You probably look at other businesses and ask yourself how to be an ultra-productive entrepreneur all the time. Starting a business is an eventful exercise and you will most probably try and do a million things all at once. What you need is our 15 point cheat sheet to get the most out of your day and move you closer to your goals at record speed.
1. Focus on minutes
Don’t focus on spending hours as you will quickly find ways to fill your time once tasks don’t take you the full hour. There are 1,440 minutes in each day. Invest them intentionally and make each minute count!
2. Set daily priorities
Set out to achieve your most important task as the 1st thing you do each morning. This way you ensure that you constantly move forward to achieving your bigger goal.
3. Don’t use to-do lists
Throw away your to-do lists! Understanding that you will never get everything done, sets you free from constantly chasing that to-do list that simply keeps getting longer. Scheduling everything in your calendar also creates the awareness of which items are really that important to make it onto your calendar in the first place.
4. Beat procrastination with time travel
Your future self will most probably find any excuse not to follow through on the tasks at hand. Which measures can you implement now to make sure you stick to your goals as you move forward?
5. Make it home for dinner
Focus on the things that are most important to you, whether it be going to the movies with friends or having dinner with your family. It’s not the money that will make you successful, but the people around you – make sure you show your appreciation. Block out these time slots in your calendar and don’t let work interfere.
6. Use a notebook
As an entrepreneur we constantly think. Think about new ways to grow our businesses, new products/services or how we would like to make a difference in the world. This can be overwhelming and make you less productive. Capture everything in a notebook and let your mind stay sharp.
7. Only check email 3 times a day
You can quickly get caught up in your inbox – there is nothing more disruptive to your natural flow than checking or answering emails every 5 minutes. Social media can be just as bad! Schedule time in your calendar to attend to these tasks and ensure you stay in your natural flow in between.
8. Avoid meetings at all costs
Don’t hold meetings at all – wherever possible. If you absolutely have to, always make sure that there is a definite agenda to the meeting and keep them as short as possible. Remember it is your responsibility to make sure that the meeting stays on topic.
9. Say “no” to almost everything
Every time you say yes to something it translates to a “no” to something else that might have moved you closer to achieving your goals. If it does not move you forward to achieving your goals, it should be an absolute no.
10. Follow the 80/20 rule
80% of your goals will be achieved from 20% of your activities. Spend time to find out which tasks these are and make them your absolute priority. Ignore the other 80% wherever you can.
11. Delegate or outsource almost everything
We continuously emphasize to our startup trainees how important it is to know your own strengths. Once you have identified these, you will have a clear indication of which people to appoint as employees or which services you need to outsource.
12. Have work themes for days of the week
You’ll find it really difficult to stay true to your natural flow when you constantly have to switch between different types of tasks. Create days in your week where you can batch similar tasks together. So when you work on strategy, you only have strategic items in your calendar.
13. Touch things only once
Sometimes we spend more time planning items and scheduling it into our calendars than what it would have taken us to perform the actual task. If a task will take you less than 10 minutes, do it immediately. (Provided it moves you closer to your goal off course). This will keep your calendar free of clutter.
14. Have a consistent morning ritual
There is no better way to start your day, than with the power hour. Get up early and allow yourself the luxury of time to focus on your mental, physical and spiritual health. You owe it to yourself! A better you = a better business!
15. Don’t think about time, focus on energy
If you simply focus on the tasks at hand, you’ll get demotivated fairly quickly. Rather focus on the bigger picture of the goal you’re trying to achieve and let that fuel your energy levels. To maintain these high energy levels you need to focus on sleep, diet, exercise and regular short breaks throughout the day.