Productivity is highly sought-after by exhausted and ambitious entrepreneurs, and these simple tricks can bring more productivity into any entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Everyone struggles with a lack of time. Entrepreneurs struggle perhaps most of all, juggling all the responsibilities of managing the birth and development of a new company alongside personal responsibilities at home. It's a stressful and hectic life not many volunteer for, and those of us who live it every day know the constant pain of trying to fit in too much in a limited amount of time.
Fortunately, there are a handful of little tricks I've found that help me stay organized, focused, and productive over an extended period of time. Try putting these habits to good use, and see how many more tasks you get done in a day:
1. Use calendar consistency. Try tackling your daily tasks at the same time each day. It will become an instinctive habit you won't have to worry about, and eventually you'll start getting these tasks done quicker and quicker.
2. Batch your email reading time. Check your email only at specific times during the day, like from 3:00 to 3:15. It will prevent a lot of distractions.
3. Schedule time to respond to people. If you respond to every message that comes in, you'll overwhelm yourself. Use selective periods to respond to phone calls and emails.
4. Prioritize everything. When organizing your to-dos, use at least three priority levels: urgent, important, and non-important.
5. Take breaks. You might think working for as long as possible is the key to getting more things done, but in fact, taking breaks is shown to boost your focus and energy.
6. Use your mornings. Instead of waiting in rush hour, why not start the morning working from home? Take an hour to catch up on emails, then use the drive into work as a break to clear your mind.
7. Have snacks. It might seem silly, but eating small snacks throughout the day can boost your energy and mood.
8. Clear the clutter. If there are random things strewn about your desk or incomprehensible notes filling up your notebook, get rid of them! A clearer space leads to a clearer mind.
9. Take "thinking time." Set aside a few points of time throughout your day to organize your thoughts and plan for the next sprint of tasks. You can even do this while exercising, driving, or eating lunch.
10. Do the hard stuff up front. Your hardest tasks are the most difficult to get started on, so try doing them earlier in the day.
Increased productivity doesn't have to mean cramming as many tasks as possible into a limited timeframe. Instead, you can focus on maximizing your effort for a less stressful, more organized working style.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.
Jose graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.