With the sheer amount of productivity hacks and life hacks recommended today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even with all of these ideas available, however, it can be hard to figure out which ones work and which ones are just myths.
Increasing your productivity as an entrepreneur means that you can get more done in a shorter span of time. For people who spend most of their waking hours getting work done and contributing to their company’s growth, productivity hacks that truly work can be worth their weight in gold.
So we asked 10 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council about how they improved their personal productivity. Below are some of the unique strategies they utilize to make themselves more productive throughout their day.
1. Having A Visual Cue For Accountability
I have two jars next to me. At the beginning of the week, one has 100 paper clips. Each activity has a certain point value. As I have calls, meetings and networking events throughout the week, I move the paper clips, and success means moving them all from one jar to another. The power of having a visual cue for accountability drives productivity. – Russell Benaroya, Stride Services
2. Managing Communication Windows
My favorite productivity hack is to manage my communication windows. I take 30 minutes every morning to go through emails and Slack messages and prioritize them. Important messages are answered right away and I leave the rest till later. I then take 15 minutes around midday and at the end of the day to respond to the rest. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
3. Prioritizing And Scoping
Prioritizing and scoping are essential. I think the easy traps to fall into when you have a lot to do are to get “deer in the headlights” and let feeling overwhelmed stop you from making progress. It’s best to look at the tasks at hand, see which ones matter most and rank them, as well as see which ones are easy to knock out quickly. I usually try to block out larger blocks of time to focus on bigger picture projects. – Ashley Merrill, Lunya
4. Keeping Meetings Short
Reduce the time you spend on meetings to half the regular time. We don’t want meetings dragging down our productivity. We want to keep things short and simple and check in on each other because time is so valuable. –Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
5. Time Blocking With No Distractions
What really impacts my productivity is time blocking, eliminating distractions (turn phone on airplane mode and turn email notifications off on desktop) and working in focused sessions of 90 minutes. Between the sessions I find that taking a short walk outside, doing some breathing exercises, stretching or doing a headstand really helps me regain mental focus and clarity for the next focus session or meeting. – Omer Reiner, FL Cash Home Buyers, LLC
I’ve always found journaling a helpful tool that boosts my productivity. I use my journal as a planner and a place to keep thoughts and ideas on paper and out of my mind. If you struggle with staying productive because you feel overwhelmed by everything going on throughout the day, I recommend journaling. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Taking Breaks
Take breaks when your mind or body requires it. People try to manage their productivity by creating rigid rules, but sometimes it’s those rigid rules that actually make you less productive. It’s important to objectively observe your mental or physical energy, then base your breaks off that. If you’re trying to do creative work but feel blocked, take a walk. – Andy Karuza, LitPic
8. Listening To Music
I’ve found that listening to music while working is a great way to boost my productivity. The only catch is it has to be music that I know word for word, or else I have trouble focusing. But I have an entire playlist that I put on when I need to sit down and get through a ton of work. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
9. Taking On Difficult Tasks First
Tackle the difficult stuff first. It is tempting to put off things that cause you stress, but taking care of the challenging tasks on your to-do list first will put you in a clearer frame of mind to help you more efficiently handle everything else that comes your way. –Rachel Lipson, Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People
10. Using A Treadmill Desk
I’ve found that my treadmill desk has boosted my productivity as well as my ability to innovate at work. Whether I’m standing or walking at a slow pace in front of my desk, I’ve found that I’m much more focused than when I’m sitting. I end each work day with a feeling that I’ve gotten in physical activity as well as having been productive in my business. – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.