36 Business Owners and Professionals Share their Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs

 In Business

productivity tips for entrepreneurs

Whether you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, productivity is the key to finding professional success and maintaining personal harmony. In today’s competitive business landscape, it is essential for entrepreneurs such as yourself to pay strict attention to lifestyle choices, maintain discipline, and build a bouquet of winning habits. We spoke with 36 entrepreneurs and professionals to share their top productivity tips for newbie entrepreneurs and business owners.

This is what they had to say:

1. Olof Mathéis is the co-founder and CEO of Mixmax

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Check with your meeting’s participants. One way to make your meetings more effective is to do a quick check in with all participants to make sure everyone is focused on the topic at hand. If participants are in the middle of something, if you can, reschedule the meeting so that attendees will be more focused and productive.
  2. Use applications/technology to automate daily manual tasks. This is especially true when it comes to emails and scheduling meetings. I’m not sure I know anyone that wants to send 3-4 emails to schedule one meeting.
  3. Delegate your work. Many entrepreneurs or first time CEOs have a hard time giving up control. Realize early on that you can’t do it all and the reason why you hired your staff is that you believed they could help your company grow. Avoid frustrating your staff by micromanaging them. Instead,  focus on the big picture.

2. Beth Lawrence, CMP is an event producer, marketing expert and PR professional

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Try to stick to the same schedule every day/week. As an entrepreneur, especially those of us who work from home, it can be easy to give in to temptation and to hit the ‘snooze’ button. Keeping a schedule that works for you makes it easier for your mind and body to be at their optimum when you need them to be.
  2. Use available solutions to keep you on task. I use Asana for project management, both for myself and for my teams. Keeping lists of tasks that need to be completed for projects with due dates and times, along with assignments for teams, helps to keep me and the entire team on track.
  3. Schedule when to check your email. Email is a great tool, but sometimes it can cause us to be reactive instead of proactive when starting our day, and throughout the duration of our work hours. I check my emails only three times throughout the day. It works wonders, especially when I am heads-down on an event or big project.

3. Jessica Higgins is the Founder & Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Unicorns

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. The list. Each night I make a list of to do’s for the next day. That list waits on my desk for me each morning so that I am triggered to get straight to productive work.
  2. Podcasts during my non-productive time. Podcasts have helped me immensely. I start the day with NPR’s daily podcast. It keeps me updated on the current news, while you make your coffee. Then, an inspirational podcast while I get ready.
  3. Vitamin IVs. Around lunchtime, I will do a vitamin IV twice per week. It is impossible for most people to get all of the vitamins we need, so this makes up for a less than perfect diet if you’re too busy to plan out your meals but want to stay healthy. This sounds crazy to some people, but nutrient deficiencies make you feel lethargic and can lead to health issues.
  4. Hypnosis. There is always so much to be done, and my brain never slows, so I force it to relax through hypnosis audio tracks. You can find them on apps like calm.com, or have a hypnosis program tailored to you at a hypnosis center.

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4. Lori Cheek is the Founder and CEO at Cheek’d

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Get off social media: One of my favorite productivity hacks comes with the help of an app called Stay Focusd  When working from home, Facebook and Twitter can be major distractions. StayFocusd helps avoid these distractions by restricting the amount of time you can spend on them. The Google Chrome extension lets you set specific time restrictions on certain websites with a 10-minute default option. Once your time has been used up, the sites you have selected to block can’t be accessed for the remainder of the day.
  2. Scheduling: I’ve learned that the best way to get things done efficiently is to schedule everything.  Put even the smallest of tasks on your calendar and if you don’t complete it, keep rescheduling it until you can mark it as completed. It can make your schedule appear as overwhelming, but once you start knocking things off the list, it feels productive.
  3. Find your focus zone: After running my startup for over eight years, I’ve tried working from just about everywhere in NYC. The place where I have the most focus is at home at my kitchen table. As soon as I settle in, I organize my workspace – having a clean workspace helps me focus and feel structured.
  4. Multi-task while you relax: After I launched my startup, I became the most stressed I had ever been in my entire life. I was an accidental entrepreneur and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I found my release at the gym. It’s the one expense I didn’t give up through building Cheekd. Religiously hitting the gym every single day became a priority to me. I’ve never been in better shape in my life.
  5. Morning rituals: As soon as I wake up, I start the coffee maker then I roll out my yoga mat and do 30 pushups, 100 sit-ups and 3 rounds of one-minute planks followed by a quick stretch. It takes less than 20 minutes and not only does it get my heart pumping and immediately wake me up, it gives me a calm start to the day! Then I grab my coffee, crack open my laptop and begin the entrepreneurial grind.

