Productivity Hacks From Successful Entrepreneurs

Businesswoman using tablet.

Not only do entrepreneurs need great ideas, but they also need grit, too. When you’re the boss, productivity is key, and we know it can be hard when you venture out on your own. Suddenly, every email or notification seems to take precedence over your work for the day, quickly leaving you feeling like you’re drowning. 

That’s why we compiled the following hacks from several successful entrepreneurs for a quick boost of inspiration. (And, yes, we believe taking the time to read it counts as being productive, too.)

Recommended: Learn how to launch your own company by reading our comprehensive guide, How to Start a Startup.

Entrepreneur Productivity Tips

1. Sean Dudayev: Create Your Own Routine

Sean Dudayev, founder of digital marketing agency Frootful, says that creating a routine that works for you is a great first step to becoming more productive. Not only does it help you structure your day in a way that’s suited for your startup’s needs, but it also helps you slow down to avoid burnout. 

It can be easy to get caught up in the grind when you’re trying to build a business, but after a while, it’s no longer sustainable. You can start successfully structuring your day by making lists, getting as granular as you need in order to get everything done. (Tip: Don’t forget to give yourself some wiggle room for anything that pops up at the last minute!)

2. Dianne McKeever: Remove Big Distractions

CIO and founding partner of Ides Capital Management Diane McKeever says that removing the big distractions can help you stay more focused. We’ve all been there: working away on a time-sensitive task, but we can’t seem to finish it because we’re getting distracted by emails, Slack messages, or even news notifications. 

Dianne says, turn them off — at least while you work! This sharpens your laser focus and blocks out all of the other noise of daily life. Be sure to switch off your most distracting apps at the start of your day to minimize outside distractions. Try it and watch your productivity skyrocket!

Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on How to Start a Startup.

3. Stephanie Kaplan: Prioritize the Time-Sensitive

Stephanie Kaplan, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Media, says that she stays productive by prioritizing time-sensitive materials or tasks. (You’ll be able to easily identify these from the list you make each day!) 

With the most pressing tasks done at the start of the day, you’ll be able to focus more on other tasks in the afternoon. Once the big stuff is out of the way, you can also boost your productivity by tackling another large project each day, essentially creating larger blocks of time to complete tasks.

4. Shaun Walker: Utilize the Pomodoro

One trick to productivity is to make sure you give yourself plenty of breaks. PR entrepreneur and co-founder of HEROFarm agency Shaun Walker says that utilizing the Pomodoro Technique has helped make him more productive and focused throughout the day. 

Created by Francisco Cirillo in the 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique can be done following these steps: 

  • Pick a task to be completed
  • Set the Pomodoro timer (this is typically 25 minutes, but you can set it longer)
  • Stop working when the timer rings, then take a quick break (usually 5 to 10 minutes long)
  • Repeat the first two steps for at least three to four tasks
  • Once three or four “Pomodoros” have been completed, you can take a long break (20 to 30 minutes)

This technique allows your brain to focus on one thing at a time and actually complete the task at hand. If you find yourself finished with a task with time remaining on your timer, you can review your work or the list of tasks you’ve set for yourself to see if they need updating. 

This time management tool works great since your breaks help prevent burnout.

5. Jacob Landis-Eigsti: Task Batching Saves the Day

Ecommerce and digital ad guru Jacob Landis-Eigsti says that one of the key components to being a successful entrepreneur is to batch your tasks. This helps minimize distractions throughout the day by allowing you to group certain tasks together and get them all done at once. 

For example, instead of checking your email a couple of times throughout the day, you batch the task by setting a certain amount of time aside each day to do an inbox sweep. This way, you won’t get bogged down by answering two to three emails every few minutes (which we all know quickly turns to five, six, or ten emails each time). 

Not only will it save you from the pitfalls of “multitasking,” but it will also help you save time! This productivity hack pairs great with the Pomodoro Technique. Blocking your tasks in smaller, more manageable spurts can help you stay organized and get more done in a day.