Being productive as an entrepreneur isn’t easy. There are so many distractions out there that it can be hard to make progress towards your goals. But it’s not hopeless. There are tools and methods that you can use to get superhuman productivity.
Here are 50 of the best productivity hacks for entrepreneurs:
1. Avoid commuting to the office
Commuting is stressful, time intensive and causes friction in your day. Avoid if at all possible!
2. Learn how to say “No”
Avoid being a people pleaser, say no to opportunities and favours and you will find yourself with more time to reach your goals
3. Do the most important task of the day first
In the morning we have the highest willpower levels, use this to complete the hardest task first . This makes the rest of the day’s tasks seem easy
4. Keep your phone in airplane mode until your first task is done
This ensures the first task is done with the distraction of a pointless phone call.
5. Use sleep cycle to wake up with energy
SleepCycle is an app that monitors your sleep cycle so it can wake you up at the optimum time in a 30-minute window.
6. Exercise in the morning
Richard Branson claims exercising in the morning gives him 4 more productive hours in a day.
7. Be goal orientated rather than following a todo list
Always align your tasks to an outcome ie. if it doesn’t increase revenue don’t prioritise it.
8. Meditate using Headspace
Meditation clears your mind and lets you develop laser focus and Headspace guides you through the process.
9. Use the Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break, quite simple it works.
10. Start the day of using the 60-60-30 technique
This ensures your first 2 biggest tasks of the day get done with ease. 50-minutes work, 10-minutes break, 60-minutes work and then 30-minutes break.
11. Avoid meetings
Meetings are usually a waste of time. Avoid meetings if you can and cap them at 20-minutes if they are unavoidable.
12. Remember the Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your results in anything stem from 20% of your actions, identify the 20% of actions that create 80% of your revenue and double down on them
13. Avoid eating big meals during the day
Eating big meals sends blog from your brain to your digestive system, leaving you feeling lethargic and stupid.
14. If it takes less than 2 mins do it now
For example, if you open an email in your inbox reply… don’t leave an “open-loop” in your mind.
15. Check emails 2 times a day
Email and messaging apps like slack are massive time wasters. Create an autoresponder telling people you check emails only 2 times a day and if it’s super important they can speak with your PA.
“There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
16. Tell people to stop distracting you
It takes you 25-minutes to get back to your original level of focus after distraction, make co-workers realize that.
17. Use background music
Use FocusAtWill, Brain.fm or youtube alpha waves/classical music to focus whilst working. Music you like with lyrics is always distracting.
18. Plan your day the night before
Wire your brain for productivity by going over your day the night before.
19. Make 60-second decisions
Don’t sweat over decisions or spend too much time deliberating them because it tanks your mental energy. The 60-second decision is a powerful concept.
20. Don’t start the day with distraction
80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. The first hour sets the precedent for the day so don’t start it with distraction.
21. Make your work environment comfortable
To get into “flow” state you need to be in a comfortable environment, make sure your office isn’t cluttered or messy and that your seat is comfortable.
22. Stick to your routine
Whenever you can do the same things at the same times of the day, this allows you to create a habit and means in the future the task will take no energy to do.
23. Wake up early to do your morning routine
If you can get in the habit of a morning routine you will set yourself up for success. It will allow you to guarantee a productive day.
24. Reward yourself
Pick times to cool off and reward yourself like lunches with a friend or a walk to a coffee shop at mid-morning when you’ve completed your second task.
25. Pick a calendar management tool
Fantastical 2, Omnifocus, Wunderlist, Trello, Asana are all great calendar management tools.
26. Schedule tasks
Tasks always expand to the time you have. Schedule them at a certain time and duration to ensure they get done.
27. What gets measured gets managed
Always review your work day and week. What got done? What didn’t get done and why? How can I streamline my productivity process?
28. Don’t multitask
Multitasking lowers your IQ as much as smoking weed. Avoid this!
29. Use the 6 list rule
Every working day write down 6 tasks in order of importance and tackle them one by one. If some don’t get completed reorder into the next day’s list.
30. Drink more water
When you wake up drink 0.5L of water immediately to replenish your body after a waterless night. Keep drinking water throughout the day to improve focus.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
31. Use stayfocussd to block distracting websites
StayFocussd is a chrome extension that blocks distracting sites like facebook.
32. Have an afternoon nap
A 20-minute nap is an incredible asset to have. It refreshes the mind and body and allows you to develop superhuman productivity.
33. Don’t watch the news
The news affects your “reptilian brain” by evoking a fear response. You will be much happier and more productive without it.
34. Turn off push notifications
Push notifications equals distractions. Turn them off and celebrate your new found freedom.
35. Use on and off ramps
This means do the same task to get you prepared for work every single day and a different task to prepare you for stopping thinking about work. For example, a run in the morning and a shower in the evening to stop you bringing work home with you.
36. Brain dump once a week
Once a week write down everything you have been worrying/thinking about ( not necessarily just work related) and put in on a piece of paper with 2 categories. Things I can control and things I can’t. Schedule the former into tasks for the week and tear up the page with the things you can’t control on it. This releases mental tension.
37. Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Less noises equals less distractions which equals better productivity
38. Visualise yourself
Pro golfers have increased their handicap without hitting a ball using visualisation. Conor McGregor swears by it. Visualise yourself being successful with the work at hand.
39. Make sure you have everything to complete your tasks
You should have everything at hand to complete your tasks. This means planning ahead of time for resources, assets or people that are needed to complete the task.
40. Schedule eating
Always eat breakfast and schedule eating times to avoid getting hungry and eating junk.
41. Split test your sleeping habits
Always get at least 6 hours of sleep a night. Pulling an all nighter doesn’t make you a “hustler” it means you’re not organised enough.
42. Read David Allens “getting things done”
This is the must read book for successful productivity.
43. Sleep in 90-min blocks
The human circadian rhythm is 90 minutes and it takes us on average 10 minutes to get to sleep. So go to sleep at 10:50PM if you want to wake up with energy at 6AM.
44. Take at least 1 day off in your business a week
Your business is your baby and needs a lot of attention to grow up strong and healthy, but one night a week consider getting a babysitter and not thinking about it. This will allow you to relax your mind and avoid burn out.
45. Reconnect with your why
Never forget why you started. Always connect the work with your passion and dreams.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
46. Give up TV
10 years from now you will regret watching TV. It is a massive time waster.
47. Reduce decision fatigue
Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same clothes and eats the same food. This allows him to use his decision powers on things that matter.
48. Cold showers
Cold showers force the blood in your body into your core. This gives you energy and mental focus.
49. Splash cold water on your face when you wake up
This increases cortisol levels (stress hormone) to help you act with urgency to get things done.
50. Avoid the snooze button
The first action you do sets the context for the day. The snooze button is so dangerous because it trains your brain to procrastinate and actually makes you wake up feeling more tired.