Entrepreneurship isn’t the easiest job in the world. That’s why many entrepreneurs learn and discover productivity tips to keep them motivated.
To succeed, you need to have passion, determination, confidence, and discipline. Those who discover the perfect balance between these would find that even though running a business is hard, it could be the most rewarding job in the world.
The road to entrepreneurial success isn’t a straight one, and along the way, you’ll overcome obstacles and challenges that might slow you down in reaching success. However, by sticking to the right habits and practices, success may just come easier for you and your business.
What are Some of the Productivity Tips for Business Owners?
Whether you’re a start-up entrepreneur or running a growing business, here are ten productivity tips that you, too, can apply in your own career:
1. Wake up and Start the Day Early to Get More Things Done
Early mornings offer peace and quiet that you can’t get in any time of the day. In fact, according to Daniel Pink, author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, in his interview with CNBC, mornings are usually best for tasks that require focus and in-depth analysis.
As much as possible, start your day early and on a good note. Instead of checking your phone right after you wake up and checking and responding to emails, soak in the quiet morning and set your intentions for the day. You can also kick off your day with a workout or a few minutes of meditation. Doing so will help activate your mind and body to prepare for another busy day.
Another benefit of waking up early is that it gives you a lot of time for yourself at the office. When you arrive early, you’ll have a lot of quiet time to spend and focus on the things that need competing ASAP without getting interrupted. With the office empty in the early mornings, your thoughts will continuously flow, and you’ll be more productive when it comes to planning and strategizing for growth.
Notable business owners like Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is known to start their day as early as 3:45 a.m. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, schedules important meetings on the morning before lunch because that’s when his mind is at its sharpest. Sally Krawcheck, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey are also known to start their day as soon as the sun rises.
2. Create a Routine and Stick to It for Consistency
A routine creates consistency in an entrepreneur’s busy day. There’s no way of telling whether the day will go smooth or chaotic. However, having a routine keeps will keep you grounded as it allows you to engage in things you like doing. Having a routine to stick to and look forward to at the end of the day allows you to stay sane no matter how your day is going.
For some, routines could be as simple as waking up early, making a cup of coffee, journaling, then meditating. For others, it could be capping their day off with a run to keep their head clear or spending an hour or two bonding with their family.
No matter what the activity is, sticking to a routine helps entrepreneurs stay focused, happy, and productive. Carve out some time on your day to spend on things like this. As much as possible, make a conscious effort to stick to these practices as it will have a positive impact on your life and career.
3. Make Smart Money Choices
Among the most important practices that entrepreneurs must have is to practice proper money management. Being careful about handling the money allows you to balance your cash flow and avoid going bankrupt before reaching success. This doesn’t necessarily mean running the business as cheaply as you can, but it’s about making smart choices about their finances.
You can approach this practice in a lot of different ways. For example, you can conduct a regular review of your business finances and assess areas from which you can cut costs. Alternatively, you can try to evaluate your products’ performance and cut off those that aren’t performing well. This will leave you with enough savings to spend on other areas in the business that are doing well.
No matter what your strategy is, it’s always a smart step to constantly look for ways in which you can utilize your capital and increase your company’s profitability ratios.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, practicing smart financial management strategies can come in handy. This could also include keeping records of your finances, reinvesting in your business, hiring accountants, and separating business from personal expenses.
4. Practice Taking Notes for Better Productivity
One habit that’s worth developing as an entrepreneur is note-taking. Whether you prefer doing it on your phone or the traditional way by using a pen and notebooks, note-taking offers a lot of advantages for business owners.
For instance, having a pen and notebook with you at all times allows you to write down business or growth ideas as it comes. This is a great way to make sure that you won’t forget them. You can then revisit these ideas and turn them into profitable ventures in the future.
One good example of this is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. Note-taking is one of the productivity tips he adopted, and it allowed him to grow his business. According to him, “An idea that is not written down is an idea lost.” He also said that if he hadn’t taken notes, his empire wouldn’t have succeeded.
Writing also helps entrepreneurs remember ideas more vividly than when they’re just mentally taking notes. Forty percent of new information is easily lost within the first 24 hours of learning it. However, if you take down notes, you’ll be able to retain 100% of all the new information. Note-taking is helpful, especially during meetings and seminars, where speakers continuously pitch vital pieces of information. It also improves organization skills that allow easy prioritization of their thoughts so they don’t get overwhelmed with information.
5. Continue Learning
One of the secrets of entrepreneurial success is constant learning. No matter how busy your schedule is, always carve out some time to learn new things. The world of entrepreneurship and business is fast-changing, and to keep up, you have to be in the know for every new thing – no matter how small. Learning is what will help you and your company move forward.
Reading books is one of the most effective ways to learn new things. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Mark Cuban are avid readers. There are many things involved in running a business, and learning a little bit of each aspect can help you understand your business operations better. With your new-found knowledge, you can also strategize and execute your plans better.
For those who don’t have much time to read books, other learning avenues are available for them. For instance, listening to business podcasts featuring successful entrepreneurs are can help listeners learn from their failures and successes. No matter how little time you devote to learning, count it as an investment towards your business’s success.
