We all know how great a productive day feels as well as how hard it can be to achieve. No matter what, some days, productivity just seems to elude us. No matter what it is, we can’t seem to get into a rhythm and get things done. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s in your best interest to figure out how to stop this as soon as possible.
This article will give you insights on how you can make it easier for yourself to have a productive day.
It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less. — Nathan W. Morris
Having a productive day starts with your mentality. You’ll need a mindset that welcomes challenges and obstacles as you prepare for your day. You shouldn’t look at challenges and obstacles as hindrances, but rather as tasks that will help improve your business skill and expertise. If you wake up absolutely dreading doing certain tasks, then you’ll find it exceedingly hard to get anything done. You’ll find it easier to ignore the anxiety or worry in your mind about your day when you view things differently.
You’ve probably heard this in math class: the process of solving the problem is just as important as the result. When you enjoy the groundwork that goes into achieving your goals, productivity comes naturally as your always looking for that next solution.
Look to understand a problem before you look immediately to the end. Understanding problems will increase your expertise, make relating to customers easier and you’ll have a better idea of what to do, which raises productivity.
Productivity starts with planning
Can you be productive without planning your time? Maybe, but it’s not likely or efficient. It’s easier to take control of your time if you spend the time to plan it out. Without preparation, you’ll find it hard to move from where you are now, to being productive. You may see a small increase in efficiency, but without planning, you’re sure to fall back into your old habits
Don’t you think if you were to master the first 2 hours of your day that the rest of your day will go smoother? Look at the morning as your opportunity to build up momentum. You need a routine that prepares you for the day and propels you through the afternoon and evening.
Mornings are the perfect time for long or short-term planning. Some people find exercising or meditating gives them the energy needed to go through the day. Find something that works for you that makes the rest of the day easier to approach. It’s no coincidence a lot of the most successful entrepreneurs share early rising as a habit. Controlling your mornings sets a productive tone for the rest of the day.
Another integral part of planning is prioritizing. Some tasks will be more important than others, and you can’t do everything yourself. You’ll need to learn how to organize your tasks and deadlines in a way that allows you to meet all of them.
Prioritizing as an entrepreneur is finding a balance between tasks that make you money and tasks that let you run your business. You can’t let either one bog you down, and they both need to be done. Plan your time, use your mornings to give you momentum and find ways to balance critical and routine tasks.
Don’t get lost in the details
Entrepreneurs always have a lot of options available to them, which can be a gift and a curse. On the surface, it might seem easy, but having more options can actually make it harder to decide what to do. When there’s no clear best choice, you may find yourself unconsciously stalling while you figure out what to do. Getting bogged down with details can make you anxious and less productive because you’re unsure what to do.
Micromanagement is a trait despised in leaders and managers. As an entrepreneur, you have to be careful that you’re not doing it to yourself. If you stall because you want to make the perfect decision, you’re sacrificing productivity without even knowing it. Just so you know: there’s no such thing as a perfect decision. Part of being an entrepreneur is taking risks. Once you make a decision, you need to confidently accept the outcomes, good or bad. This is especially important if you’re leading a team.
This doesn’t mean you make decisions impulsively, but rather you take the time to research and let your business intuition guide you on decisions. Hesitation has never been beneficial to have a productive day. Even if the outcome of your decision is bad, you’ll gain valuable experience that you can use to move forward in your career. How you respond to failure is entirely up to you.
When planning your day don’t worry about the small things that are sure to happen. Take a broad look at the day and pinpoint tasks that will move you forward. Incidental tasks like phone calls, unexpected emails or issues, in general, will occur no matter what, the key is being ready to receive them. Don’t plan every small detail of your day otherwise, you’ll become rigid and conflicted. Being flexible during your workday will help you make efficient decisions.
Change how you talk to yourself
Believe it or not, how you speak to yourself has a strong impact on your productivity. We all talk to ourselves throughout the day and sometimes we can be quite mean. When you have an unproductive day, you tend to engage in negative self-talk, which hurts more than it helps.
I need to get this task done. It should be finished already, so I’m going to plow through it
Sound familiar? When you talk to yourself like this, you actually put yourself at a disadvantage. You raise feelings of anxiety by telling yourself it should be done already and saying you’ll plow through it isn’t an effective strategy for getting things done.
These phrases do nothing but make you feel guilty, making comparisons between your reality and perfect situations will always leave you feeling unfulfilled. Instead of focusing on what should be done, focus on how great it will feel to start and make progress on the things you have to do.
- I need to make a great impression; I can’t mess this up
- I’m trapped in this situation
- I have all this work and no help; I don’t know how I’ll do it
Entrepreneurs tend to be pretty hard on themselves, and self-talk is usually the source. It’s important to keep yourself disciplined, but you should also be sympathetic and understanding. It might sound odd, but a lot of entrepreneurs would benefit from showing more empathy to themselves. Instead of lamenting how far you have to go, look at how far you’ve come.
Instead of worrying how you’ll finish a massive project, worry about how you can start. Changing your perspective and looking for small wins every day will help you become more productive.
Ultimately, productivity starts and ends with how you manage your time. If you want a productive day you have to plan, avoid getting lost in the details and change how you talk to yourself. As an entrepreneur, every productive day will be different so you’ll need to embrace flexibility.
Don’t hesitate to try different ways of planning your day until you find something that works for you. Use this article has a resource throughout your day to keep you on track. Having a productive day starts with making dramatic changes that affect how you work in a positive way.