February 28, 2016 | 5-minute read (839 words)
How would you like to transform your day and ultimately your work week? Do you lay awake at night wondering how you’ll ever get it all done?
Worry no more. We’ve got great productivity hacks for startup CEOs. After hours of research and culling the web and CEOs, we’ve pulled together some hacks that just might leave you wondering what you’ll do with your extra time.
Hack #1: Clear One Day
Set aside one day each week and keep your schedule completely clear. That means no meetings whatsoever.
You can even go one step further and set your phone to “Do Not Disturb.” Create a voicemail message that says you aren’t available to take or return calls, and you’ll get back to everyone the next day.
Phone calls are one of the biggest enemies of your work day and your productivity. Just two 30-minute phone calls can leave you distracted and off-task.
Hack #2: Utilize Sunday Night
You’ve spent the weekend with your family, and now that everyone is asleep or doing their own thing, take a few hours on Sunday night to get ready for the work week. This will help you start Monday fresh and organized for the week ahead.
You’ll increase your productivity because you’ve already checked your email and planned your work week before it even starts.
Hack #3: Track Your Time
If, like many startup CEOS, you often wonder where your time goes, utilize a time-tracking app such as RescueTime or Clockodo.
These apps let you keep track of how much time you spend on each of your daily tasks. At the end of the day or the week, you can look back and assess where your time was best spent, or even wasted. You might be shocked at what you find and in turn discover the motivation you need to stay on track.
Hack #4: Leverage the To-Do List
You probably are accustomed to making to-do lists. But, perhaps they are never-ending, and the items seem to multiply so quickly you never have time to finish anything.
Note that we said leverage the to-do list. We recommend managing your list and diligently working through each item on it before moving on.
Try a tool like TeuxDeux or Trello. These tools allow you to create and manage your to-do lists without all those messy scraps of paper. You’ll never forget a task or wonder what day you completed it.
Hack #5: Do Not Multi-Task
Often CEOs think they have to do it all and manage multiple tasks at one time. Yet, multi-tasking is highly discouraged. This productivity-zapper has the tendency to leave you with several tasks that either aren’t finished or aren’t finished up-to-par.
The best way to do your tasks is in a series, not parallel. How many times have you been working on a report to be distracted by your email? It helps to allot yourself a certain amount of time on each task. Only when the time is up can you move on to something else – even checking your email.
Hack #6: Learn to Say No
Yes, that’s right. You can say no. Be a dictator when it comes to your schedule. If you say yes to every meeting, conference, presentation or party, you won’t have any time left to conduct the real business of your startup.
Guard your time as if it is the most valuable commodity you own. Say no most of the time, and only say yes when it can enhance your startup or your productivity.
We’re going to end our discussion of great productivity hacks for startup CEOs with one last tip. Take a break.
The best way to stay productive is to take some time for yourself. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a trip to the gym, lunch with your spouse or shutting your door for a 15-minute nap, one of the best ways to stay productive is to take a break.
In fact, researchers found that taking a short break improves your focus. Improved focus means increased productivity.
One technique to try – the Pomodoro Technique. This technique has you working in short bursts with even shorter breaks. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work. When it goes off, take a 5-minute break. After you’ve done this four times, you can take a longer break of 30 minutes or more.
Now, it’s time to get working on these hacks, check off your to-do list and carve out some extra time in your day.
Are you a new startup? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your finances, payroll, HR duties and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.
Image: Robert Scoble via Visualhunt.com / CC BY