinking of how you need to accomplish that task.
Swallowing the frog means taking care of that unpleasant task. If you do it first thing, you won’t have it in the back of your mind anymore. It will be finished, and you can take up space in your brain with something new.
Taking care of it immediately will help you focus the rest of the day and feel like you accomplished something. Besides, if you wait too long to finish something, you might end up rushing and doing a poor job of it.
Just Say No
One of the most disconcerting things to see as a busy and overwhelmed entrepreneur is a to-do list that keeps getting longer without any sign of slowing down. There are many reasons this can happen, including your own procrastination.
However, for some people, it’s simply because they take on too much. As an entrepreneur, your first instinct might be to take on everything to save money and jump at every opportunity to possibly grow your business.
However, a good entrepreneur has to also say no when it’s appropriate. If you are taking on too much, you will do all of it poorly. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take advantage of opportunities, just that you should be more selective about it.
Plus, if you are taking on work that could be delegated or eliminated altogether then you are also wasting time and effort on an ever-expanding to-do list.
When you make your daily plan, make sure that you are realistic about what you can get done that day. If you are too optimistic with your scheduling, then you will only let yourself down.
You will rush to finish everything, or you may end up overwhelming yourself and not finishing anything completely. Be realistic, and understand that you won’t be able to catch up with everything all in one day.
Productivity isn’t a skill that everyone is born with. However, you can develop it and build it into a strength. All you need is some strategies and some discipline.
It’s all well and good to adopt these tips in your mind, but if you don’t put them into actual practice then you will not succeed.