If you’re like most entrepreneurs you probably wish you had more hours in the day. Unfortunately, Elon Musk hasn’t come up with a solution for time travel yet. Until then, the best we can do is make more of the hours we are given. When it comes to productivity tips, there are plenty to go around. Some will work better than others, and some may not work at all. That said, it’s important you identify which ones work best for you and make them into habits.
Here are five productivity tips for any entrepreneur:
Check Email in Batches
Email is both the best and worst thing for business. Clearly, it’s the one of, if not the main method of communication. The downside is that it’s one of the biggest distractions throughout the workday.
If you’re constantly checking your email every time you get a message, you’re making a mistake. Not only are you spending time checking the email, but it also takes a while to get reoriented after a distraction.
The best way to handle email is to check it in batches. For example, I batch 15 minutes in the morning, after lunch, and before I leave work for emails. That way I know I won’t be spending more than 45 minutes a day emailing back and forth. Sure you can be flexible but try your best to stay disciplined.
Exercising does wonders for your productivity. I recommend exercising at least 30 minutes every day preferably in the morning. When you exercise your body releases endorphins which wakes you up much better than a cup of coffee.
If you make a habit out of exercising you’ll be much more alert and focused throughout the workday.
For some reason we love to multitask. The misconception is that we’re more productive when we multitask. The reality is that we’re actually just doing both tasks inefficiently.
When you start a project or a piece of work you should always try to work uninterrupted. If the project is on the longer side then you can break it up into smaller milestones. The point is you want to stay focused on one task at a time before moving on to others.
Change Your Environment
Feeling stagnant is one of the worst feelings as an entrepreneur. If you’ve been working out of the same space or desk for the last couple months it may be time to change things up. Even if it’s for a day or two try working in a different space.
I try to avoid working at the same space for more than a week at a time. Even if you’re moving spaces within the office it can make a big difference.
Take Your Meeting On The Go
Before you go to book your next meeting you should consider taking it on the go. Whether you’re taking a phone call or chatting with a team member, meetings on the go are a great change of pace (literally).
It’s really hard to stay productive if you’re sitting for hours on end. Taking a walk allows you to clear your head and get the blood pumping again. I take almost every call on the move because I like to pace around when I chat. Whenever I get a call at my desk I subconsciously standup before I even look at the caller.
Becoming more productive won’t happen overnight. Changes are slow and results will take time to really show. That said, it’s important to start developing better habits sooner rather than later. If you haven’t done so already, you should consider adopting the five productivity tips listed above.
Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.