Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk…
Isn’t it romantic to be entrepreneurs today? Those guys seem to come out of the top drawer of dreamers whose mission is to do good for us. Their lives look like fairytales, and they inspire us to follow a similar path.
But not everything in the garden is rosy.
The ugly side of that fairytale hides behind the curtain. It is that, for most entrepreneurs, life is overwhelming and stressful. Leading people, making decisions, dealing with tons of tasks and responsibilities – everyday to-do lists of successful businessmen are as long as one’s arm.
Entrepreneurship requires a massive workload, and one should be super productive to get through it. No wonder that tons of motivational books and articles consider productivity a code for success. Any self-respecting resource holds it their duty to share tips, tools, cheat sheets, or productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.
But how much productivity is enough? How can entrepreneurs work like billy-ho and not go mad?
To become (actually!) productive, they should possess a quality such as stamina. Those with no stamina, bad news is coming for you: exhaustion, stress, or even depression will cut the course of your productivity endeavors short.
Here goes a list of practical suggestions or productivity hacks for entrepreneurs willing to keep well under intense work.
1) Change Perspective
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
– William Shakespeare
Answer the question “How are things going at work?” It stands to reason that business might be a bit groggy and you have many challenging issues to solve, but there are always two answers to this question:
- “Damn! I am hardly in time with everything. I can’t handle it, so many tasks, so many projects…”
- “Well, things go hard, many projects depend on my work, but I try to manage priorities and cope with everything.”
See the difference?
Take tough time as a challenge, not punishment. Perspective matters, and any crisis is that very moment when you can become smarter, stronger, and, therefore, more productive.
2) Go With Your Gut
Most entrepreneurs make the same mistake when running into difficulties – they switch off sensitivity toward selves. As Hugh Beaulac, startuper behind MC2 says, “I try to ignore pain and move on.” No wonder that such an approach leads to anything but productivity.
Don’t ignore the messages your body and brain send because positive internality is a strong team-mate of every entrepreneur.
To go with your gut, you should:
- understand what motivates you at work;
- find out what activities give you the energy to move on;
- agree that some people are energy vampires and avoid them, concentrating on business partners and investors who inspire positives.
3) Learn to Take Drastic Measures
A hefty dose of problems catch entrepreneurs who play it safe and are afraid of taking drastic measures. But you have to take them sooner or later; otherwise, you’ll drown in duties and responsibilities which may lead to complete burnout and exhaustion, as well as fatal consequences for your business.
4) Upgrade Your Skills
A hallmark of successful entrepreneurs – they never stop learning. They read professional books, attend conferences and seminars, upgrade skills whenever they can, and listen to pieces of advice from colleagues. Sounds counter-intuitive, but the more you go to the effort for self-development, the more productive specialist you become.
Because you know how to work smart, not hard.
5) Use Visual Tools
To stay productive, don’t ignore creative technology. Visual tools not only help in business but also in management.
Use and draw mind maps for brainstorming, organizing and revising information. Try them for planning your day or business meeting to make it more efficient. Through visualizing thoughts and intentions, you improve memory because the human brain stores information in patterns, not linearly.
Don’t ignore a visual tool such as old school lists: the physical aspect of handwriting works wonders for productivity. You are more likely to complete a task if you’ve written it beforehand.
6) Live a Healthy Lifestyle
To be productive, one should feel fresh. Entrepreneurs are just humans, after all; and no business will succeed if managed by a person careless about her own health. So, don’t kick the can down the road when it comes to your physical condition. Make a healthy lifestyle a part of your working routine: go to the gym, forget about fast food, sleep well, and stay active.
7) Life First, Work Afterward
What’s the point of productive entrepreneurship if your personal life breaks down? Any reason to take on the world if no one waits for you at home?
When managing a business, don’t forget about work-life balance. Do your best to find time for friends and family, and don’t ignore activities unrelated to your entrepreneurship.
8) Understand Your Pace of Life
We all have a personal inner clock. Some work better in mornings, others peak productivity at night. Learn your pace of life and organize a schedule accordingly.
9) Respect Your Time
And teach employees to respect it, too. Otherwise, you risk turning into a jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur, busy as a bee to manage everything alone.
- Avoid business meetings where employees can do without you.
- Don’t manage tasks, unrelating to your duties directly.
- Stop being Mr. Nice Guy who helps colleagues on every trifle.
10) Failures = Experience
“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”
If Stephen King cried and gave up after rejections he got from publishing houses he would hardly become the bestselling author we all know today. So, change your perspective about failures and mistakes you make. Let them be a so-called school of life, aka experience that will help you with further endeavors.
11) Build Relations with Employees
Entrepreneurship supposes working and spending time with many people, each –with different views, intelligence, and experience. Conflicts are inevitable, even if it comes to professional relations only. Learn to minimize them and improve team collaboration in the office: positive emotions inspire and encourage productivity.
12) Don’t Hesitate to Vent
Entrepreneurship is stressful. It brings down your health and energy, provoking a nervous collapse. To train stamina and become more productive, learn to skip negative emotions and relax.
- Listen to quiet music
- Draw pictures. (Why not, after all?)
- Write a diary.
- Organize your office for business growth.
- Practice positive thinking.
Productivity Hacks for Better Results
Consider these productivity hacks as soon as you decide to organize a working schedule for better results. Instead of fussing over what other techniques to master for super duper productivity, pay attention to stamina and your work-life balance. No health and harmony with self – no efficiency in business.
About the author:
Lesley Vos creates content for publications on business, career, and productive writing. She believes it’s never late for personal growth, and she’s open to networking on Twitter.