As an Entrepreneur, you often have to tackle an endless list of tasks. It’s easy to feel
overwhelmed and to lose focus.
How often do you find yourself scrolling mindlessly through social media despite the mile-long list of tasks you need to complete?
This can happen to anyone, even the best entrepreneurs have tricks to help them maximise their efficiency and avoid distractions.
Here are 5 of the best techniques to increase your productivity.
1. Ivy Lee Method
In 1918, Charles M. Schwab, the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation was one of the richest men in the world.
Searching for a way to increase his efficiency, Schwab sought out the help of Ivy Lee, a successful businessman in his own right, but also a highly-respected productivity consultant.
After spending 15 minutes with each of Schwab’s executives, Lee explained a simple method to increase productivity:
At the end of each day, write down the six most important tasks to accomplish tomorrow
Prioritize these tasks
Tomorrow, concentrate solely on each individual task in order of priority
At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to the task list for the next day
Fewer priorities leads to increase productivity. Sharp focus on an individual task will allow you to improve your productivity and get the most important tasks done.
For more on the Ivy Lee method, check out this article
2. No Meeting Wednesdays
Keeping one day consistently blocked off each week will provide you an allocated time slot to catch up on tasks.
Used by successful entrepreneurs in a variety of spaces, this allows you to stay focused on project work and the tasks at hand.
Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana, commits to product work every Wednesday after clearing his schedule. According to Moskovitz, it’s “an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work.”
Don’t get caught up in a never-ending circle of meetings. While they may feel productive, you could potentially lose sight of your product goals.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Italian for “tomato,” Pomodoro refers to the tomato-shaped cooking timer Francesco Cirillo used as a college student.
Popularised in the ‘80s, the Pomodoro technique consists of breaking work down into 25-minute bursts of intense work followed by a 5-minute break.
In the typical workday of 8-hours, you would expect to get 16 cycles; however, don’t be hard on yourself if you only get 5 or 6. The amount of work you complete in those cycles could be more than the remaining 5 hours if you do it right!
4. Have a Consistent Morning Routine
Working long hours and glued to a computer screen is the making of an unhealthy lifestyle. It is important as an entrepreneur to maintain good physical and mental health.
Exercising in the morning not only promotes better quality sleep but will also give you mental clarity and a sense of accomplishment before you’ve even made it to the office.
While exercise can provide a great physical and mental boost, it is also important to completely switch off. Meditation is a great way to do this.
A reduction in stress, an improvement in concentration and an increase in happiness are just some of the scientifically proven benefits of meditating.
Pairing up exercise and meditation every morning provides a great way to start of your day de-stressed, motivated and with a sense of accomplishment.
5. The 2-Minute Rule
While earlier I discussed the benefits of the Ivy Lee method, it is also important to acknowledge that as an entrepreneur you will be inundated with small tasks.
In his popular book “Getting Things Done,” David Allen outlines the following technique to help accomplish smaller tasks without losing sight of your higher priorities: If you can complete the task in under 2 minutes, do it immediately.
This simple method will help you ensure you don’t get overwhelmed with a bottomless list of smaller tasks while also ensuring you stick to the time-consuming and important tasks.
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