5. Nicole Faith is the Founder and Concept Concierge™ of 10 Carat Creations

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Write your priorities down the night before. Pick 3 or fewer things that are the most important and focus only on those. I only pick one thing the night before so there’s no confusion on what I need to accomplish the next day. Physically writing it down and looking at it all day keeps me motivated to get it done.
  2. Check your emails at designated times of the day. This can be hard to adhere to, but a large source of distraction comes from emails. Even though it seems like you’re at their beck and call, you actually have total control over when you read and answer emails. If you set boundaries with people from the beginning they won’t expect an answer within 5 minutes.
  3. Spend time on self-learning. If you take the time to casually learn a new skill, when it comes time to implement it in your work, you won’t feel so clueless and overwhelmed. I read a lot of how-tos, articles, and books on various tactics long before I tried them out for myself. Doing something like this increases your productivity because it puts things in perspective and prepares you for the future. If you don’t take the time to learn new things, you’ll always be a dog chasing its tail.

6. Lazhar Ichir is the Founder of Topic Seed.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Avoid scattering tasks and projects over multiple apps. Founders deal with sales teams, marketing teams, operational teams, development and engineering teams, and so on. Every team has its specific productivity platform that is better geared towards their tasks and routines. To be efficient, I put everything in one single platform (ClickUp).
  2. Remove most of your tasks. Every weekend I plan the week ahead and I do not do that by adding tasks on the right days at all. Instead, I plan by removing tasks. For years, I’ve had endless tasks listed on my apps to feel good about my work output. The truth is, do less of what doesn’t truly impact your operations and more of what makes a palpable difference.
  3. Schedule time off, too. Every day, on my calendar, I have actual “events” for my gym workouts, lunch and dinners, drinks, and even bedtime that I am aiming for. It matters so much to also schedule your downtime – it truly is empowering!

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7. Simon Chatfield is the CEO at Optimum Technologies, LLC.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Make your to-do list tangible. 65% of people consider themselves visual learners. If you’re one of them, making your to-do list more visible can increase your ability to check off tasks and be more productive. Take your to-do list out of your head and turn it into something tangible with your computer’s word processor, your phone’s note-taking app, or the old-fashioned way with pen and paper
  2. Eat your frog. Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Keep this (somewhat silly) advice in your mind when looking at your to-do list. It might seem to make more sense to tackle all the small things on your checklist first, but you really want to take care of the biggest and ugliest task first. Be like Mark Twain and eat the biggest frog first.
  3. Take advantage of technology. Humans are not robots, so why do we still have humans doing robotic work like manual reporting and data entry? It’s not efficient for you or your employees to waste hours every week on tasks that aren’t contributing to your company’s bottom line. It’s time to leverage a technology system like OptimumHQ to assist with these tasks.

8. James Green is the Founder and CEO of Offer.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Create a to-do list. This is a pretty common advice, but instead of sorting out my work in order of importance, I organize my tasks into groups of low-effort, medium-effort, and high-effort tasks. I try to do the simplest tasks when my brain needs a break from work and I try to get at least one high-effort task done at the beginning of the day when I have the most mental energy available.
  2. Go for a walk. At about the same time every day, I take a 10-15 minute break to go for a walk. This not only allows me to feel better physically but also lets me clear my head. I get back from my walk and have more energy.
  3. Disconnect from email. This is the most difficult part of my process, but I try to disconnect myself from checking emails every night. In my past jobs, I felt like I had to be online 24/7 which led to me getting burned out and unable to focus when I was in the office. There are times I still deviate from this, but I try to make that the exception rather than the rule.

