We are at the start of the year, the best time to be more productive and make this year count.
As an entrepreneur or a tech startup founder, you have a pile of things to follow and accomplish. Are you ever getting tired of things not being done on time?
Let me say an open secret - everyone in this world gets only 24 hours. We can't change this, but we have the ability to do more by deploying different productivity hacks.
If you are here to know how to achieve more? You are at the right place. Along with the productivity hacks, we also added tips from successful entrepreneurs and bonus FAQs. .
Let's dig in to know how you can get most of the work done in a shorter time.
Table of Contents
1. One task at a time - No multitasking
To be more productive, never multitask. You read it right! Multitasking kills productivity.
Multitasking means the transition of your concentration from one task to another. Every time you do that, the brain takes a break, and it also starts from the first, not from where you left.
It starts to slow down your brain in every transition and kills productivity.
If you are thinking of completing a task at hand within a short period, then multitasking is never going to help. Rather than improving your productivity, multitasking reduces it by as much as 40%.
Focus on completing one task at a time - use full screen, minimise distractions like notifications and complete the task. Take a break, then start a new task.
In this way, you don't juggle between tasks, and your focus won't get a break and it saves time. So don't multitask, do single-tasking.
2. Have a plan - Plan daily
Always have a plan - A yearly plan, monthly plan, weekly plan, and daily plan.
Planning will give you a clear picture of what things are to be accomplished and also what should be avoided.
Break your yearly plan into monthly plans and then into the weekly plans and into daily tasks. Plan the next day on the night before or the first thing in the morning.
Write down and read out your plan to recall it effectively. This way your brain gets remembers the task and make it a priority.
By planning, you are halfway there. Without a plan you may struggle. Also, when you get distracted, take a look at your plans. The energy you get from the plan written in the paper is larger than you think.
3. Make a to-do list
After completing the plan, make a to-do list.
To-do lists are one priority thing in planning and productivity improvement.
Make a to-do list of 25 to 30 tasks you think have to be done in a year, week, or in a day. Then pick 3-5 extremely important things.
By completing the 3-5 important tasks you consider the day or the year the most productive.
You can't make a long list that should be accomplished, it's a trap, and just by seeing it, you will become tired.
You can use apps like Google Tasks, Evernote, Microsoft To-Do, etc. for creating and tracking the to-do lists. After completing a task, you can check out the specified task and track out the pending tasks.
Check out some of the best productivity apps that busy entrepreneurs must have.
4. Allocate work hours
Have you ever worked 12-14 hours a day and felt exhausted?
As a CEO or founder, you don't work for only 8 hours. Tasks will consume a lot of your day'. Allocate work hours in prior, say I only work for 8 hours a day with 1-hour break or only 40 hours a week.
Never work over the allocated hours, and also don't reduce the working hours you allocated.By allocating hours in advance, you will mentally prepare yourself to work on those hours.
Different people have different working hours. You won't be highly productive all 8 hours. Identify the most productive time of your day and set it aside for more important tasks. Push the daily tasks like meetings to time slots when you’re not so productive.
Always try to cancel unnecessary meetings or reduce them to short meetings. If all the members of your team can send the task needed to be accomplished in a mail, try to withdraw the update meeting.
5. Delegate and empower
Always delegate the work to potential people if the work doesn't mandatorily require your involvement.
As a founder or CEO, one important task you should do is to empower the people working for you. Don't try to complete all tasks by yourself. Instead, empower people with the knowledge you possess and get them to complete the work. This will save you a lot of time.
Understand how you can optimise your team for business growth.
6. Eat the ugly frog first
So if you are planning on eating five frogs, then start it by eating the ugly one first. By eating the ugly one you can easily eat the other four frogs.
Just replace the frogs with the task. Whenever there are a lot of hectic tasks on your plate, complete the hardest task first and move to the easier ones.
If you want to spend less time on unnecessary tasks and want to concentrate on tasks that are designed to grow your business, TimeHero is one of the best task management software with automated scheduling tools. Read more AI tools that improve your productivity.
7. Create time limits for social media and emails
Set aside dedicated time for emails and social media. When you cross the limit, stop there and close it. Set reminders on your phone to track the time spent on social media and emails.
