Staying focused and productive as a service business owner can be challenging. You’ll often have many tasks to complete in a short period of time, so it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, unorganized, or disconnected from your work. If you want to overcome these issues, it helps to develop some solid productivity skills.
Productivity is something many entrepreneurs struggle with on a day to day basis. However, it’s important to remember that your favorite CEOs and business owners didn’t become successful overnight. They too needed to tackle the struggle of getting work done despite everything else competing for their attention. To get back on track, you can use the same productivity hacks they employed.
Let’s take a look at four productivity tips that helped your favorite entrepreneurs create their own successful businesses!
1. Create a Consistent Morning Routine
David Lai, who founded Hello Design, believes that your morning routine has the power to set you up for a day of success. Although he claims he isn’t a morning person, he still wakes up early to get a jump start on his day. That extra time in the morning allows him to think about what he needs to do that day and prepare for work.
Developing a solid morning routine can stop you from having to rush. If you’re rolling out of bed a few minutes before you need to leave for the office or your workspace, that feeling of stress may carry over to the rest of the day. On the other hand, giving yourself the chance to properly wake up can offer time to think about what you’d like to accomplish that day, and to prepare for any meetings or presentations you have scheduled.
An effective morning routine will look different for everyone, depending on what helps you feel alert and ready. Going for a run or hitting the gym is often a smart idea, since it gets the blood flowing early in the morning (and you don’t need to worry about working out after a long day at work). Eating breakfast can also help boost your energy so you can efficiently tackle the day ahead. Or you may enjoy using this time to catch up on your favorite blogs or newspapers, which can help you stay current on trends and events.
When creating your morning routine, stick to something that feels right for you. Ideally, you want to develop a plan you’re excited about. When morning is one of your favorite parts of the day, it will be much easier to get out of bed.
2. Work from Home Part-Time
The founder of HubSpot, Brian Halligan, has said that working from home part-time was key in helping him become more productive. By working from home just one day a week, Brian sets time aside to be alone and focus. Without the distractions of a typical office, he is able to get more done.
If you’re unable to stay productive because you constantly have employees, partners, or even clients popping into your office to ask questions and distract you from your work, consider spending more time in a home office. When you’re in your own space, you have better control over who you speak to, when you’re free, and what distractions prevent you from getting your tasks done.
If you’re serious about working from home part-time, you’ll want to start by designating a specific space for you to work in. This may mean transforming a spare bedroom into a home office, or even just setting up a desk in a quiet place. A designated space for getting things done makes it easier to slip into ‘business mode’ and become more productive.
Of course, you should keep your surroundings in mind when deciding whether or not working from home is right for you. If you have small children or roommates at home during the day who might distract you, you may not see the increase in productivity you’re hoping for. In this case, look instead for a special place where you can work with minimal disruptions, such as a favorite coffee shop.
3. Limit Your Decision-Making
Arguably one of the most influential entrepreneurs of all time, Mark Zuckerberg knows a thing or two about staying productive. According to the Facebook founder, it all comes down to your fashion choices – sort of. In order to give more time and attention to his company and community, Mark has eliminated as many unnecessary or ‘silly’ decisions from his life as possible. For example, he wears the same style t-shirt every day. That way, he doesn’t have to waste time figuring out what to wear.
While you don’t necessarily need to minimize your wardrobe to be a successful entrepreneur, you can apply this general strategy to your everyday life. By eliminating any decisions that cause you to waste too much energy or thought, you’ll have more time to spend growing your company. Avoiding unnecessary stressors also helps you stay focused and productive.
To limit your decision making, first take a look at your business processes. If there are any areas that could be handled more efficiently, streamline them and put procedures in place. Make sure everything is functioning as it should and that you’re not wasting unnecessary time on unimportant decisions.
Then take a look at how this same idea can be applied to your personal life. If you find you’re spending too much time getting ready in the mornings or feeling stumped about what should be simple decisions, look for ways you may be able to cut back or make a plan in advance. Simplifying both your personal and professional life can help you stay on the right track.
4. Leave Extra Room in Your Schedule
Our final tip comes from Dustin Moskowitz, the founder of Asana and co-founder of Facebook. To help them stay productive and on track, his team leaves each Wednesday free of any calls, meetings or events. This gives them the opportunity to catch up on overdue work, get ahead on upcoming projects, or even focus on supplementary tasks that have been pushed to the side.
While you don’t necessarily need to leave a full day open, having a bit of room in your schedule can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed or stressed. If you know that time is set aside for getting ahead or completing certain projects, you can continue to move throughout the week at a productive pace and handle unexpected demands.
If you’re able to, plan your ‘free’ time for the same period each week. Whether it’s a full day or a morning block, try to keep this time consistent. If you work in an office or with other employees, try to create an office-wide trend of blocking off the same period of time each week. This can give everyone an opportunity to work distraction-free.
Finally, be sure to consider this as scheduled time, no matter what comes up or where you are. Even if you’re traveling, try to segment off this same period to work on your projects. If you’re in the office, make sure team members know you’re not to be distracted during this time.
If you want to be the owner of a successful service business, you need to stay productive and focused. Drawing from the productivity strategies that helped your favorite entrepreneurs create their own businesses is a great way to motivate yourself.
Let’s recap the four productivity tips we’ve covered in this article:
- Create a consistent morning routine that helps you prepare for the day.
- Spend a portion of your work time at a home office.
- Cut out unnecessary distractions and streamline your decision-making processes.
- Leave room in your schedule to catch up on overdue tasks or get ahead on new projects.
Which of these productivity techniques do you think you’ll try first? Let us know in the comments section below!
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