9. Izolda Trakhtenber is an inspiring speaker, author, and educator.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Set up a routine. Keep a schedule, and you’ll become accustomed to achieving goals consistently. For example, wake up at the same time every day of the week. Follow a set course of action. If you meditate, do it at the same time daily. If you have coffee, set your coffee makers timer to have the coffee ready at a consistent time. Minimize the amount of time you’ll have to take to do things out of your routine. They will eat into your productivity. To stay productive, maintain your schedule.
  2. Set up a journal. You can purchase one or just use a notebook. First thing in the morning, write in the journal. Write down whatever comes into your head. Don’t edit. These stray thoughts will distract you throughout your day unless you get them out of your mind. Once you do that, you will free yourself to focus on running your business
  3. Set up a “Get-To-Do” list. Write down the list of the next day’s projects. Note three action items per project. While you sleep, your subconscious will work on the steps of the projects. Therefore, you’ll be better prepared to make progress the following day. Get a special pen to mark completed items off your get-to-do list. Enjoy crossing off each item you complete, because it’s getting you closer to your goals.

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10. Eric Gustafson is President at PureModern

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Plan ahead. Planning ahead allows for a business team to utilize the right tools and resources to get the task done.
  2. Take breaks. Sufficient breaks allow you to re-energize and refresh your mind so you can continue to be productive. Once you are too exhausted to concentrate, your productivity declines greatly.
  3. Improve your workspace. Make sure your office or work area has adequate lighting and you are comfortable. You may be in your office for several hours at a time so if you are uncomfortable your productivity will suffer.

11. Stephanie Cristina is a behavioral consultant, tutor, and writer for a personal blog.   

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Time Blocking. Time management is a must. I follow this method for completing tasks in a timely manner and without too many mental distractions. I schedule a time block for each task, even if it’s just 15 minutes and during that time I am only allowed to work on that particular task. This helps me not only in completing blog posts, but also marketing and graphic design.
  2. Set Realistic Goals. Gone are the days when I would give schedule a list of 10-20 tasks for the day and expect myself to complete them just because they were relatively easy. Now I set 3 concrete goals and 2 “wishlist” goals. If I’m feeling productive, there’s always a general to-do list I can grab from to seize the day. I also make sure my goals are measurable and discrete.
  3. Set a Schedule. It’s easy to get distracted when there’s no boss to impress, especially if you work from home and have a spouse or children around. Setting a schedule and sticking to it will mentally prepare you to sit down to work each day, and this routine will make you more efficient with time.

12. Lindsey Dinneen is an entrepreneur, and owns VidaDance.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Start the day off right. Don’t hit the snooze button, because then your first choice of the day is to procrastinate. Make your bed so that your second choice of the day is accomplishing a task, even a small one. Pick a workout routine that you love to get your exercise in right away, and then spend a few minutes meditating. Finally, write out your daily to-do list. By starting your day off like this, you’ll have already been productive, thereby putting you in the mindset of being productive all day.
  2. Segment out your day. Plan your day to perform specific tasks at certain times, rather than trying to multi-task all of your to-do items at once. Pick an hour in the morning and in the afternoon to answer emails, an hour to work on new marketing and sales strategies, an hour to work on customer service, an hour to work on product/service development, etc. By only focusing on one task at a time, you’ll be much more productive and much less likely to get distracted.
  3. Mute notifications. Do this for your social media apps and other distracting interruptions during the workday, and only check these apps during your planned breaks throughout the day.

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13. Anthony Will is CEO & Co-founder of Reputation Resolutions.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Set Up a 2-Hour Crunch Time. Create a two-hour power session where you do nothing but work. Whether it’s writing, researching, designing, or even just brainstorming, focus on one task intently for two straight hours without any interruptions. That means turning off your smartphone, online messaging, and if needed, blocking out time in your office calendar to let your colleagues know not to disturb you. Once you create your uninterrupted momentum, you’ll find that there’s a ton of work that you’re able to get done.
  2. Don’t Try to Multi-task. Trying to tackle too many tasks at once could be what’s holding you back from better productivity. Often we’re so overwhelmed with tasks to complete that we try to do a little bit of everything, only to make a small dent in the pile of work that we need to complete. By working on one task at a time, you’ll discover that not only can you be engaged with it, but you’ll also finish each task quicker.
  3. Be Productive Even When You’re Not Working. Just because you’re not working doesn’t mean that you can’t get things done. Use your lunch hours and break time to work on yourself. Things like listening to podcasts, checking industry related blogs, and engaging in other self-focused activities, are great ways to help you chip away at your weekly/monthly self-improvement goals and to learn new things. Establishing habits that’ll help you increase productivity can create the extra hours in your day that you may be seeking.

