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5 Best Productivity Hacks For Solo Entrepreneurs

5 Best Productivity Hacks For Solo Entrepreneurs

The life of an entrepreneur can be quite overwhelming at times. It’s not just about the money. Time goes alongside money. It is one of the greatest commodities any entrepreneur can ever have. That said, it is considered that entrepreneurs are very conservative when it comes to spending time and money. They are meant to be that way. They wear multiple hats at the same time. Sometimes managing all these things can be a huge challenge. Have you ever thought about adding some hacks to your daily routine – perhaps some productivity hacks to make yourself more productive?

As an entrepreneur, your typical day is packed with hundreds of emails, going through the daily routine and schedule, meetings, and trying to manage a to-do list that seems to keep on growing. But the real challenge is trying to tackle the daily progress and standardizing it.

How can you increase productivity and manage everything at the same time? Go to walk, join a gym and use fitness bands to keep track of your daily workouts.

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Here are five hacks entrepreneurs use to stay on track so they avoid wasting time and money.

1. Prioritize Your Goals and Customize a Schedule

To begin with, you need to step up certain goals and targets you need to achieve. More importantly, you need to prioritize these goals to gain focus. You also need to prioritize yourself by setting up time blocks for each task and completing it within that time frame. When you’re limiting yourself to certain activities in a certain amount of time, you are preparing yourself to manager harder tasks with ease and precision and also within a deadline.

To keep yourself organized, you can always download a tool, software or application. There are plenty in the market. One of these is ToodleDo, a multi-functional tool that will help improve overall productivity and organization.

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2. Handle Most Undesirable and Difficult Tasks First

Your to-do list might have numerous tasks you find are the most undesirable and most difficult. You leave them behind and focus on many other ones on the list. This is not an ideal way to go. It’s going to be hard, but you have to get the undesirable tasks out of the way now or tomorrow. What would be your choice?

Tom Hopkins states that the most difficult and challenging tasks should be handled first. Don’t run away from them because you find them undesirable. Do them early on, when you are at the peak of your energy.

3. Hire an Assistant

Too much work on your hands? You have to get the workload off your shoulders. Remember, you are one person and you can’t possibly do everything. You need to realize that you cannot handle everything on your own. You just might need an assistant. Skimming past this crucial point will not be very helpful and productive. Just because you can’t afford one doesn’t mean you should just forget about it.

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In the words of Tony Robbins, you can make two hours four by hiring an assistant. If you require two hours of help a day, you can make it four as you and your assistant both will spend the same amount of time. He also states while telling his story that we all think we can do everything ourselves but that’s not possible. Hiring help is the best way to go and a great productivity tip.

4. Use Technology To Make Your Job Easier

Technology has come a long, long way. Today, you can make things easy for you by the use of technology. The high-tech, cutting-edge gadgets and software are meant to cater to your needs and ease your workload. You will find countless applications, tools and software that will help you effectively and efficiently complete a task – even the most complicated ones. Navigate swiftly through your day with the help of these modern day tools and gadgets.

There are plenty of free tools and applications you can use for single chores. For instance, Dropbox is a great tool to store your important files. If you want to host a webinar, you can use AnyMeeting. For project management, try Basecamp.

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5. Evaluate Everything, Improve and Repeat

When you adopt any new activity or system, you need to assess it. Evaluate every bit of detail and modify it if needed. Make sure to leave enough space for improvement and once you have done that, you will keep getting better at things. The first time may not be a huge success. Don’t worry. Evaluate where you went wrong and make the changes that will help you perform better. After that, you need to repeat it and ensure you’re on the right track. A plan that goes wrong means it had something that was either missing or overlooked. Review every single bit of detail to find out what went wrong and do it all over again.

Try these productivity hacks to manage your workload effectively. You’ll be more efficient, saving time and money.

More by this author

Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

More to Help You Achieve More in Less Time

Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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