This article originally appeared on Moneyweb.
Staying productive in a world of busy-ness and distraction can be a mammoth task for anyone, let alone entrepreneurs. With so many things vying for your attention and time, it can be difficult to finish everything that you had set out to do that day, or to even prioritise the most important things that need to be done.
With that in mind, here are some practical ideas for business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs to regain focus and ensure optimal efficiency in terms of productivity.
1. Make a to-do list: This may sound simple enough, but a lot of entrepreneurs set out trying to do everything. This is a recipe for failure. Making a to-do list ensures that the most important things get done first. The Pareto Principle will apply here – it states that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. So if you only managed to do the top half of your list, stop stressing.
2. Avoid distractions: Unless you are promoting your company or projects via social media stay away. More time is spent wasted by engaging and browsing social media. If it has nothing to do with your business then don’t let it gobble up your precious time. An article published on NBC News in 2016 estimated that time wasted on Facebook could be costing the US economy $3.5 trillion per year. Use your time effectively – save the social media stuff for your personal time.
3. Prepare for the next day: It is often said that the difference between success and failure is preparation. Most people find themselves more productive in the morning. Creating your to-do list, or setting time aside for meetings and projects the night before, will make you feel more confident to tackle the day ahead. By planning your day in advance, your subconscious will more than likely provide you with fresh insights and ideas the next morning. Having access to wireless internet has made it even easier for one to plan their entire workday ahead of time.
4. Make time for a break: Most busy people try to cram everything that they can into an inordinately short space of time. But being busy doesn’t make you productive. Take a break – go for a walk, get some fresh air, maybe go to the gym. A change of scenery may be just what you need to feel rejuvenated.
US management consultant Peter Drucker says: “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” So, make your list, set aside some downtime, and prepare – and watch how your productivity grows.