Building several successful companies has been fun, but it hasn’t been easy. The sheer amount of tasks that entrepreneurs have to tackle on any given day can be huge — from mundane administrative tasks to high-intensity project work for my clients. I often get asked how I keep everything on track. Here are five simple tips that help me stay productive every day:
1) Set a time and stop working.
While your official work day may be from 9 to 5, you probably don’t stick to it. You may work into the night, thinking you’ll get more done. But at the same time, you’re probably thinking about getting home. Working more doesn’t mean being more productive, if you’re mind is somewhere else. Set a time that you will stop working every day. You’ll actually find that you’ll be able to fit everything you wanted to do in a shorter span of time because you actually planned it out.
2) Stop checking your emails.
Most people compulsively check their emails everyday, thinking the more they respond to, the more they’re getting done. In reality, the more emails you respond to, the less you work you are getting to. Email is not your job. Focus on your projects, not answering that email you got 2 seconds ago. Instead of checking your email every time you get a notification, set a couple times a day when you read them.
3) Learn how to say no.
It’s difficult to say no when we’re asked to do something because we don’t want to seem like we’re not team players. As a result, we’re bombarded with tons to commitments, both personally and professionally. This isn’t ideal for anymore. If you’re overwhelmed, pick and choose the things that are of most value to you and say no to the rest. People will appreciate your honesty.
4) Imperfection is OK; so are mistakes.
Are you a perfectionist? If you are, learn to be OK with imperfection. Sometimes, it’s more effective to look at the bigger picture because the little details don’t matter in the end. Don’t waste time sweating the small stuff, when it doesn’t affect the bottom line. The same goes with mistakes. It’s OK to make mistakes. Learn from them. It’s only a mistake if you make them twice.
5) Ask for help.
Asking for helping is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign that you know your priorities. Don’t waste your time mulling over something you don’t understand; simplify your life by asking for help from someone who actually does.