When you run a small business whether full-time or part-time how you spend your time is extremely important. Time is money after all so, when you’re an entrepreneur increasing your productivity is essential.
I’m sharing my 5 productivity tips for entrepreneurs to help you get super organized and create a more productive business.
First, let’s define productivity. In his book Start Now. Get Perfect Later. Rob Moore states “Productive is getting important things done. Efficient is getting the important things done in the shortest amount of time.”
How can an entrepreneur be productive?
Ideally, we as entrepreneurs want to be both productive and efficient. However, the first step to efficiency is to increase your productivity by actually starting to get the important things done.
At first, you may not be getting them done in the most efficient way but at least you’re getting them done.
For entrepreneurs, the most productive tasks are the money-making/ income-generating tasks.
To be productive as an entrepreneur you must focus on these income-generating tasks every single day.
What do entrepreneurs do on a daily basis?
You may have a to-do list a mile long but if the task you’re doing doesn’t work towards bringing income into your business then you should not be doing it.
As an entrepreneur, you should focus on the task that directly brings you more clients every day.
Your daily activities should be focused on creating offers, getting clients and serving clients.
Everything else should be outsourced as soon as possible.
You want to be able to get more done in less time, faster and better. You want to know that you’re focusing on the right things and hitting your goals faster.
You need to find better ways to create content, market your business, build relationships and supercharge your success. That means knowing what matters and knowing when to delegate or outsource a task.
Once you’re focusing on getting the most important tasks done, you can begin to look at how fast you can get them done.
Productivity Tips For Entrepreneurs
So how do you develop productivity? By following these 5 productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.
Productivity Tip #1: Set Clear Goals For Yourself & Your Business
Ever had days where you’re running around being busy but feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. I bet you had no goals for the day. You just went with the flow and ended up feeling lost.
I know I’ve been there.
If you don’t know what you want to accomplish you will never get anywhere. So step 1 in getting super productive is to get very clear on what you want to achieve.
You need to create yearly goals for yourself (Your Life) and your business. I talk about why setting goals for your business is important over here.
These will form the foundation of your planning and what you do every day. Need to know which type of goals you should be setting for your business? Then check out this post.
Productivity Tip #2: Breakdown Your Goals
When you have your yearly goals figured out, break them down into;
- Quarterly Goals
- Monthly Goals
- Weekly goals
By taking big yearly goals and breaking them down like this, you’ll find it easier to create daily tasks to accomplish your goals quicker.
Your monthly or weekly goals should give you the daily action steps you need to take in order to reach your goals.
Once you have your action task break those down into the admin tasks that you can delegate and the income-generating task that you have to take care of.
Productivity Tip #3: Use a Productivity Planner
This has been a gamechanger for me.
Back in 2016/2017 I had a lot of goals but didn’t achieve one of them. Those where unproductive years. Then 2018 came around and I decided to take a different approach.
Taking my yearly goals, breaking them down and then using a planner to plan out my days. This helped me to hit a lot of my goals and made massive progress on big goals.
Back then I went down the route of creating my own planners that I kept modifying every week at first in order to maximise their effectiveness.
This turned into another one of my businesses Deluxe Life Planners. You grab printable planners and digital planners to increase your productivity in your business and life.
I also have a whole post full of planner ideas over here.
Productivity Tip #4: Understand & Remove Your Distractions
Resistance is the biggest killer of dreams and reaching goals. What is resistance, it’s what stops you from taking the necessary actions to move towards your goals. Most often it shows up as procrastination. But it takes many other ways such as every excuse and complaint you make about your life.
Your job is to figure out where in your life you have resistance, how it shows up for you and how you can combat it to get the important work you have to do, done.
A great book to read and get a deeper understanding of resistance is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Also, focus on your habits around tech. One of the biggest modern distractions is technology.
Do you find yourself reaching for your phone before you’ve even opened your eyes?
Do you have the TV on in the background whilst you get ready to start your day?
These habits can all be unlearned. Do it and see how clear your day becomes. By avoiding technology, you are removing other people’s priorities and agenda from your day.
So, when you sit down and write out your priorities it will be based on what you want to achieve that day, not on what anyone else wants. Try it for seven days and see how much more you get done.
Productivity Tip #5: Set a Maximum of 3 Priorities a Day & Tackle The Hardest One First
Setting your priorities is key to not getting off track when it comes to your goals. You see if you don’t set your priorities for yourself someone else will and you will feel like you’re fighting fires all day and come to the end of not feeling like you have achieved much.
This will give you focus and permit you to say no to anything that doesn’t fit in with your plan for the day. Try making these priorities, the actions you need to take to accomplish your goals.
When you have 3 priorities based on your goals and get them done, who will feel amazing about having achieved something with your day.
With your priorities set, tackle the hardest thing on your list, first thing in the morning. Put it on the top of your, to-do list and get it done. This is commonly known as eating the frog and it’s one way to tackle resistance.
I can’t tell you how many times doing this has made the day so much more effective for me. You’ll feel like you’ve tackled the biggest monster in the room and anything else you’ve got to do is easy.
If you don’t tackle the hardest thing, you’ll be much less effective on all the tasks you’re doing cause in the back of your mind you’re focused on the fact you’ve eventually going to have to do that thing you’ve been avoiding. Don’t avoid it, tackle it.
Productivity Tip #6: Develop Essential Skills
When you do anything for the first time, it is always harder than the tenth time. This is why it is important to develop key essential skills and master them. The better you are at the essentials, the more time it frees up to learn and develop other skills for your business, career, and growth.
What essential skills you ask, well here are a list of the skills you should focus on developing.
- Career Development skills including career management & negotiation skills
- Stress Management
- Time Management and Productivity
- Communication Skills
- Learning skills
Productivity Tip #7: Make it a Habit
Making doing the important tasks on a daily basis a habit is the best productivity tip I can give you.
How much would your business grow if you created the habit of having 5 conversations with potential clients every day?
It typically take around 21 days to build a habit so pick three productivity tasks you want to make a habit and focus on only those 3 things for the next 21 days. Then you feel you have got the habit in grained add the next 3.
What are the best productivity tools for entrepreneurs?
The best way to increase your productivity is to use a few tools to help you stay on top of what you need to do. And the good news is you really only need a couple of tools.
The second tool is more about efficiency and that’s a Pomodoro timer. The Pomodoro technique is about focusing on one task for 20-25 minutes then taking a 5-minute break. This helps you to increase productivity and efficiency. I highly recommend you start using this technique, especially if you have trouble focusing on the tasks you have to complete.
Use these tips to help you become better at taking action on all the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business.
Go be your best and most effective self. Smash your goals, one action at a time.
Pick one tip and work on it.
If you’re looking to get started with any of these steps, check out the Build Your Business Vault – where you’ll find templates, worksheets and checklists that will help you with setting business goals!