14. Melissa St. Clair is the owner of Paper Chaser.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Calendar Management. Dedicate time each day for working on your business and in your business. Stay focused, and work within that time frame to tackle your daily to-do list.
  2. Standard Operating Procedures. Streamlined systems and process will ensure an efficient and effective workflow.
  3. Exercise. Block off time on your calendar for regular physical activity. You will be energized and therefore, more productive.

Bonus tip: Delegate. Utilize your Standard Operating Procedures to train and turnover routine tasks to a Virtual Assistant (VA) or team member so you can focus on business building activities.

15. Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Be sure to meditate, stretch, or do yoga every morning. Use your favorite playlist while doing so. Meditation, stretching, and yoga are great ways to start your day on your terms. Don’t check emails during this time. You want to shut out the world and focus on you and start your day on offense. This means you begin your day with momentum. It will calm your anxiety and boost productivity.  
  2. Categorize your days into themes. You don’t need to work on everything at once. In order to boost efficiency and productivity, you need to focus your energy on one item, task, or project. Each day you should have a theme that compels you to focus on tasks only related to that them. For example, Mondays are operations days, and Tuesdays are marketing days. I only focus on operations and marketing on those days, respectively.
  3. Take 20-minute breaks every three or four hours. Yes, it feels great getting in the zone and working non-stop, but your productivity will decrease because your energy will deplete.  20-minute breaks keep you fresh and alert. These breaks also help you take a step back and evaluate your blind spots.

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16. Michael Alexis co-leads Museum Hack

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. First, make it exist, then make it better. This is an easy formula for getting work done. My output is very high because I accept that my first version may be terrible, but for me, it’s the best way to get to version two. Similarly, if you have a big project in mind: like a new website, an ad campaign or restructuring your sales team you can first make it exist, then make it better.
  2. Some business waste is normal and expected. Instead of trying to optimize every decision, be willing to invest a little extra to just “get it done” or “try it out.” It’s important to keep projects moving forward, and you can often reduce costs later.
  3. Make your default answer to phone call requests, “no thanks.” As your business grows, you will get more cold emails, cold calls, etc. Instead of scheduling these calls, which can be time-consuming, reply with “please send a short summary by email including what you do, the value to us, and approximate pricing — then if it’s a good fit we can do a call. Thanks!”

17. Kevin Lindon Ryan is an entrepreneur and consults a Fortune 100 health company on top of small businesses and organizations.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Make it fun and interesting. If you’re unproductive or having difficulty focusing, change where or how you work. Turn on some music, make a game out of how fast you can complete tasks, or work with a friend in a coworking space. These are only a few strategies. If you’re seriously enjoying what you’re doing, you won’t need five cups of coffee. You’ll naturally become fully present for the activity at hand, without distractions.
  2. Only multitask when you can get away with it. Multitasking kills productivity. Your brain has difficulty focusing on more than one task at a time. It slows you down. Do it only when one task doesn’t require your full attention or participation. For instance, writing emails during a meeting at a point when the focus has shifted away from your work.
  3. Break up large tasks into many small steps. Doing this will help you to keep the momentum going, and instead of one accomplishment taking you a month, you’ll complete many little duties in a short amount of time. Checking these small items off your to-do list will make you feel productive. Record the ground you cover and all of the little victories along the way, and feel proud of yourself. Then, write your next steps down as a checklist.

18. Jason Lavis is a serial internet entrepreneur.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Unsubscribe from email topics that you can consume elsewhere. The biggest distraction for most people is their email inbox. Always unsubscribe to emails about topics that you can consume elsewhere. We can get better information through Podcasts about news, tech, lifestyle or business. Driving while listening to a Podcast is a perfect definition of efficiency, one thing complements the other. Don’t waste screen time on these things.
  2. Measure consumption vs production over a week. Consuming the right amount of information is a constant challenge. If we don’t absorb information, then we become out of touch. When we consume too much, we don’t get our work done. It’s hard to find a balance, and there are times when we’re forced to do one or the other. We can keep a file or diary of an honest opinion of our day. Was consumption and production at 50/50? 80/20? By maintaining a record, you can understand where you veer off course.

