Most entrepreneurs we know want to make an impact and help people. The only problem is their to-do list has somehow become a mile long, with more to-do's being added by the minute. It's time to ditch the to-do list and do thins that will help you be more productive so that you can spend your time actually helping the people you set out to help.
Two things motivate us like no other.
- Feeling productive.
- Feeling like what we're doing is making a difference.
Perhaps you can relate. After all, you didn't jump into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship to sit on your butt and do nothing. Okay, maybe there was some promise of that somewhere (cough cough PASSIVE INCOME cough cough).
Most entrepreneurs WE know are ready to make an impact and help people. The only problem is their to-do list has somehow become a mile long, with more to-do's being added every minute.
So many ways to have an impact. So little time to actually #getshitdone. (Tweet this.)
So here are 7 things you can do that will help you be more productive so that you can spend your time actually helping the people you set out to help.
1. WORK ON ONE TASK AT A TIME.
It can be hard, in this day and age, when technology is buzzing all around us and most of us have at least 10 tabs open at a time on our web browsers. Here's the problem: Our brains aren't wired for multitasking. So when we try to go between more than one task at a time, we end up dulling our focus and reducing the quality of work. Which brings us to #2.
2. POMODORO IT UP.
Use the Pomodoro Technique and commit to working in small chunks of focused time. The power of the Pomodoro is that it helps to manage distractions, give our brains the focus it craves, all while helping us find our productive sweet spot.
3. GET CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE WORKING TOWARDS.
Another thing that can keep us from being productive and having a bigger impact is a lack of clarity. By being clear on what you're trying to accomplish, you can easily break it down into smaller (and more manageable) steps. This has been something we're working on at Propelle, and have found The Chalkboard Method super helpful for keeping our big goals fresh and in the open.
4. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.
One of the best (and worst) parts of being your own boss the ability to set your own schedule and work when you want to work. The problem is, most entrepreneurs have a hard time putting the computer away and turning the phone off. This constant need to work and be connected leads to burnout, sickness, and that "running on fumes" feeling. It can also impact creativity and brain power, making everything harder and/or take longer. So give yourself a break and do something just for fun.
5. CREATE A MASTER SCHEDULE.
Most of us spend our days being reactionary to the things that happen in our businesses. We respond to emails as they come in. We handle customer service issues as they come in. We pull together orders and ship out materials as they come in. And we schedule calls or meetings at random in our calendars. And while it can feel like a good approach at the time — you're being responsive! and engaged! — it's actually a huge bottleneck in your productivity. What can you do instead? Create a master schedule for yourself with a little method called time blocking.
6. SCHEDULE IT OUT.
This ties in with #5, but if you're not currently scheduling out your blog or social media posts, you really should be. It takes just as long to write one blog post, edit it, prepare your graphics, and get your headlines fancied up, as it does to write five blog posts. Why? Because our brains (and fingers) are already in the groove of writing. So block yourself off some writing time and start scheduling out your blog post. (Looking for a handy editorial calendar to help you plan out your month? You can download one here.)
7. STOP TRYING TO BE EVERYWHERE.
At some point along the way, you've heard that you absolutely need to be on <insert social media channel here> because OMG IT'S THE LATEST AND GREATEST AND LOOK! FILTERS! Yes, there may be a new audience to reach, but there is zero benefit to you and your business if you aren't engaged and present while you're there. Instead of trying to be everywhere, look at where your biggest return on investment is (where you get the most newsletters subscribers, the most engagement, the most click-through's to your website, etc) and focus your effort on continuing to grow that platform. If you're feeling like you're ready to branch out, try to boost the one that has been getting the lowest conversions and see if you can turn it around.
At the end of the day, it's really about setting up systems so that you can make the most of your time and focus your efforts so that you can reap the biggest rewards.