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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Some advice on maintaining productivity

Productivity is one of the most important things an entrepreneur can have on their side.  We all seem to manage our own productivity in our own ways; often in very different ways.  To remain focused and productive I use five specific tools/methods that have proven very useful to me.

To begin, I’m a planner.  If I don’t make a plan then next to nothing gets done.  Every evening I make a plan for the following day.  I consider what needs to get done, set out a time line and work backwards in order to make enough time to realistically check items off of my to do list.  As an entrepreneur, I do not have a routine as every day is different than the one before it; planning will make the chaos more manageable.

I write lists.  My life is too full to remember everything that needs doing.  Whenever something comes up, my phone comes out and I add it to the list.  Also, I prioritize my lists so that the most pertinent tasks are at the top of the pile and nothing important gets lost in the fold.

Knowing that I can’t do everything by myself vastly increases my productivity.  I have competent people who I can give tasks to; thus, multiple tasks can be accomplished simultaneously.  The hardest things for me to let go of were some of my daily responsibilities because I believed that no one could do them as well as I could.  No one is that infallible, not even me.  Getting rid of the repetitive daily responsibilities has freed up more of my time to do things that should really only be done by me.

Always make time to do something that you enjoy that is not work related.  If you don’t do this, you will get burnt out and then you are useless.  Go out to dinner with a friend, play poker, paint, write a book, do whatever it is that helps you unwind.  You are not a machine, despite your wish to be at times.

Don’t drink in the middle of the day.  This took years for me to learn.  Lunch meetings can usually include an offer of wine or beer from our hosts.  I know that, if I have one glass of wine in the afternoon, my productivity will plummet for the remainder of the day.  Drink water or something beautifully caffeinated to keep your focus and energy up.

Maintaining productivity as an entrepreneur will keep your company moving like a well-oiled machine.  Be sure to plan out your days, make lists to keep track of what needs to get done and use employees efficiently to take some responsibilities away from you.  Don’t forget to enjoy life a little, even when “there’s too much to do”.  If you have a long day ahead of you then think about denying yourself that cold beer that you so desperately want to consume over lunch.

Thanks to kabbage for encouraging me to think more about my management style and how I stay productive day to day.