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19. Gennady Litvin, attorney at Moshes Law.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Batching small tasks. Working on all my small tasks like emails and phone calls all in one or multiple small batches helps me see get work done. Doing this also enables me to stay focussed and knock out all the grunt work at one time so I can focus on my main tasks.
  2. Working on my main projects at my peak times. It’s good to know when in the day you perform the best. This is where a little self-awareness comes into play. So I plan my main tasks around my peak performance times while using Pareto’s principle to hone in on what really needs to be done.
  3. Sit back and take a breather. It’s good to work in blocks for this very reason. Now if you don’t like to work in set block times then the next best thing would be to work until you feel you really need a break. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is to take a break.

20. Logan Tan is the Co-founder at Eezee Pte. Ltd.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Find at least 1-2 partners to work with. Starting a business is tough and it’s even harder to start a business and work on it yourself. The single most powerful push factor for us is that we are able to constantly be productive because all 3 founders work closely together and motivate one another. We take turns to feel exhausted but knowing that your other 1-2 partners are still pushing on, will help you recover faster to join back at the battleground. I am a very disciplined individual but yet I find it hard to work remotely from one another so the best thing we got was one another and the decision we made was to rent a small office to kickstart.
  2. Take a power nap. Many people underestimate the effects of power naps. Whenever I am tired after lunch, I nap for 15 minutes and my productivity instantly shoots up. In fact, I have made it a company practice to be ok with everyone taking power naps. We are even implementing sleeping pods to encourage more individuals to take on power naps to increase productivity.
  3. Exercise. A consistent exercise regime is important especially in this era of technology. Technology companies often trap their employees within the walls of an office. A habit regular exercise can improve not just your health but also keep you mentally sharper throughout the entire day/week.

21. Earl White is a co-founder of House Heroes LLC.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Batch similar tasks. Your productivity will get a strong boost when you complete similar tasks consecutively during a designated time period. If you regularly follow-up with prospective clients, set aside time frames to make calls without interruption.
  2. Use virtual assistants.No matter how productive you are – there are only so many hours in a day. Hiring virtual assistants at affordable rates has never been easier. Online services such as Upwork manage the entire process including payment, supervision, and maintain “review” systems to examine work history. I keep up to 5 virtual assistants working for me at any one time. This is a perfect fit to manage all my phone calls (the VA get prospects on the phone and transfers them to me), process data, and conduct online research.
  3. Select The Right Tools. There are plenty of options for instant communication,  note-taking, task management, calendar, writing, and client relationship management. Master a few tools that work well for you. I have integrated Evernote, Todoist, Slack, and Pipedrive for strong results.

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22. Justin Butlion is an entrepreneur and business consultant.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Make sure to eat and drink enough. Fatigue is most often a result of dehydration or low blood pressure from not eating enough. I try and drink a glass of water every 30 – 60 minutes while I work.
  2. Use a smart to-do list. My to-do list is structured in a top-down approach so I can start my day focusing on my macro goals. I can then draw up a list of to-dos which will help me move towards those macro goals. This helps to keep me focused.
  3. Frequent breaks. I like to take frequent breaks away from the computer. If possible I go outside to get some fresh air and stretch my back and legs. This helps to keep me sharp and to avoid physical pain from spending too long in a seated position.

