We all envy those men and women who seem to have it all – business savvy, professionalism, and a successful company they started themselves. Sadly, the lives these people lead often seem well out of our grasp. But that doesn’t have to be the whole story. Many of these successful startup CEOs have little tips and tricks that they’ve learned to help them be more productive and more successful.
By getting more things done in the day, they’ve learned how to balance life and work while enjoying a career they crafted themselves. Interested in having your own successful startup? Try out a few of these productivity hacks and see how much more you can accomplish in a day.
1. Prioritize at the beginning of every morning.
Spend a few minutes before you get started by listing out the most important things you need to get done today. This will get you focused for the tasks ahead and keep you from being overwhelmed and sidetracked by the less important items.
2. Wake up earlier.
Waking up even a half hour earlier can give you more productive time. Think about it – how many people will disturb you if you are the first one up and about in the morning?
3. Put your phone on silent.
How often do you get distracted by your emails, Facebook notifications, text messages, and phone calls? Solve the problem by putting your phone on silent at the start of every workday so you can get your important tasks finished.
4. Find somewhere different to work.
Working in an office all day, every day, can get monotonous. Search for a new place to work once in a while, like a local coffeehouse, park, or restaurant, and see the creativity flow.
5. Take frequent breaks.
Once your brain becomes overwhelmed by all of the things you’re working on, your productivity drops off significantly. Take quick five or ten minute breaks frequently throughout the day to stay fresh and focused.
6. Make sure you’re getting enough rest.
It’s hard to sleep when you have so many things to finish, but more hours don’t necessarily mean better productivity. Successful CEOs know that not having enough sleep can markedly reduce your ability to focus on the tasks at hand.
7. Have some white noise in the background.
Whether you’re listening to classical music or people chatting quietly at a table nearby, having some noise in the background helps your performance. It can actually boost your creativity and help you to move a little faster through those menial items on your to-do list.
8. Plan how much time you need to do things.
Beyond just organizing items by importance, plan out how much time each item should take. You might be surprised to see where most of your time goes each day and can reallocate that time somewhere else.
9. Delegate your tasks to someone else.
If there’s something that you simply don’t have the time, desire, or talent to do, hand it off to someone else. Successful CEOs know how to share responsibility and trust the workers that they’ve hired.
10. Make sure you are acknowledging the things that you’ve already accomplished.
Instead of just making a to-do list, make a list of things you’ve already accomplished. Even if they aren’t tangible, making your job a little easier or helping a customer is a big accomplishment that you should acknowledge.
11. Ask for feedback.
Ask your employees what they think your business could improve on. They may offer ideas that you haven’t considered before.
12. Set designated times throughout the day for checking email.
Email can eat up a considerable portion of your day. By setting designated times for it, you will keep yourself from being overly distracted by incoming junk mail, problems, and questions.
13. Set aside some time for things that aren’t work-related.
Make sure you still have time for hobbies, friends, and family. Life isn’t all about work and you’ll be more refreshed and willing to work when you return.
Do you have a specific idea of where you want your startup to take you? Narrow down your specific goals for the company and put them in writing so you can focus on making tangible steps toward them.
15. Don’t forget to eat nutritious meals.
Living off a diet of fast food and coffee won’t keep you or your mind in shape. Studies have shown that eating well-balanced meals will help you to think more clearly.
16. Keep detailed records of your finances.
It doesn’t seem like the most glamorous part of being a CEO, but if you want to make sure you’re paying your bills, you need to keep track of where the money goes. Are you spending too much on company meetings, utilities, or rent? This should help you figure it out.
17. Utilize some technology.
Instead of taking an hour to write out your documents by hand, try to find software that will do it quickly and efficiently. Digitizing your company records also helps you to stay organized.
18. Do the hard things first.
If you know that you’ve got a big project and you’re not looking forward to it, that’s the item that needs to be done first. Keep yourself from procrastinating and get it done.
19. Plan fewer meetings.
While it’s important for team members to be on the same page, there is often a lot of dead time during a meeting. Keep them brief and to a minimum.
20. Educate yourself.
If you feel your business is lacking in a particular area, take some time to ask experts about it. Read books relating to your business model and the actual practice of running your business. Take advice that seems to fit your business model. It never hurts to try something new.