Running your own business is something that lays on you many different roles to shoulder. You are the one in charge of the daily operations of your company, its long-term strategies and anything else in between. Having all that and more to accomplish may appear scary at first, but if you focus on applying the appropriate strategies on your tasks, you can tackle each one of them effectively.
A number of entrepreneurs shared with us some of their best tips that enable them stay productive and on top of their game. Check them below:
1. Define your purpose every day
According to Lee Barnes, the president of Family Fare, you need to follow a very specific daily routine in order to maintain your productivity at all times. Every single morning, you need to remind yourself what your purpose for that particular day is. Every single night, you need to go through your work for the day and evaluate what you have accomplished. This is going to keep you focused on your ultimate objectives, making sure that you follow through with each goal you set for yourself every day.
2. Follow an hourly schedule
According to Full Circle Home co-founder, Heather Kauffman, most people tend to deal with those tasks that they think are easiest and quickest first, putting off the big crucial ones for later and leaving very little time for the things that actually matter. Always have a daily program to guide your daily spending of time, and hold it dear like an appointment with a doctor that took you months to secure.
3. Record everything down in writing
Listing down all your day-to-day objectives on paper makes you more keen on the issues at hand on a specific day, therefore you will be more likely to accomplish the goals by the end of that day, according to Marc Abrams, the President of Stretch Zone. If you focus on completing the tasks on your list and checking them off each time, you make more progress than simply using your memory.
4. Prioritize your tasks so as to account for the unexpected
Mark Werpney, who is the owner of a successful Window Genie franchise, explains why it is essential to prioritize what has to be achieved on each particular day rather than what can wait till the following day. This is because something unexpected which is outside your control could happen and require that you leave everything and attend to it immediately. If things do not iron out as efficiently as they were planned, it is your responsibility to figure out why that is so and make any necessary adjustments to avoid the same pitfall next time.
5. Do not allow your emails to take up all your time
Lina Hu, who is the CEO and founder of Clipper Corporation, says that when you are running your own business, thousands of emails can come in every day from clients, employees or other stakeholders in the business. She therefore advises that you set some particular hours of the day to read them, and in time blocks to avoid wasting the whole day on emails alone.
According to Chris Drucquer, who is the owner of a CertaPro Painters franchise, you also need to include in your email signature the person to reach when you are not available. This enables your clients to have somebody else to reach rather than get frustrated by your unavailability.
6. Always give your brain a break from your business
In order to boost his productivity during his workday, Mike Rotondo, the CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, believes in truly unplugging himself at night so as to recharge for the next day of work. As a business owner, it is usually quite hard for one to disconnect themselves from their laptop and phone to give their brains some rest. Mike says that he fully invests his time and energy in DIY tasks around his house, such as building a desk or redoing his kitchen, so as to focus his full attention on them and force him mind out of office work mode.
7. Reduce clutter
In as long as the saying ‘a messy desk signifies a creative mind’ could sometimes be true, many times it also lowers your productivity and raises your levels of stress, according to Jennifer Adams, the founder and CEO of Jennifer Adams Worldwide. She adds that even in the current digital era, one needs to retain certain papers, but the odds are that most people will print out and save much more stuff than they actually need. She therefore advises that you invest in your own desktop scanner and make use of it daily.
8. Try to avoid the conference room
Mike Del Ponte, the CEO and founder of Soma, explains why he sometimes postpones, shortens or altogether cancels meetings so as to free up more time for other higher-priority tasks. As a business owner, you are going to find out that most of the time you can replace a meeting by a quick conversation that actually achieves the same objective. He therefore advises that you need to sometimes pick up your phone or walk across the room to deliver some message instead of spending all your time in the conference room.
9. Always remain positive and have fun with your job
Joe Schumacher, the CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., explains that everybody needs to be serious about their work, but none of us needs to be somber. Being serious does not mean that we do not have fun doing the job. He also advises that one needs to remain positive even in tough situations because this can greatly enhance their productivity.
Lance Jensen, who is the CEO of Global Garage Flooring & Design, says that even at times when he is very frustrated or annoyed, he tries to divert the attention of his mind towards thinking about the joys and positive aspects of running his own business. For instance, he no longer has to endure the tedious commuting to his work place, the shady office politics, the strict dress code or the constant worries about job security and stability that so many other people have to contend with.
10. Learn to recover quickly from failure
Rather than a means to an end, a failure in your business should be a call to action for you, according to the CEO of ThinOptics, Teddy Shalon. Many times, running your own business is going to be about trial-&-error experiences to learn what really works for you and what does not. Your learning teach you how to make assessments about your situation. You are going to realize that some things will not work, and this is just okay. The beauty of it all is that you will be applying the lesson you learnt in the previous bad experience to the next thing and embrace the fact that you are moving forward. Making progress every day is the key to your productivity.