5 Productivity Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs
Starting your first business can be an extremely stressful experience—you’re trying something new and you’ll soon have to take some uncomfortable risks. Managing that stress and staying productive during your first entrepreneurial adventure is key to the success of every business owner. The following are 5 productivity tips that first time entrepreneurs should follow to be successful in both business and life:
Setting goals allows you to track progress and increase productivity. Don’t just set goals for your business, set them for yourself: daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. These goals give you something to reach and plan for. Make sure you set aside specific times to complete them.
It’s crucial that your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Test every single goal you create to ensure it’s SMART; this will benefit you and your business.
Close your email.
Whenever i tell people about this strategy, they say “that’s ridiculous” or “but I live in my email” or “I have to answer people quickly and I can’t just check email a few times a day” or, my favorite, “it’s okay, I have a great system to manage it.” Don’t let your email control your productivity.
As a first-time entrepreneur, you’ll be asking for things from many people, and many people will be asking for things from you. Learn how to say no and understand that you don’t have to respond to every email immediately. Setting aside a few specific times to check your email every day sets boundaries. Communicate these boundaries with your team and clients so they’ll understand when they can get ahold of you and when they should figure it out themselves. This productivity tip allows you to focus on your daily tasks without being distracted by requests, spam and other random emails.
You don’t have to go crazy or even break a sweat. Adding a little exercise to your daily routine will help keep you healthy and increase endorphins, making you happier and more productive throughout the week. If you’re not sure how to do it, try starting small: take a walk around your building, take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand while you work. At Accelity we walk at a treadmill desk or play ping pong or foosball - you’d be surprised how much energy those games require!
Use one productivity tool.
There are a ton of great tools out there that can increase your productivity; I know this solely because my husband sends me a link to a new one almost every week. Though I’m typically very open to change, I choose one or two productivity tools and use them until I absolutely have to switch to something new. For those of you that have read any of my previous blogs, you probably know that I am a die-hard Todoist fan. I also use Trello for project management and integrate them so everything I need appears in Todoist. Saying no to other enticing task management programs has allowed me to devote all of my time and energy into a couple quality tools. My motto still stands: If it’s not in Todoist it doesn’t get done.
Hold yourself accountable.
If you say you’re going to do something, do it and do it well. As a first time entrepreneur your reputation matters and every move you make contributes to how other people perceive you. I’ve met plenty of entrepreneurs that are extremely likable and fun to be around, but fail to walk the walk; they don’t follow through with their commitments. If you want to be more productive, you have to make the decision to be productive then follow through until you’ve reached your goals. You can read all of the productivity tips and blogs you can get your hands on, but without execution you’re never going to move forward.
How do you stay productive? Do you agree (or disagree) with any of these tips? Leave me a comment and let me know.