6. Learn Proper Time Management
With the hustle and bustle of their daily life, time becomes a precious commodity. For the most part, being a business owner will require you to wear many hats. To maximize your productivity and efficiency, you have to manage your time to create balance in your responsibilities. A well-managed time also helps in preventing burnout.
One of the most common time management methods is the 80/20 rule. Simply put, the 80/20 rule, when put into use, means prioritizing 20% of your tasks that will lead to an 80% income for your company. Successful entrepreneurs also know that delegating some tasks is one of the keys to successful time management. If you’re not well-versed or know someone in your team who is better at doing that specific task, you can delegate the work to them. Doing it this way increases efficiency and productivity.
Some also find planning their calendars ahead of time an efficient approach to time management and one of the best productivity tips to adopt. Plotting out a schedule a week before or a month early gives you an overview of how your days will look like in a particular week or month. It also allows you to prioritize the most important tasks. With a schedule plotted out, it becomes easier to squeeze in breaks and family time in between business matters.
7. Exercise and Meditate
Another vital key to success is exercise. Working out has a lot of benefits. For one, it keeps our muscles active, and it causes the release of endorphins or “happy hormones” to our body to give the body and mind a boost before approaching another busy day. That is also the reason why many entrepreneurs wake up early and start their day with a workout. Other than that, working out increases the blood flow to the brain, improving a person’s cognitive function. With better brain function, you are more likely to make better decisions for your company.
Meditation is also a common practice among successful entrepreneurs. By taking a few minutes to mute the external environment and soak up the peace and quiet, you’re able to let go of the stresses from work or start the day right. Meditation helps you think of the things that you’re grateful for. It also helps clear the mind and recharges the brain, making it one of the productivity tips worth keeping. It’s a great way to relieve stress and promote calmness even in the middle of a hectic day.
Fitness and a good mental state is the perfect recipe for running a business. When your mind and body are aligned and constantly receiving the activity that it needs, your body will be able to function well.
8. Ensure that You Get Enough Sleep
Just as they make it’s helpful to develop a habit of waking up early to be more productive, it’s also vital to make sure that you get enough rest and sleep. Regular sleep patterns help the cells in your body restore energy, so you’ll be ready for tomorrow. It’s one of the most important productivity tips to stick to.
Even a couple of hours of a good night’s rest and sleep could do wonders to the body. It can provide the much-needed energy entrepreneurs need to be able to perform well. It keeps them sharp and enables them to continually keep the ball rolling in their business. On the other hand, lack of sleep increases a person’s emotional reactivity and tends to have lesser tolerance to frustrations. Without adequate rest, entrepreneurs won’t be able to function and make sound decisions for the company.
9. Build Your Network and Establish Business Friendships
Business networking is one of the most valuable ways to develop friendships with business owners within the industry. It lets you meet different entrepreneurs who have been in the same place as you at some point. By hearing about their experiences, failures, and successes, you’ll find out what costly mistakes you should avoid and what path to pursue. Not only that but connecting with other entrepreneurs also helps you gain valuable insights about the current trends and latest news that could be helpful for your growing company.
Networking also presents an opportunity for partnerships with other entrepreneurs. Some successful entrepreneurs want others to achieve the same success as them. All it takes is to make some introductions, strike a conversation, and exchange valuable insights.
There are a lot of avenues for networking for entrepreneurs. If you have a hobby (tennis, philanthropy, golf, etc.), you can spend time with your peers by inviting them to play sports or participate in charity events.
Doing something you both personally love lets you connect with your networks on a much deeper level. You’ll get to learn more about their personalities, allowing you to communicate with them on another level. Business events like seminars and happy hours are also a great way to meet peers inside and outside the industry.
10. Take a Break and Slow Down
An entrepreneur’s life can be stressful, and without any break or rest, they become prey to isolation, depression, and other mental health issues. And successful entrepreneurs know this. That is why it’s always best to carve out a little bit of time in your day for rest and take a break, especially if the day isn’t going as well as you thought it would.
These short breaks will allow you to spend quiet time with yourself. It will help calm you down on a hectic, busy, and stressful day. This also gives you a chance to think of the bigger picture and shift your focus back to the goals you have for your company.
As much as possible, consider taking longer breaks and disconnecting from the busy world of business. Even if it’s just a weekend getaway, these vacations help you slow down so you can recharge and replenish your mental capacity. The more you feel better about yourself, the more efficient you’ll be in running your business. The only way you can be successful in keeping these productivity tips is to keep your mind and body relaxed and ready to face another day at the office.
Keep These Productivity Tips In Mind
Most of the things listed above are person-centric, meaning they mostly focus on the entrepreneur and less on the business itself. The reason behind this is that personal success must come first before business success. If you don’t work on yourself, how can you expect to successfully lead your company and employees?
Becoming a successful entrepreneur doesn’t come naturally. You have to work on yourself, develop habits, and actually incorporate those habits into your life as a business owner. It’s never too late to start adopting these practices. If you’re consistent with following what you have developed, the productivity tips above will become a habit for you. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing improvements in your profitability ratios and your business will be on the path towards success.
Image Credit: cottonbros; pexels
Dane Panes has been working as a content writer since 2017. She now works full-time for SMB Compass and has covered topics relating to entrepreneurship, business financing, marketing, and more. When she’s not working, you’ll most likely see her hunched in one corner reading a good book or binge-watching her favorite TV series.