Ask any successful entrepreneur and they’ll tell you that they’re always improving themselves, always learning, growing, changing and adapting. It’s no accident that the personal development niche is a $9.9 billion industry, according to Market Research. While reading a book won’t change your life overnight, you can take steps to improve your professional productivity with a few simple changes. Here are six ways you can improve your professional productivity:
1. Write Down Your Top Priorities for the Day
Many successful people start their day by writing down the top three things they’d like to accomplish for the day and keep that list in a place where they can see it. You can use a simple piece of paper and pen and tape it someplace you’ll see it all day or simply use an app to help you keep track of your top priorities. A simple to-do list app like Do!, Wunderlist, or Minimalist can help.
2. Get Organized
Getting organized can make your life a lot easier and these days, there are all sorts of apps to help keep you organized and on top of things. Everyone has their own way of getting organized and there are a ton of apps to help you get there. From to-do list apps to calendar apps, there are dozens of options when it comes to usability, interface design, and overall functionality. Try apps like Awesome Note (iOS), Timeful (iOS), Newton Mail, Trello, and Evernote (iOS).
3. Take Frequent Breaks
It’s easy to become so caught up in the day’s work that you forget to take a break or two. Scheduling your breaks can help you give yourself a much-needed break from the day’s grueling tasks. As an entrepreneur, you most likely have a lot on your plate and taking breaks is even more important in this case. Your stress levels are higher and you could easily become so consumed in your work that you forget to take a break for hours at a time. Use an app like Calendars by Readdle, Planner Pro – Daily Calendar, Timepage, or TimeTree: Shared Calendar to help you keep your life in balance and schedule appropriate breaks throughout the day.
4. Fuel Up with Brain Food
Fueling up on brain foods can help you combat mid-morning and mid-day crashes typically brought on by sugar-filled diets. Avoiding too much sugar throughout the day and instead opting for brain foods can help you boost productivity and feel more energized. If you’re not particularly picky, try foods like nuts, avocado, carrots, pumpkin seeds, and/or blueberries. If you’d rather have a ready-made snack, try IQ BARs, Sahale Snacks, Terra chips, Quinn popcorn, kale chips, quinoa chips with sea salt, or coconut oil chips.
5. Track Your Team’s Productivity
Using an app called Time Doctor’s, you can help your team become more productive. The app simply runs in the background on each user’s computer and reports back to you on how your employees are spending their day. Use it to determine what changes need to be made in order to increase your team’s individual and overall productivity.
6. Learn to Delegate
As the boss, you need to learn to delegate less important tasks to your associates or your assistant. Trying to do everything yourself will only cause more headaches down the line. Find someone you can trust to deliver high-quality work so that you feel comfortable delegating tasks to them and you can focus more easily on other more important tasks that help you run your business effectively and efficiently.
7. Follow an Influencer
Following an influencer or business leader can help you follow in the footsteps of those who came before you by copying their methods, tips, and tools for success. Some influencers you should consider following include:
- Mark Cuban:
As part owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a shark on “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban is one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time and for several reasons. He’s a self-made millionaire and he’s got an amazing work-life balance, as is apparent from his Instagram account. In his book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It,” he details his rags to riches story and provides helpful tips for entrepreneurs trying to become successful.
- Steve Pavlina:
Entrepreneur, motivational speaker and author of “Personal Development for Smart People,” Steve Pavlina runs a blog about personal development, productivity, success and goal setting. He studies and writes about what it means to grow and how people can deliberately invite, process, and integrate new growth experiences. He’s so dedicated to helping others that he uncopyrighted all of his articles, podcasts, and videos and donated them to the public domain so anyone can easily access and share his valuable information. Follow him on Twitter for tips and productivity hacks.
- Joshua Cooper Ramo:
Joshua Cooper Ramo is an economist, thought leader, and international best-selling author of “The Age of the Unthinkable.” His views on global politics and economics have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, TIME, and Foreign Policy. In his most recent book, “The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks,” he explores a powerful new way of seeing the world, which has tremendously benefited CEOs, generals, and politicians.
- Laura Vanderkam:
Author of time management and productivity books such as “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” and “168 Hours,” Vanderkam has written for publications such as USA Today, Fortune, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal. She’s also given a TED talk on the above-mentioned topics. She runs a website that provides amazing productivity tips.
By following influencers in your field, you can gradually move toward success by implementing the same methods they used to make themselves more productive, and subsequently, more wealthy. The success of your business will depend greatly on your level productivity, which is why you should always be looking for ways to be more productive and more efficient. With the above tips, you’re off to a good start.