23. Benjamin Ritter is the founder of Live for Yourself Consulting

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Decide your strategies and must-dos for the entire month. What are the main things you need to accomplish? What are the main ways to accomplish them (be very specific)? What are the things that could get in your way? Add each of the tasks related to your strategies to an excel document and use it to keep you on track throughout your day. At the end of each week and month analyze what is working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly.
  2. Get rid of time wasters. Diminish anything that drains your time from TV, stressful friends, wasteful events, etc. Get very specific about where, what, and who you will be spending your time with. If you really like a tv show, then only watch that tv show online and get rid of your tv subscription. If you really like seeing a couple of different friends, schedule a time when you all can meet at the same place once a week or schedule a phone call instead of a couple different meetings. It’s about efficiency when it comes to anything that has to do with your time.
  3. Make your food at home and have your groceries delivered. Figure out where you spend excess time and reduce it as much as possible. For example, you can have your groceries delivered for practically free now, and going out to eat takes a lot of time and money. Those two areas right there can save and “create” extra hours throughout your week.

24. Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Find creative ways to multitask. I like to incorporate work and exercise. But when you are an entrepreneur you have to get creative to find balance. Instead of meeting up with your local colleagues at a coffee shop, over a meal or chatting with them on the phone, meet them for a walk so you can catch up while you are getting some exercise too. 
  2. Use public transportation. Try and use public transportation whenever possible as it helps to make time for checking your emails, listening to podcasts, and staying productive.
  3. Walk. Park your car at the far end of the lot and walk. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, it adds up to a lot of extra steps and movement if you do it every day.  

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25. Nate Masterson is the CEO of Maple Holistics.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Make the most of your time. As an entrepreneur, making the most of your time is crucial to your success. Every minute has to count. In order to change your procrastination habits, you’ll need to tackle the hardest, most important tasks first. If you have a task that you know will take a long time to complete, you’ll most likely want to push it off for as long as possible. You may even do the easier tasks first and causing you to feel too drained to start the difficult, necessary work.
  2. Make the hardest work your first priority. When you’re done with it, you’ll feel great and accomplished.
  3. Stand and conduct meetings. When people get too comfortable in their seats, meetings tend to last longer than needed. If everyone is standing, they will feel an urgency to speed up the meeting and not talk about anything that isn’t crucial.
  4. Create closer deadlines. For some reason, when there is deadline approaching, people tend to work more quickly and efficiently. If you block out less time for your tasks, you’ll be surprised how it forces you to work more productively while also ignoring distractions.

26. John Shieldsmith is a digital marketer, freelance writer, and the owner of thethriftydad.com.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Stop spinning, start racing. An old manager once told me I was particularly bad about “spinning my wheels.” This really hit me, because I knew deep down that it was true. Since I’ve embarked on my own journey of contract work, I’ve embraced this criticism and used it as fuel to ensure I’m always making progress on something. Thinking is great, but overthinking is the enemy of progress. You can always fix a mistake, but you can’t fix what isn’t there at all.
  2. Embrace micro distractions. You’re only human, and distractions are inevitable.. Plan for little distractions and let yourself take a breather. It’s important not to spin your tires, but it’s also important not to burn out completely. Taking breaks throughout the day to embrace tiny distractions – Reddit, a mobile game, another coffee run – can help you stay motivated and on track when it matters most.
  3. Time everything. Nothing motivates like a giant timer ticking constantly, reminding you of what you should be doing with your precious time. Timing tasks can really shine some light on how long things are taking you, help you optimize processes, and use your time more wisely in general. Even if I’m not on client time, I like to have a timer going just so I can see how much time I’m spending, and if that time is climbing too high. Time is finite for all of us, and nothing keeps that thought at the forefront like a timer.

27. Eden Amirav is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Lending Express.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Do, delegate, or drop: This is an old business mantra, but still valid for any entrepreneur or even managers that want to work more effectively. When faced with a task, force yourself to immediately either do the task, delegate it to another colleague, or drop it completely from your and anyone else’s to-do list. This avoids procrastination by immediately deciding who is responsible and also forces you to prioritize by deciding if a task is worth your company’s valuable time. If it’s not, drop it from your list. The easiest way to practice this is by managing messages as they enter your inbox.
  2. Pick up the pace One of the best productivity skills I learned was to work quickly. Many entrepreneurs work slowly, thinking that the more time they invest in a proposal or project, the better it will be. But in my experience, the projects I invested lots of time in were not necessarily more successful or profitable. The faster you act, the faster more opportunities will come your way in a shorter period of time, and we’ve seen that play out in reality as we have grown from 0 to 100,000 customers in two years.
  3. See the big picture: An entrepreneur’s job is to steer the boat. To avoid micromanagement, build a strong team of VPs and Heads of departments that manage their own parts of the boat, and keep the company in line with the mission. But with strong steering also comes the courage to reroute the boat if necessary should a better path arise. We recently re-pivoted our company’s services and owe the smoothness of that transition to the whole team understanding the importance of that bigger picture.

