15 of Our Favorite, Kickass Productivity Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs

Everyone has struggled with remaining productive, have you googled productivity tips?!?! Let's just say that we all need help in the productivity department from time to time, but there are so many awesome tips out there sometimes it can be challenging to narrow it all down to the best of the best.
07/24/2015 05:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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Everyone has struggled with remaining productive, have you googled productivity tips?!?!

Let's just say that we all need help in the productivity department from time to time, but there are so many awesome tips out there sometimes it can be challenging to narrow it all down to the best of the best.  Well, we have found the best of the best, the ones that we just cannot live without.

Below are 15 of the most kickass tips for busy Entrepreneurs...You are welcome!

 

The 80/20 Rule

The Pareto principle, or the "80/20 rule" as it's commonly referred to, says that 20% of whatever you are talking about is vital and 80% is trivial. Apply this to your task list: 20% of what you do will yield 80% of your progress. Out of all the tasks that must be done, can you pick out the 20% that will move you closer toward your goals?

Split test your sleeping habits

Think about it - if we're all so vastly different in terms of our physiologies, how is it possible that we all do best with exactly eight hours of sleep?

It isn't, and that's why I recommend taking the time to determine your own ideal sleep schedule and sleep needs. By applying the split testing technique to my own sleeping habits, I've determined that I really only need 5-6 hours of sleep at a time to be optimally productive. Taking the time to uncover this sweet spot means that I get an extra 2-3 hours of work time each day, which ultimately enables me to get far more done than if I'd blindly followed popular misconceptions!

Use commute time to complete coordination tasks

It's crazy not to use commute time to winnow out time-intensive tasks. During my morning commute, I do a roundup of my external consultants -- getting an update on open projects and finding out if they need assistance. By the time I arrive at the office, I have an accurate picture of my projects' status.

Manage relationships on LinkedIn

"LinkedIn is a valuable way to manage both past, present, and future relationships. Before meeting with anyone I make sure to Link in with them. Even if someone does not immediately accept my request they do look at my profile. This ensures that they have a general understanding of my background, what I'm working on at Nineteenth Amendment, and connections that we have in common. I am also gathering this information beforehand so that when we do meet we save time on introductions and we can dive into a more focused conversation."

Amanda Curtis, 27, Cofounder of Nineteenth Amendment

 

Have a single purpose focus

One thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to focus on what matters most. Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, says, "I keep things focused. The speech I give every day is: 'This is what we do. Is what we are doing consistent with that, and can it change the world?'" Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com, has this piece of advice: "Pick one thing and do that one thing--and only that one thing--better than anyone else ever could." We can derive a great deal of power from developing a laser focus on our top business priorities. It's one of the attributes that sets apart the average businessperson from the more successful one.

Perform a "brain dump" once a week

Weekly, take an hour to write down everything that's on your mind - from business concerns to household management issues and so on. Simply getting everything out of your head and onto paper will go a long way towards eliminating the mental fog that often inhibits productivity.

Constant Flow on Social Media

In the end, everything that you've done as a business person is going to come down to how many people have you helped, and what kind of value have those people gotten out of you.

Nurturing relationships with your customers is a crucial part of growing a successful business. In this age of automation and innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important. -- Brian Honigman

I recommend using something like BufferApp, very handy tool and comes to about ten dollars each month if you want to keep unlimited stock of social posts to send out. Or, you feel you won't have time to fill those gaps up? Buffer offers specific post suggestions that refresh on a daily basis.

 

Prioritize to account for the unexpected

"It's important to prioritize what must be done today and [not what] can wait until tomorrow. Unexpected things outside of my control might happen that will require my immediate attention. When things don't go as efficiently as expected, it is my job to figure out why, so I can make the necessary adjustments for next time." - Mark Werpney, owner of a Window Genie franchise

A Small Desk

On a big desk, there's always another corner to shove more crap to--business cards, tools, books, papers, etc.--but eventually you run out of space, and it takes a chunk of time to sort everything out (and then vainly tell yourself that it'll never get that messy again). A smaller work surface/area forces you to be much more tidy, period.

Dictation

If you have an iPhone 4s or later, your phone has built-in functionality for speech to text. However, there are many other applications that you can buy that will effectively do the same thing, sometimes even more accurately. Dragon Dictation is an application that stands out as a reliable means of speech to text dictation that can help you draft emails, business review, or memos on the go. You could even theoretically write longer pieces with these apps, but I find that it becomes more trouble than it's worth. I prefer to use such apps to keep track of short messages that I can review for spelling or grammatical errors and send once the car is stopped.

Be consistent

Consistency builds trust between companies and clients, and likewise between companies and employees. Although it may be hard to earn the trust of others, it's harder still to keep that trust. Consistency with your work, values, and efforts helps others to understand you and what they can expect from you.

Ask friends, family, coworkers, and clients, their opinions on what you do best and which of your qualities they respect. Then keep that list with you for reference and check it from time to time, asking yourself if the work you're doing reflects those positive traits. Over time, you'll have that list memorized and without a second thought, you'll put those qualities into action in each and every project you undertake.

Relax and select airplane mode

[Tweet "Become best friends with Airplane mode on your phone."]"Become best friends with Airplane mode on your phone. Unless you're a surgeon, there's no reason you can't go 25 minutes without responding to a phone call. During your focus period, hit that airplane icon and enjoy a life without rings, dings and other intrusive notifications."

Alexander Schultz, 28, CEO of Complete

Prepare for tomorrow, today

I am generally booked 12 solid hours a day with calls and meetings. Discipline around my time is an essential element to staying sane. So I like to plan my next day before I leave work. It allows me to tweak schedules, prepare and go into the next day feeling ready for what's ahead.

It is a skill I learned in my first business when it was just my partner and me. We would call prospects between 8am and 11am receive product at 11:30am; pick, pack and ship them from 1pm - 3pm and did customer calls and meetings from 3pm - 6pm. We survived and thrived because we were supremely organized in managing our greatest asset, our time.

In conclusion, nearly everyone in business wishes they had more time. Yet if everyone adopted just a few good habits, it would be relatively easy to squeeze a bit more time from the day. By managing my time pragmatically I can be at my productive best which leaves room to get more out of my work not to mention the rest of my life outside the office!

 

Master BCC

Quickly move people who don't need to be on the thread (like someone who just introed you). Teach other folks to move you to BCC appropriately as well. Same for reply all.
Use your email signature wisely: Put in information that's relevant and avoid logos and images. They feel heavy and get filtered.

Don't let email consume your time

"When running a business, you can receive thousands of emails a day from clients and employees combined. In order to make sure I stay on top of my to-do list and really get things done, I only read my emails at certain hours in the day, and in time blocks." - Lina Hu, founder and CEO of Clipper Corporation

 

Starting a business is exciting, but challenging, Nancy Laws, is passionate about helping women launch, manage, and grow their businesses. To learn more about Nancy and the Chic Mompreneur team, visit them NOW!

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