CF Saskatchewan Blog

12 Simple Ways to Get More Done In Your Business Every Single Day

  • December 7, 2015
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

As an entrepreneur, you are the engine driving every aspect of your business. The success and profitability of your company is 100% contingent on your ability to produce, day in and day out. However, as most business owners will attest to, it often feels like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, which commonly leads to feelings of overwhelm, burnout and exhaustion.

Since it’s not possible to create more time, it’s imperative to adopt a leadership approach in the way you manage and maximize the minutes you do have to work with. If you want to be in control of your calendar and to do list instead of feeling like they are in control of you, there’s a few simple habits, practices and mindset shifts you can adopt to help you achieve a greater sense of mastery over your workload, time and energy.

Automate and systemize.

Identify every moving part of your business and consider the ways you can turn on autopilot. Take a good look at every task you do and ask yourself if there is a better, easier way to do it, or if there’s a piece of software that could accomplish the task for you. Institute systems and processes, while leveraging technology as much as possible.

From customer acquisition, scheduling and marketing, to purchase fulfillment and invoicing – there are tools and services that can exponentially free up your time and make your business run more effortlessly.

Clear the clutter.

When there are too many things in your visual field of focus, it’s difficult for your brain to concentrate on the task at hand. By beginning and ending every day with a tidy and organized workspace, you’re freeing up valuable mental energy to do the work that matters most to you.

Empty your email.

Set up a separate email account for newsletters, trials, and offers that don’t require your immediate attention. Then commit to checking this account only when you’ve accomplished your more important tasks. The less your phone and computer are chiming with notifications, the less distracted you will be. To take this a step further, set aside some dedicated time to unsubscribe from the email lists that no longer serve you in any meaningful way.

Start the week strong.

Take an hour every Sunday evening to plan and prioritize the upcoming week. Not only does this give you a jumpstart on a much more productive week, it mitigates the dread and insomnia inducing wheel-spinning that plagues so many of us on Sunday nights.

Just say no.

We often associate the word “no” with guilt, failure, and disappointment. Too often we try to please everyone and end up with too much on our plates. However, “no” is actually a powerful ally that can drive your business forward unlike any other force. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have the luxury of time and you need to be extremely particular about the people, projects and priorities you spend it on. Only you can overbook yourself, so only you can say no to requests for your time.

Change your scenery.

One of the biggest benefits of the mobile world we live in is the possibility of working in a variety of different environments. Try to spend one day each week working away from your usual workspace. Doing so stimulates your creativity, enhances productivity and minimizes burnout. If this isn’t possible, aim to head to a different room or outside for a couple of hours. This is an especially good trick to try when you’re struggling with a project or feeling uninspired.

Action alleviates anxiety.

Pick that high priority/least desirable activity on your list and just do it. Nothing relieves stress better than kicking things into high gear and taking action. When you put the pesky things off, they still continue to be top of mind, dramatically dragging down your overall productivity. Doing things now instead of later is the ultimate secret that the most successful business people use to get more done.

Leverage your productivity peak.

Identify the time when you are at your best. The majority of us can pinpoint certain hours during the day when our intellect, motivation and creativity consistently fly higher. Knowing and using your personal productivity peak times enables you to produce quality work faster and also allows you to schedule maintenance items during those times when your brainpower isn’t firing at full capacity.

Progress, not perfection.

Sometimes done really is better than good. Striving for excellence is an admirable aspiration, but compulsive perfectionism is the enemy of productivity and can seriously damage your business. It’s better to accomplish a long list of things, all done well, rather than 5 things that are absolutely perfect.

Use the rule of threes.

There are an endless number of things you can do to improve your business. The problem is that if you try to accomplish them all at once, you end up making little to no progress on any of them.

Stop overscheduling your time and choose just three critical tasks per day to complete. Each morning, identify the three most important things that need to get done, write them down and then be relentless in making it happen. If you’ve got time left over at the end of the day, you can always do more. But if you commit to this simple practice, you’ll find that you stay on track and end more of your days with a greater sense of accomplishment and contentment. Physically checking off these three tasks from your morning list is very satisfying!

Delegate to elevate.

Seeking out help is likely the most powerful productivity hack there is. Evaluate all of the tasks you do and determine the ones that are unpleasant, time-sucking or outside of your genius zone. Even if you’re a solopreneur, the possibilities for economically outsourcing work are becoming increasingly abundant and accessible. You should only be using your time on the most critical activities for the business, and the ones that only you alone can do. Delegate anything can’t do fast and well, along with anything that doesn’t interest you. The golden rule of delegation: If there’s someone who can do what you’re doing better or cheaper, let them!

Action over analysis.

The most successful entrepreneurs know that clarity comes from engagement, not thought. Business magic generally tends to happen in the doing, and not in the thinking. When you take a step in any direction, you activate a different set of cognitive skills and your intuition starts to fire up your creative cylinders in a more dynamic way.

When you’re facing a big decision in your business, it's easy to start over thinking. As you endlessly debate the pros and cons in lieu of making a decisive choice, your ambivalence undercuts your productivity and can actually harm your bottom line. Pick the path that appears to align best with your purpose and profitability and make any needed course-corrections along the way. Entrepreneurship is always a delicate balance of risk and reward, but even the most careful decisions often have unintended consequences. Have the confidence to choose one option and start moving towards it.

As you begin to implement some of these strategies, remember that Community Futures is here to support you with the advice, guidance and possibly even funding to take your business to the next level. In the meantime, we’d encourage you to download our newest e-book, “The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: 75 Tools to Simplify and Amplify Your Business.”