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28. Adi Nouriel is CEO and founder of This Is Irresistible

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Productivity towards others. As the CEO of a bootstrapped company with no board, I answer to virtually no one. But the hidden pitfalls are getting lost in the mundane and ineffective,  and not hitting or even setting goals. To combat this, I appointed an “investor board” that consists of the people whose opinions I trusted and respected. They don’t give me money or get a share in my company, but each has a stake in my success (mainly family, mentors, close friends). I send them periodic “investor reports” to make sure the pressure is on to have something worthwhile to show for every time.
  2. Productivity towards myself. I break down my goals until I can put them as tasks on the calendar. This forces me to prioritize and not make over-optimistic assumptions about my capacity. I also account for family time, relaxation time, and reading time to make this planning as realistic as possible. I set reminders for all these tasks, and I don’t stand myself up.
  3. Productivity towards goals. I track how much time I spend on different tasks. Then I look back and analyze what I spend my time on and what the ROI is for this type of task. For example, I track how much time I spend per week pitching online publications, versus how much relevant traffic comes my way from those efforts. That’s how I estimate the time cost of acquiring traffic, which would otherwise be too vague to understand.

 29. Ketan Kapoor is the CEO and co-founder of Mettl.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Use your phone only when needed. This means you use your phone only when it rings or you absolutely want to make an unavoidable call to someone. Browsing social media in the middle of your work and the fear of missing out on the latest trends keeps you glued to your phone, killing your productive time.
  2. Dedicate time slots to check emails, send messages or make calls. When the urge to open social media or texting starts over, ask yourself if it’s inevitable or you can do without it. Spend time on your phone during while commuting or while taking a short 5-minute break to meet personal and professional commitments.
  3. Prioritize and list down your three MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) of the day. Leave everything aside and focus all your energy in striking off these 3 tasks from your to-do list. Keep the list to a minimum for maximum precision and productivity. Once you strike off these 3 tasks, mark your day as productive.

30. Kuba Koziej is the CEO and Co-Founder at Zety.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Get food delivered. I get food delivered to my office door so I don’t need to plan or prepare my meals but my diet is super balanced and healthy, hence I feel healthier, more energetic and sleep better. This leaves me with more time to act and with much more energy to do so.
  2. Hiring home cleaning help. This is a huge time saver. I often work from home and I need a clean and tidy space to be able to focus and be creative. Hiring a cleaning help gives me at least 6-8 hours/week of extra time.
  3. Creating email templates for everything. And I literally mean everything. There are dozens of emails that I reply to daily, most of which require a pretty generic response with a certain personalization. Let’s say you receive 10 emails per week with invitations to certain events, seminars etc. You know you can’t attend them all, but you still feel kind of uncomfortable answering. To put it off, you spend time thinking of a polite way to say no. Create a super polite template with an explanation of why a certain event isn’t a priority at the moment. This will work for most of the invites.
  4. Setting default email auto-reminders. With the number of emails I deal with, it would be impossible to remember to follow up on them all. The auto-reminder will send you a friendly nudge or notify you that you didn’t get a reply from an important message. It helps to follow up on both internal and external conversations.
  5. Identifying at what time of the of the day you are the most productive. This will help you to plan the most strategic and important meetings and tasks during this time.

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31. Susan Fitzell is an Author, Consultant & Professional Speaker

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Stand up and stay awake. Set up a standing station, or use flexible seating like a Pilates ball, wobble stool, or accordion seat in your workspace. It’s hard to fall asleep while you are standing or balancing. It’s also healthier than sitting all day at a desk. I am most productive when I’ve put my body in a position to be awake and focused.
  2. Take advantage of your voice. Use speech-to-text software to capture your ideas and then turn those ideas into articles, reports, and briefs. Set up Netmemo on the home screen of your Android or use Voice Memos on your IOS device. You can record your ideas with one touch.
  3. Organize with digital tools. If I need to complete a project, I create a board for it on Trello. The boards use lists and individual cards for each task. When I need to delegate some of those tasks to others, I add them as a member of the board. It’s a lifesaver for me. Use Evernote or One note to organize project information in a digital file cabinet. Photograph whiteboards with your phone and upload them to these digital tools so you don’t have to re-copy the information.

