What do Richard Branson, Brian Halligan, Shan-Lyn Ma, Jack Dorsey, and Jason Fried all have in common? (You know, aside from being uber-successful founders.) They've all managed to hack efficiency at work in such a way that their businesses are flourishing -- and they still have time for life.
If this perfect equanimity between work and life eludes you, you're certainly not alone. With more distractions out there than ever (hello, social media!), days can feel like a hustle of endless emails and putting out fires, until that blissful butt-meets-couch moment when you get home. But where's the living in that?
Fortunately, we don't have to navigate this problem alone. Resume.io created an infographic with simple, actionable quotes from our previously mentioned top founders (and then some), all about maximizing productivity at work, leaving you with more time and energy to do that living thing.
Here are five tips that caught my eye, which may just transform how you do business -- and give you your life back.
1. Get on the same page.
Jack Dorsey knows a thing or two about bringing people together; after all, he co-founded one of the most connective social media platforms out there: Twitter. It's clear from the way he holds meetings, connectivity is not just what he does for work, but how he does it.
"Most of my meetings are Google-Docs-based, starting with 10 minutes of reading and commenting in the doc," Dorsey Tweeted. "This makes time for everyone to get on the same page, allows us to work from many locations, and get to critical thinking faster."
Yes, that's right: according to a recent study, making sure everyone is on the same page creates a sort of "team" feeling among co-workers and allows you to get to critical thinking faster -- a key piece of productivity.
2. Get there on time.
"If you want to be more productive then start at the start: get there on time," Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said in a blog post on the company's website. Among other things, Branson has helped bring to the world: an airline, space travel, a record label -- oh, and he's worth billions of dollars. So when Sir Richard Branson gives productivity advice, we listen.
If you struggle with this one, try arriving 10 minutes early. So, if you have a meeting at 1, act as though it's at 12:50. Set your planner for 12:50. You must be there at 12:50! This will allow for unexpected problems. Repeat after me: I will be on time! You got this.
3. Work from home.
Of course, what may be even more productive than arriving on time is not having to arrive anywhere at all.
A Stanford study showed that working from home increases productivity by 13 percent due to saved energy from commuting, the greater comfort of one's surroundings, and flexibility in choosing when to work. And if Stanford's conclusion not enough for you, take the word of Brian Halligan, uber-successful co-founder of Hubspot:
"One of my hacks is that every Wednesday is my work-from-home day, and that's the day that I can just think and get stuff done. So that's one big hack -- staying at home on Wednesdays."
4. Make time for yourself.
"It's just as important to set aside time for yourself as it is to set aside time to meet with other people." This wisdom comes from Shan-Lyn Ma, co-founder of Zola.
Self-care is not just the mantra of this highly successful founder; research published in the book DEEP WORK by author and professor Cal Newport agrees. Blocking off time away from other people gives you space to focus on deeper thought, rather than just reacting to immediate issues.
If one of your immediate issues happens to be finding time for yourself, try delegating less important and more time-consuming tasks to others.
5. Just say no.
According to Morten Hansen's research, learning to say "no" allows us to minimize our obligations and give them greater focus. Additionally, those with difficulty in saying no are more likely to experience stress, burnout, and even depression.
Or as Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals put it in an interview with Lifehacker: "All the techniques and hacks in the world never add up to the power of 'no.' Having fewer things to do is the best way to get things done."
It's easy to fall into a pattern of work all day / screens at night with little time for living. But hopefully, with these founders' tips, you can maximize your efficiency at work -- leaving you more time to actually have a life.
And remember, when all else fails, just say "no."