As an entrepreneur, it is likely that you have a hectic schedule that needs you to juggle more things than you can probably handle. There are new clients to be reached, new goals to be attained and new facets to be discovered — all within 24 hours!
Time is not just a great leveler in that it ensures a level-playing field that offers equal opportunities to all. Think about it — all of us have 24 hours at our disposal – no more, no less.
But how is that champion business leaders/entrepreneurs manage to accomplish more than most others — in less time? How do they actually end up doing more with less?
The answer is pretty straightforward — by increasing your productivity levels through a conscious effort to inculcate and develop good habits that are replicable — day in and day out. What most of us perceive to be a lovely cosmic story where everything falls into place at the right time is nothing else but the foundation of sound habits.
Thankfully, building solid, long-lasting habits that will skyrocket your productivity levels isn’t really rocket science. All you need to do is to make some incremental mindset changes with a dose of creativity, and you’re on your path to becoming the person you can be.
Here are six such productivity boosting habits you may want to start acting on today, not tomorrow.
Plan Your Day Before Going To Bed
Prioritizing your daily tasks the night before calling it a day (no pun intended) can give you a great head start for the day and get the ball rolling, literally. Chalk out your plan for the day and tasks that need to be done first on a priority basis to ensure nothing is pending. You may want to go over calls, meetings and crucial deadlines the next day, so that you know what to expect and you’re racing with time — not against it.
As an entrepreneur, of the best ways to improve your productivity is start your day before any else does and take a few minutes to read what you’ve written the night before. Yes, it is tempting to sleep for an hour or two here and there, but that will mean that you lose those two hours for good, so decide what is it that you want.
Starting off early sets the tone for the entire day and allows you to get more things done on priority. It’s also a good idea to stay a bit later at night. Saving a few extra hours mean that you’ve already begun to ‘steal time’. As you do that, you’ll realize you can always make time for performing tasks that you always wanted to, but never had the time for- be it writing a business proposal, sorting your taxes or improving the quality of your product.
Do The Most Difficult Thing First
Yes, do the thing that you absolutely detest, first. Whether it’s making the dreaded phone call to a difficult client or wrapping your brain around mind-boggling marketing metrics, productive people have a penchant for doing the toughest chore first.
Not only will this free up your time and mental space for other important things that aren’t as difficult, you’ll also see that completing the most challenging task first will make your day seem that much easier and more manageable.
Take Short Breaks
Non-stop brainstorming can trigger fatigue, stress and irritability, all of which can impede your problem-solving prowess. Your brain’s ability to stay focused and sharp declines throughout the day, if you’re constantly on the move and thinking on your feet.
The result — loss of concentration, inability to analyze correctly and acting on impulses.
By taking recovery breaks or doing respite activities — be it napping, walking out for lunch, solving crosswords or socializing — you can create new mental resources and improve your ability to focus, grasp and retain. Taking off 20-30 minutes from your work each day during lunch can nullify the negative effects of work pressure. The idea is to detach yourself psychologically from stress triggers and re-engage your mind in uplifting activation that stimulates positive emotions. Remember, you have a life to live outside of work that can greatly optimize your time at work, so why not use that to your favor?
Learn A New Skill
Challenge yourself to learn a completely unrelated skill that throws you off-guard and impels you to get out of your comfort zone. For example, cooking is a seriously underrated art that you would do well learn and master. It teaches you about precision and timing — you need to mix the right ingredients in the right quantities and bring out the best in them. It also tells you how to manage your time and resources better by blending seemingly unimportant condiments that make all the difference in the end.
Extend the cooking analogy to entrepreneurship and you’ll come a long way. Being an entrepreneur means that you need to identify the right market and reach your target audience with the right kind of product that synergizes the essence of all your planning, creativity, talent and hard work. More importantly, it underscores the importance of being on your toes at all times and grabbing any opportunity that comes your way – to add an innovative flavor in your business outcomes.