Productivity

8 Hacks to Become a Better Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs have a lot of responsibility on their hands. While trying to launch a startup, they also must manage a team and maybe figure out how make the perfect pitch to investors. Unfortunately, there are only so many pots of coffee to consume before the eager new business owner hits a wall.

But what if there were ways to make a person a better entrepreneur? A small tip or a fresh approach might boost your creativity, enhance productivity and help make you the lean, mean entrepreneur that you've always wanted to be.

Read on to discover some awesome hacks from my personal and company life and learn how to become better entrepreneur: 

Related: How Fortune 500 Leaders Spend Every Minute of the Day (Infographic)

1. Eat some brain food.

You’ve probably heard that saying “you are what you eat” thousands of times. But there’s a lot of truth to it. According to research, proper nutrition can raise productivity.

What should a balanced diet consist of? Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles discovered that the brain fires on all cylinders with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (in salmon, kiwi and walnuts ) and folic acid (in spinach and orange juice).

2. Work by a window.

Separate research from Northwestern University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have found the natural light enhances both creativity and energy. 

Related: How 10 Savvy Companies Use Food to Boost Morale and Collaboration

3. Shed distractions.

While a smartphone and computer are essential tools, they can also be major distractions. To avoid this, consider putting your iPhone or Android device on "do not disturb" or "airplane" mode while working. Use an app like SelfControl to block distracting websites.

If a smartphone is left on, let calls go to voicemail and return calls at the end of the day. This technique helps me save almost an hour a day in productivity.  

4. Know that silence isn’t golden.

While noise is most certainly a distraction, so may be complete silence. According to research conducted by Ravi Mehta, Rui Zhu and Amar Cheema, a moderate amount of ambient noise (about 70 decibels) can enhance productivity and performance. Besides the free Wi-Fi and endless supply of caffeinated beverages, working at a coffee shop provides this perk..

According to other research, classical music can actually increase speed, creativity, improve your mood and prevent mistakes. And, it doesn’t always have to be classical music. Rock works, too.   

Related: How Music Affects Your Productivity

5. Don’t multitask.

You may think that by multitasking you’re being more productive and getting more things accomplished. Here’s the thing: Your brain can’t handle it. The human mind is only capable of working on no more than two tasks. If you try to do more than two-tasks, you’re taking the chance of making more errors.  

6. Promote "no meetings Wednesdays."

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Asana, got this idea from Facebook, according to replies to a Quora thread that were compiled by Business Insider. Clear everyone’s schedule one day a week.  “This is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work,” Moskovitz said.

I have implemented this with members of my team. This has caused us over the past month to set up and enforce the rule that all meetings have to be on Tuesday or Thursday and none on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. 

7. Gaze at adorable animals.

Based on 2012 research by Hiroshi Nittono, Michiko Fukushima, Akihiro Yano and Hiroki Moriya, looking at photos of puppies or kittens can improve your mood and increase  productivity in certain ways. "Participants performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after viewing cute images," their study found.

8. Accept that you're not perfect.

If you’re a perfectionist, I’m going to be brutally honest you. Get over it. You aren’t perfect. And neither is your startup. The sooner you realize that the sooner you can get your product or service out to market -- instead of wasting valuable timing tinkering with something that will never live up to your unrealistic standards.

Though that might sounds a bit harsh, some research backs it up. Studies have found that professors who are perfectionists actually get less work done and aren’t as likely to get published.     

Related: How Small Changes in the Workplace Can Improve Your Sleeping Habits 

Whatever you do, becoming a better entrepreneur should always be the goal. So go to it, but do get some sleep: Research has found that "sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity,” The New York Times reported. Furthermore, studies have found that missing out on a good night’s rest can impair innovative and flexible decision thinking. In other words: How productive can you be if you lack of sleep?  

But don't sleep too late: A study of 367 students discovered that early risers do achieve more. Remember if you wake up before everyone else, you can limit your distractions and can be more productive.  

What additional tips have worked for you to become a better entrepreneur?

Related: Terrific Productivity Tips to Make Your Week a Triumph