Work smarter, not harder. That’s the name of the game. Do you have a pile of paper on your desk, a big to-do list or clients waiting on your response? Of course you do, you’re an entrepreneur. With so many tasks and processes to through on a daily basis, business can be overwhelming at times. Throw in distractions like Facebook and smartphones then suddenly you aren’t getting much done. Today you’re going to become much more organized and productive. That’s because I’m going to share some proven strategies to get more work done with less headaches. Keep reading on if that sounds like something you would like to learn.
The Open Loop Syndrome
I first learned about this in a book called Getting Things Done by David Allen. If there was one book that single handedly changed my productivity game, it was this one. In the book, David goes into something called “open loops“. You probably one going on right now. We all do at some point. An open loop is that thought that continually runs through your head all day and night. You can’t seem to get rid of it. This can distract you and slow your productivity to a haul if you’re not careful.
Open loops can be resolved within an instant by simply closing them. For example, you’re worrying about scheduling some calls with clients and it sticks in your head. If you were to just take the few minutes to schedule the calls and make sure it fits into your calendar, it’s finished. The loop is closed! The key is to take action. Schedule, decide, make a plan. That open loop only exists because you haven’t made a decision about what ever you’re pondering. Stop thinking, start making decisions.
Every morning I make a to-do list based on what my focuses are for my businesses. Perhaps I got a guest post opportunity so I won’t wrote for my website until tomorrow. Maybe I just plain old feel like doing more SEO that day. I go with the flow but always make sure I’m doing tasks that bring results.
You should be making a to-do list every day to stay on track. Include the main tasks you need to be doing every day like emails, content creation, client work and similar. Don’t forget to add in time for yourself too like reading, meditating and working out. There’s something very satisfying about scratching off things on your list as you complete them. At the end of the day, it’s a great feeling too when you see how much you’ve accomplished.
Probably even more important then having a to-do list is scheduling. You need to know what you should be doing every day of course, but it’s crucial you know when and for how long. This will take some testing and trial and error depending on your lifestyle. Do your best to create a schedule that has some good breaks in it and time for you. I personally enjoy waking up around 6:00am and going to bed around 9:00-10:00pm.
When I first wake up, I make some tea or coffee and get into some light tasks. Checking my emails, analytics and doing some social media marketing is my go to. Around 7:00am I’m wide awake and can jump into more energy driven tasks like content creation or outreach. If I finish writing an article around 8:15am for example, I’ll take a break to stretch and read. My mornings and early afternoon get all of the hard work out of the way so I can workout, meditate and do my own things later.
Find what suits you best in terms of work/life balance. Switch it up and try different things. Give yourself a certain amount of allotted time for each task and a little break here and there.
This is another awesome tip I learned from Getting Things Done, I can’t plug that book enough. A weekly review is exactly what you think it is, a review you do weekly to measure progress. For myself, I use a Google Doc’s spreadsheet and include areas such as:
- Health and fitness
Every Monday I go through these categories and write about progress I’ve made, new ideas and strategies. You can use whatever software you want and write about whatever you prefer. I find this keeps me on track to achieve my goals.
Get a Performance Partner
A “performance partner” was something I picked up from books like The Compound Effect and The $100 Startup. It’s simply a business partner or friend that motivates you, keeps you measured up and vice versa. One of my best friends Evan, the owner of WiseMedia, is the perfect example of this. On practically a daily basis we keep each other updated with our goals, progress and business ideas. We are always linking each other useful content, videos and recommending books. A relationship like this is priceless as an entrepreneur as it keeps you on your toes, held accountable, and in the right direction. Do you have a performance partner? If not, go get one!
Thanks for reading today’s article. I hope you learned a thing or two that will up your productivity game as an entrepreneur. Feel free to share it with any friend that are into business!