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Ask The Entrepreneurs: 13 Golden Rituals That Keep Entrepreneurs Sane

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 13 Golden Rituals That Keep Entrepreneurs Sane

    Ask The Entrepreneurs

    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    What daily/weekly ritual do you keep that keeps you sane as an entrepreneur?

    1. Meditate Stress Away

      “My daily ritual always involves at least fifteen minutes of meditation. When I meditate I give my brain a break. As an entrepreneur my brain is on overdrive. The key to getting real, quality work done is to take a break and tune in. Meditation offers you time to release and recalibrate. For my free guided meditations visit www.gabbyb.tv.”

      Gabrielle BernsteinGabrielle Bernstein Inc.

      2. Feed Yourself with Inspiration

        “You know when you read a quote and immediately it gives you that instant boost you needed in that moment? I keep my favorite quotes with me and look at them daily to remind myself that no matter what, it’s going to be okay and I can push through. Sometimes you need to be reminded of the simple things, even if it’s through a quote.”

        Ashley BodiBusiness Beware

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        3. Lift Off the Frustration

          “Lifting weights, especially heavy ones, has been something that I have come to rely on as an entrepreneur. The frustrating obstacles that we face every day while blazing new trails can add up. Personally I am driven by my own stress and anxiety, of which I have plenty. Sometimes the only thing that can relieve some of the pressure is a good ass whoopin’ at the gym!”

          Andrew BachmanScambook.com

          4. Stretch to the Limit

            “It seems cliche, but yoga has been my saving grace. It pumps me up for a day of productivity, while simultaneously reducing stress. It helps balance my mood at a time when the days get darker sooner. It stretches me out after hours at the computer. It helps me shut my brain off before going to sleep. I go to a yoga studio five days a week. Scheduling that time for myself keeps me sane.”

            Steph AuteriWord Nerd Pro

            5. Break the Rules!

              “During my work week, I’m super strict on my nutrition, workouts, sleep and business regimen. To combat this, I constantly break the rules on purpose and have a “cheat day.” Blow off an event, put back a few beers, or sleep in on Friday. Remind yourself that you are human, and the reason you are an entrepreneur is so you can have the freedom and flexibility to make these decisions for yourself.”

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              Matt Wilson, Under30CEO.com

              6. Focus on Loved Ones

                “Playing with my son every day and spending time with my family keeps me grounded and focused on why I’m doing what I’m doing. I always think of how my business and work affects my family, and ways to constantly improve upon that.”

                Tim Jahn, Entrepreneurs Unpluggd

                7. Join the Team!

                  “I try to play at least one team sport every week. I find that while your head is in the game and you’re cheering for your teammates, all the stress and work waiting for you washes away. When I return from the game, I find that much of that stress turns out to be gone for good, and I’m refreshed and ready to take on the week’s challenges.”

                  Jason EvanishGreenhorn Connect

                  8. Coach a Team!

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                    “I coach 3rd-5th grade AAU basketball. No matter what’s going on with Modify or in my personal life, I always forget everything stressful when I walk onto the court with the kids. They’re eager to learn and I can’t help but focus only on their growth. And if I’m really stressed, I can just tell them to do more sprints! (Just kidding.)”

                    Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

                    9. Touch Base Often

                      “I begin each day with a 5-minute check-in call with my accountability partner. We share our daily goals and discuss on-going challenges and projects. This daily check-in ensures that I make steady progress, and it’s great to know that someone who understands is just a phone call away for support and encouragement.”

                      Kelly AzevedoShe’s Got Systems

                      10. Mentor Another Entrepreneur

                        “Sometimes running your own business can be exhausting and you can lose track of end goals and the passion that got you started in the first place. I find that mentoring other young entrepreneurs reminds you why you started your business. Also, the feel-good vibes you get from helping others are the best way to recharge.”

                        Vanessa Van PettenScience of People

                        11. Read Your Calendar

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                          “Our calendars hold a lot of information about how we spend out time. If you sit down and scroll through your calendar to take a look at the meetings, phone calls, projects, and tasks that you have had over the past week, it will give you clarity about the things that you have accomplished and about what you can do differently.”

                          Dmitriy KatselAdU Network

                          12. Set Boundaries for Sanity

                            “I will not and do not (except before a big launch) answer or read emaisl within a few hours of my shut-eye time—nor will I read email on my phone IN bed. Sleep is sacred, and so is my schedule. A client wouldn’t dare call me at midnight; so why would they expect an email reply? YOU need to cut the email cord, not them. So do it. And turn off push notifications on your phone while you’re at it!”

                            Lindsey DonnerWell Versed Creative

                            13. Surf…the Internet?

                              “I’ve found that the best ideas and most productivity occurs when you actually completely disconnect from the work you’re doing. For me this has been surfing…in the ocean! Anything that forces you to be completely present for even a few hours a week does wonders for your mind, body and, as a result, your business.”

                              Srinivas RaoBlogcastFM

                              (Photo credit: Businessman Standing Alone via Shutterstock)

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                              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                              How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

                              How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

                              We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

                              So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

                              While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

                              Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

                              What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

                              How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

                              But what does being productive actually entail?

                              Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

                              Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

                              It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

                              Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

                              9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

                              1. Avoid Multitasking

                              Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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                              Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

                              If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

                              2. Turn off Notifications

                              According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

                              Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

                              The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

                              Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

                              3. Manage Interruptions

                              There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

                              Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

                              If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

                              By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

                              4. Eat the Frog

                              Mark Twain once famously said that:

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                              “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

                              What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

                              We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

                              Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

                              5. Cut Down on Meetings

                              Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

                              You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

                              The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

                              But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

                              If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

                              6. Utilize Tools

                              Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

                              If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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                              And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

                              Some examples of tools that could be used:

                              Communication
                              • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
                              • Samepage for video conference software.
                              • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
                              Task Management
                              • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
                              • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
                              • Wekan for an open source option.
                              Database Management
                              Time Tracking
                              • Clockify for a free tracker.
                              • TMetric for workspace integrations.
                              • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

                              You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

                              7. Declutter and Organize

                              Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

                              Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

                              Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

                              Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

                              8. Take Breaks

                              Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

                              As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

                              Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

                              Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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                              9. Drink Water

                              Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

                              Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

                              Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

                              A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

                              If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

                              You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

                              The Bottom Line

                              The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

                              After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

                              In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

                              A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

                              Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

                              More About Boosting Productivity

                              Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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