When you first decide to quit your 9 to 5 job and become an entrepreneur, you’re going to get a lot of advice sent your way, whether it’s solicited or not. One of the biggest pieces of advice that will be sent your way will be a long list of tips on how to be productive. Entrepreneurs are extremely busy people who just naturally seem to be “on” at all times so at first, welcoming all of those tips in and trying to follow each one religiously seems like a good idea. But just because something is posed as helpful advice doesn’t necessarily make it a good fit for you or how you plan on running your business. Next time you hear any of these productivity tips, take a step back and think about if it’s actually something that would work with the way you run things as a small business owner.
“Establish a routine.”
Establishing a routine sounds good at first because the idea of knowing exactly what the day will bring provides a comforting sense of normalcy, but most entrepreneurs never really know what will happen throughout the day. Additionally, getting settled in a routine when you work in an industry that presents new challenges on a daily basis can force you to become set in your ways and upset when you realize not every day is going according to the predefined plan. Instead, try and allow for some flexibility. Have a rough idea of what your daily schedule will look like, but make sure that you have time to extend meetings if needed or able to leave work and come back with enough time to spare to meet with a client.
“Take your employees out for regular meetings.”
Group meetings are a great way to be with your team in a casual setting and do teambuilding exercises, but if you conduct these kinds of meetings every day for 90+ minutes at a time, they can also become a huge time waster. When we have meetings, we keep them to a maximum of 30 minutes and we always have an outline of what will be covered in the meeting so as not to get off track. All meetings are followed by an email summary of what was covered, and everyone is encouraged to reply back with any questions. It’s an effective way to get in, get out, and address everything that needs to be addressed.
“Don’t waste time!”
The internet is full of articles that stress “5 Ways to Avoid Wasting Time at the Office” or “Why Social Media is the Ultimate Time Suck.” But let’s get real here: we would all go crazy if we spent eight hours a day every day focused on work and only work. Make a to-do list and for each item you check off, reward yourself with a small break. This can include anything from getting up and heading on a quick Starbucks run or scrolling through your Twitter dashboard to see what’s going on. Little breaks matter because they help keep your mind creative, and give you the push you need to get to the next task on your list!