Productivity Tips, Tricks and Hacks for Busy Professionals and Entrepreneurs
You've tried all of the usual productivity hacks, and they aren't working... now what? Here are ten of our favorite creative ways to channel a productive mindset.
1. Check email later in the day
When you start the day in your inbox, it’s easy to lose focus. Instead of letting your emails dictate how you spend your morning, try tackling your messages after an hour or two of focused work.
2. Do one small thing
When you set a big goal for your company, getting started can feel downright overwhelming. Trying to accomplish everything at once is often a recipe for failure. Instead, pick one small task. It might be as simple as opening a blank document and adding a title. With any luck, you’ll soon gain enough momentum to do more and more.
Setting more realistic goals can also help you stay focused and productive — learn more about attainable goal-setting in this quick read.
3. Keep a clutter-free workspace
If you’re someone who believes that messes create stresses, focusing on the aesthetics of your office can help boost your productivity. Make it a habit to spend 5-10 minutes organizing your desk at the beginning and end of each workday.
4. Delegate and outsource
You can’t add more hours into a day, but with the right help, you can do more with the hours that are available.
Many small businesses hire employees and contractors, but there’s another option that can save time and money while sparing you from the hassles of hiring: virtual assistants. If you aren’t familiar with everything these professionals can accomplish for your company, the following resources will get you up to speed on the possibilities:
- 30 Things You Didn’t Know a Virtual Assistant Could Do
- 11 Reasons You Need a Virtual Assistant
- How a Virtual Assistant Can Streamline Day-to-Day Business Operations
5. Be relentless about routines
History’s most productive people stick to strict daily routines. A productivity-enhancing routine might include set times for waking, starting work, taking breaks, exercise, relaxation, sleep and other important activities.
6. Take breaks
Speaking of breaks, they’re a critical component of productive work.
Your brain can’t run on empty, but a short break can provide a surprisingly effective mental boost. When you come back to your work, you’ll be refreshed and ready to go.
7. Disconnect from the internet
The internet is full of distractions. There are tools that can block certain websites, but they don’t always do the trick. If you have trouble staying focused, you may need to try something a bit more drastic: turning off your internet connection completely.
Disconnecting doesn’t mean you can’t use your computer, because there are plenty of tools that can be used offline. For some examples, check out these 6 Tools for Offline Productivity.
8. Make a “Not-To-Do” list
To-do lists are a common productivity tool, but how often do you think about all of the things you shouldn’t be doing?
Whether it’s mindlessly browsing the internet, watching too many cat videos on YouTube or getting sucked into social media, write down your most common time wasters and create your own “Not-To-Do” list.
9. Host smaller meetings
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has a “two pizzas” rule for all meetings: every meeting should be small enough that attendees can be fed with two large pizzas.
That’s because smaller meetings make it easier to communicate and collaborate while ensuring that every attendee has a chance to share their ideas and feedback. This allows the team to stay productive and on-task.
10. Host meetings in a new space
When you need to think outside the box, a chance of scenery can provide a big boost to creativity.
Swap your usual office meeting room for somewhere new, like a quiet park or even a rentable meeting room that’s equipped with whiteboards and other essential brainstorming tools. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many new ideas are born.