Just like snowflakes, no two entrepreneurs are alike – their days and schedules vary wildly from one another, which can prove to be quite a challenge. But, there are some simple things that small business owners can do every single day to ensure sure they are productive as possible.
These are the strategies I use (and urge my clients to use) to keep productivity a daily priority. Using these tips is about being the best version of yourself and making each minute count.
Eat Breakfast. While it’s easy to grab a cup of coffee and race into the day, getting some nourishment to get both your brain and body going is important. Without a healthy breakfast, you’re simply running your body on empty and you’re setting yourself up for a mid-morning energy crash.
Delegate. Know what you can pass off to someone else. Trying to do it all and not asking for help will only lead you to feel burned out and frustrated. Spend a little time finding someone to help you and teach him/her the tasks you want them to perform will allow you to accomplish other, more important tasks.
Breathe. Most entrepreneurs race through the day, without pausing – even a few moments. The act of simply stopping for 10 seconds and practicing deep breathing can make all the difference and rid yourself of the feeling of being out of control.
Work Toward Tomorrow. The mundane activities of the day-to-day of running a small business can easily consume all of your time. It’s easy to let weeks and even months slip by without working on your large projects or long-term goals. Find time, at least once a week, to work on one of these long-term goals. If you want to write a book for example, spend a few hours every week writing, researching, or editing content.
Keep A Time Journal. For most entrepreneurs the day flies by. It’s easy to house more tasks to accomplish than hours in the day. Many times, the end of the day rolls around and it’s difficult to remember what tasks were accomplished during the day. By keeping a time journal, entrepreneurs can gain an understanding of how they are spending their time and what is getting accomplished. It’s not necessary to worry about the time journal being too particular, however, it is important to use broad strokes to paint a picture of what is consuming the most time and if that particular activity or activities are worthwhile.
Talk to Others. Being an entrepreneur can be a solo and even lonely proposition. It’s important to maintain communication with those both in and outside of the entrepreneurial world. Not only does this give you a mental break, it exposes you to ideas, suggestions and attitudes different than your own. You never know where you will find inspiration or gain valuable business insight. Oh, and you’ll probably have fun while doing it.
Make Lists. Entrepreneurs have lots of things floating around in their heads. Many times, our heads are so full of information and ideas that it’s difficult to focus. Keeping a multitude of lists is the solution. Keep to-do lists for today, tomorrow, the week ahead, and even the whole year. By writing something down, you are committing to taking action. The simple act of writing something can help bring it to fruition. So, instead of having all of those tasks rattling around in your head, do a brain dump and put them on paper – it can can clear your mind of the mental clutter.
Take care of yourself. Just as you need to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others on a plane, you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of your employees and your business. And taking care of yourself means more than just healthy eating and physical activity. It also means getting enough sleep at night, finding time to relax, and achieving personal fulfillment. Make sure you know what you love to do and make time to do it. Personally, I love to read, and even if I have had an overwhelming day, I spend a few minutes with a book and it can make everything else during my day seem a little less stressful.
Plan Tomorrow. Before you leave the office today, take a few moments to sit down and plan out tomorrow. Sitting down and making notes on what you need to accomplish tomorrow can help you save time in the morning. When you arrive at your desk, blurry eyed and tired, looking at an already prioritized list saves you time and energy. I also suggest cleaning off your desk. Sitting down at a clean desk in the morning is an amazing feeling!
Every day as an entrepreneur will be a little bit different. It’s one of the things that most business owners love. However, forming positive habits and sticking to them, can make every day productive.