Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to enhance creativity, remove distractions, and maximize productivity. Some are big and others are small--but each has the potential to work for you.
Try Waking Up Early
Are you a morning person? Regardless of the answer, you should give waking up early a fair shot. You can use this time to get chores done before heading to the office, and while it may be tempting to start work that much earlier, focus on getting personal goals accomplished. For example, use this extra time to fold the laundry, walk the dog, organize your closet, or make the kids breakfast.
The goal is to attend to personal needs that usually take a backseat to business needs. Once you arrive at work, this allows you to focus all your energy on the business and stop worrying about what's waiting at home.
Eliminate Tech Distractions
When you open up your internet browser, are there temptations awaiting you? Whether it's your favorite social media site, shopping page, or sports blog, you can waste hours browsing these websites weekly. Make visiting these sites difficult by removing bookmarks and logging yourself out of any non work-related accounts.
Use Your Drive Time
If you work in a congested city, you probably spend at least an hour in traffic each day. Most of this probably occurs during morning and evening rush hour, too. Do you use this time wisely, or simply fume about it? You can increase your overall productivity by using this time to coordinate logistical issues related to ongoing work projects. Call your consultants, assistants, or project managers and get updates on everything that's going on. By taking care of these issues while in the car, you can eliminate interruptions in the office and at home.
Take Short Breaks
The human brain needs time to both relax and recharge. If you're constantly going from one task to the next, you'll eventually lose focus and notice a drop in the quality of your work. A short five or ten minute break is never a waste when you follow it up with a work-related task.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
It's incredible what planning and strategizing can do for you. According to Matt Mayberry, an Entrepreneur.com contributor, "If you spend just 15 minutes before you go to bed the night before creating your to-do list and prioritizing it, you will have a head start on your day when the morning rolls around."
This strategy works for thousands of entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business professionals. Simply take a few minutes before bed to develop a specific list of what needs to be done the next day. You can try to plan out your day by the hour, but this rarely works in a workplace setting. The best option is to create a ranking system that lets you easily identify what's a priority and what can wait.
Eliminate Meeting Banter
How much time do you waste with small talk at meetings? Instead of using 15 or 20 minutes out of every meeting to chitchat about nonsense, encourage a workplace environment where meeting time is reserved for work-related conversation only. By cutting one meeting per day down from 60 minutes to 45 minutes, you can save hours per month.
Attend to Your Needs
You can't maximize productivity if you're always trying to work through personal issues. When something comes up in your personal life, deal with it. For example, a lot of entrepreneurs try to work through chronic pain and physical ailments. While it may seem like a noble thing to do, the truth is that it holds you back. Whether it's your wrist or your back, you should never ignore your personal needs. Consider carpal tunnel release surgery if experiencing chronic wrist pain or visiting a chiropractor if you suffer from persistent back pain.
Pick up the Phone
When the phone rings, how many times do you silence it and tell yourself you'll return the call later? While this may seem like a savvy strategy for minimizing interruptions and maximizing your focus, it's actually not very smart in the long run. More times than not, you end up playing phone tag and wasting time later in the day. When a call comes through, answer it and deal with it as quickly as possible.
Get Some Exercise
Everyone needs a little fresh air and exercise; but did you know that regular physical activity can actually increase productivity? That's what recent studies suggest;as little as 30 minutes of physical exercise per day can boost your creativity and productivity later in the day--a time when most lose their focus.
Email has its purpose, but it can also be a huge productivity killer. When you need to deal with something important, pick up the phone and make a call. This eliminates the back and forth of emailing and lets you put issues to rest quickly.
While everyone behaves differently and thrives under unique circumstances, these 10 tips can help almost any entrepreneur increase productivity and efficiency on a daily basis. Which ones will you try?