Officially starting your first business can be an extremely stressful experience—you’re exploring new waters and you’ll soon have to take risks at a level that you’ve probably only ever dreamed of before. 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 a first time entrepreneur must follow to be successful in both business and life:
Setting goals helps track your 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 strive for and you should make a plan and 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.
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.
If you communicate these boundaries with your team and clients, 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 play ping pong or foosball – you’d be surprised how much energy those games actually require!
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 integrated 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 one program. My motto still stands: If it’s not in Todoist it doesn’t get done.
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 they fail to walk the walk; they don’t follow through with what they say they’re going to do.
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 by joining the conversation on Twitter.