Add time blocks to your phone, so when you cross the time limit you will be aware of that.
8. Group similar tasks together
While switching between tasks, the brain naturally takes a break. The transition of one task to another will be hard for the brain, but transiting between two similar tasks will be easier for the brain.
Grouping similar tasks lets you complete multiple tasks at one go.
For example, responding to similar emails at one go will be more effective than coming back later to handle them after you’ve switched to different tasks. The more you group similar tasks the better will be your productivity.
Know some of the best time-batching apps to increase productivity.
9. Use website blockers
Use website blockers for social media and other kinds of apps or websites that send notifications too often. Try to block them for the predetermined time so that you can focus on the work without distractions.
10. Take care of yourself
Staying healthy is the first step towards staying productive.
Being healthy not only directs to physical health but also mental health. To be more productive for the long term of time, you have to be physically and mentally healthy.
Here are some actionable tips to take care of your health:
- Have a healthy breakfast or good diet
- Drink plenty of water as and when required
- Exercise or play sports
- Read books
For better productivity, take better care of yourself. Improve yourself by reading books, taking self-improvement classes for great results.
11. Make apps your organiser friend
With the help of technology, we can take a step ahead.
With the help of apps like Trello, Asana, etc, you can easily organise the tasks for the day or weeks for a better understanding of the time needed for the tasks.
By using these apps, you can track the time consumed and the tasks to be done based on your priority.
12. Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro technique is the one fine plan in the productivity hacks.
25:5 is what we use at the Pomodoro technique. While following it you will be concentrating on a task for 25 minutes and stop working then take a break for 5 minutes.
By following this, your brain won't get tired easily and makes you active for a long time. The Pomodoro technique helps you to be highly focused on the task you do.
“If you find yourself reading emails in a meeting, then you probably should not be in the meeting.” – Auren Hoffman, Safegraph
“Saying yes to everything is the opposite of focus. You have to be disciplined and learn to say no to meetings, events, etc. that aren't likely to be productive. Don't succumb to FOMO and say yes to every opportunity that crosses your path.” – Pete Flint, Trulia
“Ok I love productivity tools but if you're seriously feeling sluggish in the afternoon you probably need to check your diet vs installing new software.” – Lisa Wehden, Bloomberg beta
“Delegate. It has been something that has been so helpful to me. One of our investors actually told me that if there's something that someone can do even 80 percent better than you can, let them do that thing, and you go focus on the thing that only you can do at 100 percent.” – Amber Venz, Reward style
“I don't generally check my email. I know it’s a bit socially offensive at times, but I try to do it in batches every two to three days. I might be just terrible at multitasking, but if you’re coding, it takes 10, 20 minutes to get reoriented after a distraction.” – Tim Chen, Nerd wallet
“To work uninterrupted, block time on your calender, focus on doing one thing at a time and do it deliberately. Then move onto the next. And as a neurologist married to a medicine sleep doctor, I’d say get a good night's sleep.” – Oliver Kharraz, Zocdoc
“I schedule proactive time every day. The goal is to do three hours a day of proactive time with no meetings. There is nothing scheduled, so I can be thoughtful, prioritise and be as productive as possible.” – John Zimmer, Lyft
Being healthy is really important. Not all the CEOs or founders work like 14-16 hours a day. You have to know how to get work done by your people rather than working yourself.
As a tech person many people include the hand for developing the product, delegate the work of developing your product to well-experienced team members. By that, you get time for other works in different departments of your start-up. Feel free to say NO frequently to the tasks and meetings which can be done without you.
Follow some productivity hacks, improve yourself daily, and accomplish the goals on a daily to yearly basis. Cheers!
You don't have to overwork, but many founders reported that they work 40 hours a week. Some founders say that they worked more than 60 hours at the early stage of the start-up.
Apply some productivity hacks like eliminating unnecessary meetings, saying no, and delegating works to efficient people.
No one can be 100% productive throughout the 24 hours of the day. You need to highly focus on the task, complete the task, take a break, and repeat.
Focus and single-tasking will be the secret to productivity. When you start the work, make sure to avoid distractions during that time. Never multitask try to finish one task at a time and move on further.