19 Proven Productivity Hacks Successful Entrepreneurs Use. In today’s fast-paced world, it is vital to keep up with the times in order to become successful. As new technology arises, everything else changes as if in a chain reaction. This is something almost all accomplished entrepreneurs know. Meanwhile, most people tend to believe that it takes a lot of genius (and money) to become as affluent as Steve Jobs.
The simple secret lies in productivity and time management. The ability to work smarter and not harder is a very valuable skill to learn. But how does one catch up with everyday tasks and demands? Below are some golden pieces of advice from some of the world’s successful entrepreneurs:
1. Steve Jobs – Filter Out Ideas
Apple might not have been the renowned company that it is today without the meticulous work ethics of Steve Jobs. It is said that he would ask his top executives for at least 100 ideas on how to improve Apple every year. He would then filter out ideas which did not meet his standards until he has reached a top 10 list. But he didn’t stop there either; he minimized the list even further into the top 3. Those 3 ideas would then be the main focus of Apple for that year.
2. Richard Branson – Make Lists
Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, brings a notebook with him all the time. Although list-making isn’t a new productivity hack, Branson proves that there is still a lot more to this habit than just crossing out tasks. He also uses his notebook as a tool to write down his ideas no matter where he is at that moment. This way, a good idea will never be able to slip through his fingers ever again.
3. Jeff Bezos – Two Pizza Rule
Jeff Bezos knows how to get the most out of his time, which is the probably the main reason behind the Two Pizza Rule. According to him, meetings are not always as it seems. While it should be a time to collaborate and communicate with teammates, it can also turn out to be chaotic simply because of the number of attendees. Instead of inviting a lot of participants, meetings would have attendees that would feed only two pizzas. This way others can focus on their tasks rather than wasting time in an unproductive meeting.
4. Jonathan Long – Stay Away From Social Media
Jonathan Long from Sexy Smile Kit claims that social media robs you of your time. While liking or sharing something on social media may only take a few minutes of your time, constantly checking on your phone during different times of the day can surely add up. Jonathan Long suggests using social media during breaks and detaching yourself from the online space during working hours.
5. Sam Saxton – Review Your Email Habits
Sam Saxton, the man behind the company Paragon Stairs, says that not all messages need to be sent. Everyone knows how time-consuming emails can be; from reading to sorting and figuring out how to reply. Save yourself from the trouble by reflecting on the importance of the message. Allow yourself some time to gather your thoughts and perhaps collate all that information into just one single email.
6. Elon Musk – Important Emails First
It is amazing how Elon Musk can juggle so many technology projects at the same time. His secret of the trade is to include an email routine in the morning. Every 7 AM, he would look through his inbox and catch up with matters that are critical and would require an immediate response. By tackling with important emails first, he can also decide on the tasks he needs to do throughout the rest of his day as well.
7. Robert Kirkman – Dream Big and Aim High
If you are a fan of The Walking Dead Series, you might be familiar with Robert Kirkman. The co-founder of Skybound Entertainment emphasizes the importance of setting big goals for oneself. He believes that aiming high motivates people to achieve more goals than just settling on simple goals.
8. Dustin Moskowitz – No Meetings Once A Week
Most people think that constant communication and collaboration is productive. But more often than not, there is bound to be at least one bad meeting within one whole week. This is why Dustin Moskowitz, Asana’s CEO, decided on holding no meetings on Wednesdays. This is to avoid an unproductive meeting and would also provide some room for employees to gather their thoughts for the next meeting.
9. Kenny Nguyen – Add In Some Downtime In Your Schedule
Big Fish Productions’ Kenny Nguyen schedules a 15-minute downtime interval in between intensive tasks. Not only does this give him some room to breathe and refresh his mind, this time can also be used to do smaller tasks such as social media.
10. Diego Orjuela – Create A Work-Related Inbox
The man behind the company Cables and Sensors, Diego Orjuela emphasizes the importance of dedicating an inbox strictly for work. Avoid using the same inbox for personal communication as this tends to distract you during your work mode. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that are not relevant to your work as well.
11. Cody McLain – Get Into Bullet Journalling
Journaling has proven to be quite beneficial in improving one’s productivity levels. Support Ninja’s Cody McLain says that a bullet journal helps him become more accountable for the tasks he has listed in his journal. At the same time, it also tests his prioritization skills daily and helps him make decisions faster.
12. Vik Patel – Learn How To Delegate
Like many other entrepreneurs, Vik Patel from Future Hosting loved being involved in everything that happens within his company. However, he later learned that delegating tasks to his team members is a much more productive option.
13. Douglas Hutchins – Rephrase Your Words In Terms Of Priority
Although we are often not aware of it, the way we speak and the words we choose are actually very powerful. They often affect the way we think. Douglas Hutchins, CEO and founder of Picasolar, says that instead of saying that there wasn’t enough time to do something, try rephrasing it into “I did not make it a priority”. This leaves us little room for excuses.
14. Renato Libric – Dedicate Time For Urgent Tasks
Renato Libric from Bouxtie Inc. says that he blocks out a period of time in his schedule to focus on the day’s most urgent tasks. During this time, he avoids any distractions and allows no interruptions.
15. Doug Bend – Identify Your Power Hour
Doug Bend claims that finding one’s most productive hours can be very advantageous towards productivity. According to him, it is best to dedicate these hours for important tasks. By also avoiding any form of distraction, you are allowing yourself to get into your working mode a lot faster and easier.
16. Hongwei Liu – Write
Hongwei Liu from the company Mappedin says that writing things down helps him create more mind space without having to worry about forgetting ideas. Instead of spending time trying to remember details, he would instead flip through the pages of his notes.
17. Murray Newlands – Take The Clock Away
Sighted’s Murray Newlands says that ignoring the clock made him more productive. Instead, he would use a time tracker or a stopwatch to track down his working time. Looking at the clock causes fear and a lot more stress which can negatively affect one’s productivity
18. Abhilash Patel – No Multi-tasking
Abhilash Patel from Recovery Brands believes that multitasking does not equal productivity. It is better to focus on one thing until its completion before moving on to the next task. By focusing on the current task at hand, one could realize that there is actually enough time in a day to finish everything that needs to get done.
19. Andy Karuza – It Is Okay To Do It Tomorrow
Productivity isn’t always about getting all the work done. Andy Karuza from FenSens also values the importance of work-life balance. Accomplish pressing and time-sensitive tasks for the day and leave out the smaller, simpler things for the next day. This way, you are allowing yourself more time to focus on important tasks without overloading yourself.