An entrepreneur is an individual who takes initiative to build a business so as to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity in the market. They come up with an idea for a product or a service and pursue it until they achieve commercial success. We admire entrepreneurs for their creative ideas and constant energy. What many don't realize is how busy they are. Entrepreneurs are constantly on their feet building their businesses and achieving milestones. They are the main decision-makers and take full responsibility for their enterprises. As such, they need a little help from software tools and innovative tips and tricks so as to stay productive. These resources assist them to handle their busy lives. Here are 15 productivity tools, tips and tricks for the busy entrepreneurs.
Productivity tools for entrepreneurs
Just as they do with money, entrepreneurs seek to invest their time as efficiently as possible. Therefore, they constantly try to promote their productivity. There are literally thousands of smartphone and computer programs that can help them to accomplish this. Here are a few of them for the busy entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur can feel overwhelmed by the number of projects in their schedule. Thankfully, there is a software known as Asana that they can use to manage these projects. It is based in the Cloud. Thus, you can log into it as long as you have an Internet-capable device and a good connection. Asana is built such that it is very flexible. It has elements such as task and subtask that an entrepreneur can use to organize their project activities. Moreover, these elements can be assigned to different projects at the same time. An entrepreneur can use this online application to assign tasks to colleagues and even team members. With Asana by your side, you can manage projects much more efficiently.
This is a famous application that we use to perform video chats. Interestingly, it can be used to hold video meetings too. By setting up a conference video call, entrepreneurs can hold digital meetings through Skype. This application can also be used to send files from one person to another. It provides a superb method of boosting productivity for entrepreneurs who have team members in the field.
Social media is a strategic marketing platform for businesses today. By using it, an entrepreneur can reach thousands of people and market their business. To use this platform, you have to post pictures or statements in your social media pages. It is difficult to do this according to a schedule. Thankfully, there is an application known as Buffer. You can use it to schedule posts and tweets across all your social media platforms. An entrepreneur can program specific times into the application. After that, Buffer will remind them when these times are due. Once this happens, they can simply enter some information or a picture in the application and post it to all the business social media pages at the same time.
4. Inbox Pause
One of the factors that every entrepreneur has to deal with today is an endless stream of emails in the inbox. It can become very hard to keep up with all of them. Inbox Pause helps you to pause these messages and receive them according to your own schedule. You can focus on the emails that you already have. Once you are done with them, open up the application and it lets some new ones come in. In this way, you limit the flow of these emails so that you can focus on the ones you have at hand. By saving time in this way, an entrepreneur can boost their productivity.
This application is used to stay in touch with the leading employees in your organization. As an entrepreneur, it is important to give feedback to the department leaders in your company. 15Five allows you to broadcast information such as progress reports, problems and milestones that you have achieved to all the stakeholders in your organization. They can also use the same application to send information back to you. This tool eliminates the need for frequent meetings and therefore saves precious time.
Productivity tips and tricks for entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur, it is quite challenging to pick the tasks that have the highest priority in your path to success. Moreover, you can find it difficult to find time for all the things you need to do. At some point, you wish that you had a 25 hour day. Don't worry, here are some tricks and tips to help you become more productive as an entrepreneur.
1. The Pareto principle
Also known as the 80/20 rule, this is a trick that you can use to identify the most fruitful tasks in your day. The principle indicates that 20% of the things you say are highly important while 80% are simply trivial. By applying this principle to your daily tasks, you realize that 20% of the tasks you complete can produce 80% of your overall results. The trick is to find the tasks that have this ratio of return. Entrepreneurs can use this principle to identify the tasks that are strategic to their success and focus on them.
2. Identify your own sleeping pattern
It is a widely held belief that we need 8 hours of sleep every day so as to function normally. The truth is that we don't. Everyone has a unique number of hours that they need so as to function optimally. Its up to you to find your pattern. You can work for an extra 2 to 3 hours every day as you experiment to find out how many hours of sleep you need. If you find that you can sleep for less than 8 hours and still perform optimally, then you can use the extra ones to work and make some progress.
3. Use your commute time effectively
Do you commute from your home to your office? If so, then you can invest in this time to become more productive. Pick a task that you can complete during your commute. Examples of such tasks are planning out your day, getting in touch with stakeholders or checking on your projects. This trick helps entrepreneurs to find something to do during their commute that will make them achieve more.
4. Use your LinkedIn Account to learn about people before you meet them
LinkedIn is the biggest network of professionals in the world. Every business professional makes a point of having a LinkedIn account. Every account has a profile that indicates the capability of the person and their professional history. Entrepreneurs can use this platform to gather information about people before they meet them. A great productivity tip is to go through the profile of anyone you are about to meet. By doing this, you get to know what they do. As such, when you finally meet, you can skip the introductions and get right to business.
5. Perform a weekly brain overhaul
Entrepreneurs keep a lot of information in their minds. Ideas, problems, possible solutions, new contacts, current projects and their personal lives are all kept in their minds. This results in a lot of mental tension that can prevent optimum productivity. A helpful trick to get rid of this is to write down everything that is in your head on a piece of paper at the end of the week. After that, you can mentally clear your memory since everything is now on paper. This gives you peace of mind and makes you much more productive.
6. Mark the morning hours as your personal time
The early hours of your morning are an ideal period of time to meditate and plan out your day. During this time, your mind is clear and capable of constructive, uninterrupted thought. Entrepreneurs can use this time to note down three main goals of the day. After that, they can identify the activities that are required to achieve these goals. After this, the rest of the day can be dedicated to accomplishing these activities.
7. Have to-do lists and follow them
An entrepreneur often finds themselves juggling multiple roles in their day to day business activities. Each role has a collection of responsibilities attached to it. A helpful trick is to use lists to organize these roles and their associated activities. After that, list down these activities in order of priority from the highest to the lowest. After that, you can easily know what needs to be done every day. You are also able to identify the most important activities at a single glance.
8. Create your schedules a week in advance
Some entrepreneurs have families to support as they conduct their businesses. A tip that they can use to find a balance between the two is to use a schedule. You can schedule the activities that you expect to perform with your family as well as the ones you intend to conduct for your business. In this way, you stay in control of your week long before it starts. This improves your productivity.
9. Use a small desk
As funny as it sounds, using a small desk can help you to be more productive as an entrepreneur. This trick helps you to avoid desktop clutter. When you have a big desk, there is always some space where you can pile your papers, tools, books and cards. This eventually results in a very cluttered desk that is distracting and demoralizing. A small desk forces you to be tidy. When you are organized, you know where everything is and how to get it quickly. Eventually, this boosts your productivity.
10. Relax and turn on the Airplane mode
Smartphones have a setting that is known as Airplane mode. It prevents calls and messages from coming through. The life of an entrepreneur can be busy and highly stressful. Therefore, this tip helps them to find some time for themselves. Every evening, you can turn on the Airplane mode on your phone and relax. Do this for half an hour daily and use this time to do something you enjoy. This stimulates your mind and helps you to gain the energy needed for another day of work.
The Important Take Away
Entrepreneurs seek to employ themselves and attain financial freedom. Therefore, their work is a full time job. It invades their sleeping and waking hours. The tools, tips and tricks above can help entrepreneurs to maintain productivity in their activities. By following them, they can gain control of their personal and professional lives.