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I don’t claim to be a productivity expert in any way. However there are some things I’ve learned in my 10+ years of being an entrepreneur and CEO that help me focus, keep my energy up, get more done and work about 10% of the time I did when I first started out.
- Allergy and Food Intolerance Tests:
Back in 2007 I found out that I had a massive list of foods I was intolerant to, things like wheat, rye, soda/pop, egg whites, white rice and grapefruit. At the time I pretty much lived on peppermint lattes and expresso brownies from Starbucks. My energy levels were so low that when I would yawn my whole body felt even more exhausted from the act of yawning. My eyes couldn’t focus on the computer. My vision was blurry. My neck and back muscles were constantly tight, which made it really hard to find a comfortable position to fall asleep.
Once I eliminated all of the foods I was intolerant too (and stayed away from the foods I was allergic to) my energy and productivity shot up.
My list of intolerances have changed since then, which is kind of a blessing as I eat healthier meals that give me the fuel I need to focus and work. I am so happy that I am not intolerant to coffee. Mmmmm…sweet sweet coffee!
- Shut off phone notifications: When I got my first smart phone (a Blackberry) I kept all the notifications on and the volume was set to high. Not only did this make my battery die within hours but it scared me each time I was notified of a new email or BBM. Needless to say I lost my focus each time it “beeped”. 10 years later I still have my smart phone on silent, not only to conserve my battery but to keep me focused on the project at hand.
- Shut off laptop notifications: You probably saw this one coming! Yes I also shut off notifications on my laptop too, including sounds and pop-up windows. The only one I keep active is my Skype notifications because I use Skype to communicate with my team and if there is an urgent message I want to focus on it!
- Check things off: I LOVE to check things off when I complete a task or project. It gives me great satisfaction. Most people would think that being a Geek my “To Do” list is probably on some app, but really I’m a paper and pen gal when it comes to my “To Do” list. I recently started using the Bullet Journal system. It’s simple and I began implementing it while watching the video on their page. I really do love it.
Now while this is a system that works for me, you may prefer an app or a project management system that suits your style.
- Go for a walk: I started my business a year and half before meeting my husband, and before meeting him I never had a dog. There were times where I never left my condo for a 24 hour period (once it was 48 hours). Yikes. When we met I would take his dogs for walks and at first I thought it was disrupting my productivity but in reality I needed the break and I needed the fresh air. Today I walk my dog 5 times a day. Two of those walks are longer walks and I use those to tune out of my busy day or I use the time to solve a problem (this works for techie problems too!)
- Get out of the home office: If I am working on a big project, let’s say I’m creating a new course, I head to a coffee shop or the library. The only problem for me is that most public seating is made for people taller than me and I tend to hurt my neck or back while typing away on my laptop. But, I get around that by only working for an hour. That hour tends to be hyper focused and I get more done in that one hour than I would with two hours at home.
- Say no more often: Say no to telesummits, interviews, partnerships, joint ventures, guest writing opportunities, traveling and anything else that just doesn’t fire you up or doesn’t guarantee you new business. You are better off saying no now, than dragging yourself through it all and hating every step of it. Save that energy for the things you do love to do in your business.
- Review and modify your business: Go through your business and stop doing the things that aren’t working for you. If you do a free (or paid) class each month and you aren’t getting the results you want from it, stop it. If your newsletter isn’t getting published because it takes too long, look at how you can shorten it. I did and I love my new short newsletter that takes me just a few minutes each week to publish!
- Review and modify your expenses: I will go through my expenses quite often. I look at what tools I’m using frequently and which tools I am not using often enough. I either choose to start using those tools or I cancel my subscription. I kept one subscription based service for an entire year because I thought “one day I will use it” and I never did. It ate up my energy a bit when I would see the statement each month on my credit card bill.
- Hire a team: Before hiring a team of people to help me I did everything from sales to content creation to techie stuff to invoicing. It wore me down and soon enough I got so busy that I couldn’t do it all anymore. So I stopped worrying about why I should and shouldn’t trust people helping me in my business and I went for it. Our team is now 30 strong! They help me with my marketing and tech stuff and they are hired by our clients to help with their marketing, launching, content creation, websites, e-commerce and more! Instead of hiring your team bit by bit, why not hire our team and have their skills available at your finger tips! If you are curious, I urge you to book a call with Ericka our business manager here.
There you go! That’s my top ten list. What do you do to keep your productivity up as an entrepreneur?