When it comes to productivity, the name of the game is very simple: make a plan and execute.

The hardest part tends to be avoiding distractions.

I’ve found productivity to be something that’s very easy to struggle with, yet also very easy to improve if you implement the right tactics.

So let’s dive right in:

Once you’ve finished your morning routine and are ready to start your workday, the first thing you should do is spend 15 minutes making a plan, including a to-do list and a timeline.

Prioritize the most important items on your list, and tackle the most daunting items first. Willpower is a finite resource, hence the longer you procrastinate doing something the less likely it will ever get done at all.

The best way to stick to a timeline is to be strict about it. Unless otherwise absolutely necessary, I’ll stop what I’m doing once time is up and move on to the next thing. Keeping a crammed day, I have found, is the best way to avoid distractions because you simply don’t have time for them.

I also abide by the Pomodoro method, which basically means I take about a 5 minute break after every hour of working. This works really well for me, as that quick break allows me to get right back into being sharply focused for the next hours worth of tasks.

Another thing I do is postpone anything that involves being reactive (ie checking email, responding to voicemails, admin stuff, etc.) until the late afternoon unless they are urgent. Research has shown us that the creative mind is the early riser, while the editing mind likes to sleep in, so any tasks that require being creative should be done in the morning when your brain is at it’s most imaginative.

In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a very good read), he classifies priorities into four quadrants:

1. Important and Urgent 2. Important not Urgent

3. Urgent not Important 4. Not Important or Urgent

Anything that isn’t important is a distraction. Even if is “seems” urgent, it will result in losing momentum on whatever important thing you were working on.

It’s also very effective to have set blocks of times to knock out your mundane & uninspiring tasks (including house chores) so that you can get the boring but necessary done in a more timely and efficient manner. Tim Ferriss refers to this method as “batching” in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek (another very good read).

Two great free tools I use for productivity are Evernote for my to-do list and Google Calendar to set my time blocks.

I know this article is kind of a boring topic, but nonetheless a very important one in order to stay on top of your game as an entrepreneur. I hope you found it useful!