Being productive has numerous benefits, the most important ones being it streamlines your success in business and frees up time to spend on what matters most, whether that’s your family, friends, traveling, community, hobbies, or simply growing your business. But don’t you wish there were shortcuts you could take? You know, easy things you could do to power up your productivity and get on the fast track to success? There are! Improving your productivity does not need to be a long, drawn out, daunting process if you take advantage of simple but powerful productivity hacks that get you desired results.
5 Simple But Powerful Productivity Hacks For Entrepreneurs
#1 Rapid Fire Power Hour
Doing a Rapid Fire Power Hour is the best way to knock off tiny tasks, gain momentum in your work, and clean your slate so you can start fresh the following week. Set aside one hour at the end of each week to intentionally work quickly on simple tasks that may otherwise fall through the cracks - small one-off tasks like paying a bill, making a phone call, reviewing a document, and ordering supplies.
For all tasks you come across during your week that will take less than five minutes and there’d be no repercussions from waiting until the end of the week to complete them, add them to a virtual folder and file folder labeled “Power Hour” so you can easily retrieve those tasks when it’s time. Repurposing just one hour each week can diminish the Monday blues and set you up for success the following week.
#2 Batching Tasks
You can batch pretty much anything you do on a recurring basis like emailing, making phone calls, invoicing, creating content, graphic design, lead generation, pitching, meetings, and following up with clients. The benefits of batching are numerous. Doing so lets you get into a rhythm, creates efficiency, reduces time lost having to switch gears from one task to another, keeps your energy level, and prevents one-off tasks from slowing you down.
Try using batching to process your emails only twice a day instead of checking your emails throughout the day and cherry picking which ones to respond to which prevents productivity. Batching is also great for writing letters. Instead of getting into your contact addresses, pulling out your envelopes and stamps, and racking your brain for the right words to say more than once each day, batch your letter writing toward the end of the day or even at the end of the week. You could try batching errands, meetings that require similar energy levels, and meetings by location. The possibilities are endless.
#3 Planning Your Days
There is so much power in taking the time to plan your day. Even when something unexpected pops up and threatens your productivity, if you’ve at least laid the train tracks for where you’re supposed to go, you’ll be able to quickly get back on track and keep progressing toward your goals instead of losing an entire day due to unforeseen circumstances.
Before each work day comes to an end, utilize the 5 Daily Planning Pavers to plan your following day. They include reviewing your current day, previewing your following day, performing a mind sweep, prioritizing, and time blocking. Make planning your day a habit so you can always have a plan of attack to conquer your day with ease.
#4 Saying No
No matter how hard you try, you simply can’t be all things to all people in all places. As big as your heart may be and as uncomfortable as it is to say no, it’s absolutely necessary. There’s great power in saying no and simplifying everything on your plate. Be very clear with yourself and others what your boundaries are both professionally and personally.
There are three main ways you should be saying no. Say no to new requests of your time for any activity of low value such as certain “coffee” meetings, networking events, and industry workshops. Saying yes would mean pushing your own priorities further down your plate. Filter every opportunity that comes your way and every request of your time against your ultimate goals and vision of success. Saying no to others is like saying a resounding yes to your own priorities.
Also say no to things you’ve already said yes to such as projects, processes, and marketing ventures that no longer serve you. Everything that does not support your goals is a distraction. You have to be ruthless with the time you invest and what you invest it in. Finally, say no to yourself. That means exercise your self-discipline and say no to staying up super late to binge-watch Netflix, ordering that greasy, super-sized combo that made you sick last time, or indulging in a highly caffeinated beverage late in the evening.
#5 Utilizing Templates
Every minute you spend rewriting copy you’ve already written is a minute wasted. When beautifully created and properly used, templates can be a powerful productivity tool. They enable you to move faster through emails, projects, tasks, marketing, and proposals. In fact, pretty much any repetitive task you do over and over again can be templated.
Don’t just sit down and create a template for the sake of doing one. Only create a template after there’s a need – once you’ve had to write the same document multiple times. That’s because it’s best to start from a live example you’ve actually used, then simplify it down into a template that can be customized. If you were to start from a template with no history of using that text, it’d be a lot more difficult to write because you’d have no basis for creating the template and no sense of urgency to get it done.
We naturally love using shortcuts because we always feel short on time. Driving shortcuts? Keyboard shortcuts? Yes, please! Quick and easy is good for the most part if you obtain the results you want without breaking your moral code or your bank. That’s why hacks are great - organizing hacks, parenting hacks, and of course, productivity hacks. Take advantage of these more direct paths to reaching your goals and maximizing your productivity to achieve greater success.