Optimizing the way you work in order to get more done makes good business sense. People use apps of all kinds, scheduling tools, timers, and more – all in an effort to accomplish more in less time. What is sometimes overlooked, however, are the basics – not trying to circumvent the way we are made, but working with our natural makeup and tendencies to make life easier and be more productive in the process.
That’s not to say that apps don’t have their place. In fact, I’d love to hear about the ones you use, but here are my favorite ways to keep productive:
1. Get More Sleep
I love Mondays. Yup, that’s right. After a couple of days off, I am ready and anxious to get back to marketing your business. But only if I’ve really rested up. Trying to stick to a consistent sleep schedule throughout the week can be difficult, but stopping earlier than you want in order to get the amount of sleep you want will yield a positive result in the end. I really need to follow my on advice here!
I’m a broken record on this one, but it’s true – increased blood flow to the brain means better thinking ability, improved alertness and increased focus. Plus, getting something good for you done first thing starts the day off with a great accomplishment you can feel good about before you ever hit the keyboard.
3. Eat Well
Every day I eat the same thing from morning until I’m finished work. Your ideal productivity diet will be unique, but for me, the menu involves two Nutribullet jars full of greens and fruit, as well as some peanut butter, yogurt and cocoa powder (note, the peanut butter is not with the fruit unless the fruit is a banana – ewwww!). Two eggs fill in for extra protein.
If I want to eat something sugary, fatty, or that will otherwise shut off my brain and make me long for a nap, I wait until I no longer need to be productive. Not only does this help me get more done throughout the day, but it leads to healthier eating overall since the hours available for ice cream and bagels are thereby decreased considerably.
This infographic from HubSpot can help you craft your own ideal menu.
Infographic Courtesy of HubSpot
4. Only Do What You Love
This one sounds like a cheat, right? But, eventually, for your business to succeed and grow while you maintain your passion, you need to identify what you are good at and what you love and ONLY do that. Start delegating the things you don’t like as soon as your budget allows. Start with a VA, or send your bookkeeping out. Whatever will allow you more time to do what you love. More on that later.
5. Get Up
This was the hardest one for me to implement, but for the last seven months, since suffering horrendous shin splints that took three months to clear up, I’ve been spending at least half my work day on my feet. At first it feels like that 45 seconds to move your computer or monitor, keyboard and mouse to a different position is going to ruin your focus and make you LESS productive. I still wish I had a desk that would automatically raise and lower at set intervals (because I tend to stand all day), but for now work with what I have – which is not a fancy standing desk, but a drawer in the bookcase on my regular desk. Pull it out, set a plank and the keyboard and mouse on it, then put the laptop on the top and it’s perfect.
As a bonus – it allows for more fidgeting when you’re cold, or for standing directly in front of the AC when it’s so hot out that the poor thing cannot keep up (as was the case today!).
What are your favorite productivity hacks or apps? I’d love to hear about them.
Ralph’s awesome post of the (other) day: Delegation And The Entrepreneurial Journey