A startup founder is not an easy gig. There are countless tasks and never-ending duties. So, being as productive as humanly possible is something that everyone should strive towards. Often times startup founders overthink a situation and drown in stress.
What if you could improve your daily productivity simply by implementing a few easy tips? Below are some things to consider. They don’t take any special effort to leverage — just your dedication and commitment.
1. Limit your email inbox time.
There is only so much time in each day. “If you attempt to stay current with your emails throughout the day you will never have time for anything else. I like to have a few dedicated times to check emails so I don’t pull myself away from other responsibilities,” says April Gillmore, CEO of . When you get to the office, again at lunchtime and then before leaving for the day are examples.
2. Don’t forget to eat.
Many people get so busy that they skip meals or simply don’t eat. You have to stay fueled with energy, so never skip a meal. If you have to, keep some protein bars or mixed nuts at your desk. This way even if you can’t break away you can still get the nutrients you need. Try to take in 5-6 smaller meals a day. This keeps your metabolism cranking and your energy levels high throughout the day.
3. Implement ideas as quickly as possible.
If you have an idea, take action right away. The longer you wait the lower the odds of it happening become. “Good ideas are often just that: good ideas. Try to implement them right away while they are fresh on your mind. This will result in the best possible version of your idea going to market,” says Blake Brossman, Founder of . At the very least, write them down so you don’t miss any details.
4. Get enough sleep on a nightly basis.
We always hear about working non-stop and taking no time off. This is bad and if you don’t get adequate rest your will not be productive. “Every person has different sleep requirements, so figure out what yours are, whether it’s 4 hours or 8 hours, and then make sure you get that every night,” says Jonathan Long, founder of . Waking up fully recharged will ensure you are as productive as humanly possible every single day.
5. Always visualize the end goal and result.
When you know what you are working towards it will help you arrive at that final destination much faster. You need to be able to visualize the end result in order to create a clear path that will help you arrive there. Learn how to do this and you will see your productivity increase dramatically.
6. Don’t let multi-tasking slow you down.
We often hear people talk about how they are great multi-tasking, but is it really beneficial? Sometimes if you are spread too thin and trying to do too much you lose focus and end up not getting anything accomplished. “Multi-task only when necessary. Instead, focus on knocking a task out before jumping to the next. If you reply on multi-tasking you will see things take twice as long to finish,” says Sukhbir Singh, Director of .
7. Stop trying to be perfect.
There is no such thing as perfection and there is never a perfect time to do something. Those who wait for the ‘perfect’ moment to execute something often miss the opportunity entirely. Jump head-first in and just get to work. You will find that most successful people figure stuff out along the way rather than trying to have everything figured out first, which is impossible most times.
8. Attack your to-do list right away.
When you prepare in advance you are able to start knocking out your to-do list right away. “I like to create my to-do list at the end of each day for the next day. This way I can get started on all items right away, without having to come up with a plan,” says Ashley Wong, Digital Marketing Specialist at . This strategy can really improve your productivity as you spend more time executing tasks than planning.
9. Use the 80/20 rule.
You will want to spend 80% of your time on the top 20% of your tasks. This is a rule that applies to many things, especially improved productivity. You never want to waste time of things that have little value. Identify your most important tasks and devote the majority of your time to those. A lot of your tasks are busy work — know where and when to apply your focus and attention.
10. Start your day tackling the hardest tasks first.
When you make your daily to-do list make sure you list your task in order of difficulty. “Your most difficult tasks will require more of your time and energy, which is why I like to attack those first. I have more energy and I’m better mentally prepared for difficult tasks first thing,” says Claire Cheung, Marketing Manager of . This approach can make your day much more enjoyable.