In the early days of a business, productivity is key. Plain and simple. The amount of (productive) time you put in is a direct indicator of the level of your success. As an entrepreneur, you will always have too much to do and not enough time, but the first year is even more of a challenge as you fight to keep your head above water.
But being overwhelmed is a real productivity killer. Looking at an ever-growing to-do list is the quickest way to burn out — and give up. Here are five productivity tips to help you stay on track when this happens.
1. Take time to prioritize your tasks and activities based on their importance and urgency. Also, make sure they align with the company’s goals and strategic plans. Approach productivity from a 30,000 ft level, then zoom in to the most critical tasks at hand. If you do this, you’ll discover that many items can wait — and some don’t need to be done at all to advance the business.
2. It’s essential to identify the root cause of productivity overload. If it’s due to lack of time as a result of doing too many things simultaneously, then it’s time to analyze your daily processes and routines. Ensure you aren’t wasting energy on activities that don’t contribute much towards productivity gains.
3. Stop multitasking. We do it because we think we have to. Because we believe it’s the only way to get a lot done. But doing many things at once slows us down. It’s better to get a few items completely knocked off your list at the end of the day than to get a little bit of a lot done — but nothing completed. It will be better productivity and avoid a productivity overload in the process.
4. It’s important to manage expectations carefully. Make sure everyone knows what’s expected from them at all times, and put productivity goals in writing. Once done, physically cross them off the list — there’s real satisfaction in visually seeing your accomplishments being completed. And remember, there’s only so much one person can do in a day. And whatever you’re doing…it’s enough.
5. Always remain positive and in control. Ideas affect productivity gains — and losses. Your mental input reflects your physical output. You will operate at your best when you remain in charge of your mindset, emotions, and action steps.
A productivity boost can feel a long way off if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You might find that your normal productivity tools and tricks aren’t cutting it at this point — but don’t give up! One step at a time. One task at a time. Breathe. Prioritize. Set realistic goals. And you will slowly begin to make your way to the surface again. It’s not about getting caught up as quickly as possible; it’s about taking manageable steps to slowly get into a groove.
Let’s make today great!
Hear about my productivty process on: Business Vibrations Podcast: Seven Minutes of Morning Inspiration for the Creative Entrepreneur