“There’s not enough time in the day.” It’s the most common excuse I hear from entrepreneurs — whether they’re starting their business on the side of a full-time job or already running a 6+ figure business. No matter what stage of business you’re in – it’s common to get caught up in the day-to-day tactical tasks before you look back and realize how much of the workweek was actually spent being productive. In fact, according to a study done by The Alternative Board, about 68% percent of an entrepreneur’s time is spent just working “in” the business. In this blog, I’ll be discussing 5 productivity tips I use on a daily basis =to help me get more done.
Between trying to balance managing team members, PR appearances, content creation, family time, “me” time, and all the other things – it can feel like there’s barely left to sit down and think strategically about where you want your business to go (and as a CEO, that’s the most important part…right?) The good news is: personal productivity is my specialty. I never use to-do lists, so people always ask me what I use to stay productive and on track to reach my goals.
If you want to free up 20+ hours a week in your schedule, here are 5 productivity tips you NEED to start implementing today.
The answer? I live by my planner. I use it to track my top priorities, CEO schedule, and even my overall wellness and how much time I’m spending taking care of myself. I created our 2022 planners with these key tips and priorities in mind, and they’re now available for preorder…so you can grab yours and start prepping for Q1 ahead of time. With that said…
1. Operate at your peak hours
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? By identifying the time you have the most focus and energy, you’re enabling yourself to work on your own terms. While some swear by getting up at the crack of dawn, others find themselves far more productive after dinner or before they go to bed.
Once you’ve identified that time of day that you’re most productive, plan to accomplish specific tasks during those hours. If you’re using the Unstoppable Planner, write down your top 3 priorities for the week in the right-hand section and then block off that time in each daily section to work on those things. Now, they’ve got a spot on the calendar.
2. Group similar tasks together
One of the things that holds people back from being productive is that they don’t even have a handle on what’s on their plate. It takes you so long to even get organized, you end up wasting time that could be better spent on various tasks. Instead of jumping from one thing to another, get similar tasks done in one shot. Some ways you can group tasks together to save time? This is commonly referred to as “time blocking;” its key component is creating a list of to-do’s in advance and laying out your day accordingly.
- Instead of making 3 or 4 trips per week, run errands altogether
- Schedule your phone calls back to back
- Pre-schedule your social media using a content scheduling tool (we like to use Later)
Remember: 5 extra minutes of organization can save you countless hours.
3. Create a list of things you can accomplish in the pockets of your free time.
That 15 minutes you have between meetings? Use it to your advantage. One of the best productivity tips I can give you is to create a list (the “notes” section of the planner is perfect for this) of things that can be accomplished in 5, 10 or even 15 minutes. When you notice those gaps in your schedule, take advantage of what can be done quickly and cross another thing off your to-do list.
Maybe it’s making an important phone call, sending out a few emails to clients, taking a 15 minute connect call, recording a few Instagram Reels, or even breaking up your day with something physical (like a walk outside).
Whatever it is: when you write down the important, impactful, or profit-producing activities that can be done in a short amount of time, it’ll make you realize that the excuses you’re telling yourself are just stories. If you want to build a successful business, you have to find ways to be productive with the time you DO have.
4. Eliminate things that don’t serve you.
Toxic relationships, hours of TV, or mindlessly scrolling social media or looking at what your competition is posting will all negatively impact your productivity. Cut down on the hours you spend doing things that drain your energy.
One less hour on Instagram is an extra hour of sleep in the morning, or, an hour spent outside enjoying the fresh air, answering questions in your FB group, or doing a workout. We even left space to track your sleep, exercise, nutrition and mental health in our planner because of how crucial it is to focus on these things for optimal performance. Not only will you see a change in your business, but you’ll also notice a change in your overall wellbeing.
5. Delegate or hire help.
Hire help in your business (an assistant, a part-time VA, or even an intern) to save you hours during the week so that you can stay working in your zone of genius: supporting your team, serving clients, and living the life you dreamed of when you started your business! That being said…when we need help at work, what do we do? Hire someone. The same goes for your home life. By getting someone to help out with the little things that don’t contribute to your family life (like cleaning, cooking, yard work, or errands) you can take back a massive amount of time in your schedule.
People avoid hiring help because it costs money, but the truth is: you can’t start making more money as a result of getting help if you don’t get started first. When you spend money to outsource low-level tasks that don’t impact your life or bottom line, you free up more time to focus on profit-producing activities…and the ROI is worth it. It starts with holding yourself accountable to reallocating your time into results that count and things that matter. You will be rewarded with growth, profit, and additional income. If you’ve complained in the last few months that you don’t have enough time, go back through these 5 key productivity tips and ask yourself if it’s time to make a change in any area. Identify what you can do to free up more space in your calendar.
At the end of the day, we can all look back and agree that we had the same amount of time. And if you’re spending that time on low productivity things, you’re ultimately going to get low productivity results in your business.