32. Ben Aston is a digital project manager and founder of The Digital Project Manager.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

    1. Give Yourself A Break. There’s plenty of research showing that taking breaks enhances productivity (in addition to other important things like creativity and mental health). It’s tempting to assume that putting your head down and “just getting it done” will make you more productive. However, periodically refreshing yourself with a quick stretch, casual chat, or stroll around the block gives you renewed focus. Stepping away can also provide a valuable perspective for returning to your to-do list and approaching tasks in a more strategic way.
    2. Don’t assume you’ve got 8 hours. It’s a fact that you won’t be mind-blowingly productive every day. Don’t be hard on yourself—instead, set yourself up for a productive workday with reasonable, attainable expectations that will allow you to accurately gauge whether or not you’re meeting your productivity goals.
    3. Know The Difference Between Urgent And Important. Too many job descriptions nowadays include the worlds “rockstar multitasker”. It’s tempting to assume that because you can tolerate busy work schedules and juggle multiple tasks at once you’re producing lots of stuff that matters. Know the difference between urgent tasks and important tasks— you’ll know that a task is important if not doing it would have a negative impact on the strategic goals of a project. It’s helpful to use the Eisenhower matrix to see where a task falls in terms of urgency vs. importance, which can help you prioritize your to-do list in order to stay focused on being productive in the ways that matter most.

33. Steve Kurniawan is a serial entrepreneur and marketer.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Figuring out your pattern. Every one of us has a different biological schedule when we are the most productive. As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom and flexibility to make the most of this fact, and so you should! Figure out your pattern, and use your most productive time to do the most important tasks.
  2. Only do the things only you can do. The key to productivity is to delegate and avoid micromanagement, and hence, only do the things only you can do. When you have an assistant or even an employee, more often than not, you will feel that you can do their job better if you are doing it yourself (whether it’s true or not is another case). However, learn to compromise and manage your desire, instead, focus on the more important tasks only you—as a leader—can do.
  3. Don’t forget to recharge. Resting your body and soul is just as important as accomplishing your tasks. Without proper rest, you might not have enough energy for the next week or even the next day, and that can significantly affect your productivity in the long run. Instead, take at least one off day each week, and if necessary, unplug yourself from the internet.

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34. Luke Miler is the founder of Little Big Make.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Get it all out from your head. As the Chinese proverb goes ‘Fight one big demon and you might win, fight hundred small ones and your death is certain.’ Get all the things to do, events and other on any medium at hand – be it paper, notes or claro app, whatever – just brain-dump everything.
  2. Prioritize your to-dos. There’s a simple two-step process to this.

Step 1 – Anything that takes up to 10 minutes get it done right away.

Step 2 – Go through the list and complete an item that will make you money. Then, go through the list again and mark an item that will make your customers happy. Next, go through the list again and mark an item that will be a repeatable system for your business (something that will be useful again and again over time). Now sum the points and you have a priority list, bam!

35. Brian Bosscher is the president and founder of Condo Control Central.

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Get things done. People sometimes tend to harbor their ideas without ever implementing them. Over time these ideas get lost and forgotten. I am sure there are a few people who’s had great ideas that could have changed the world but decided not to act on them due to fear, uncertainty or other reasons.
  2. Organize your work stuff. I use an online tool called ‘Todoist’ which helps me organize all of my stuff. I also used this tool to help me keep my thoughts organized as well as track upcoming tasks that I want to accomplish. It has a fun score tracking component that makes it more rewarding to get your tasks done. The score tracking feature helps me stay motivated while accomplishing all my tasks.

36. Ross Cohen is the co-founder and COO of BeenVerified.com,

Productivity tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Schedule regular meetings with your team. Make sure to schedule a regular weekly meeting with your entire team. Every Monday morning, our team convenes (either in person or remotely) to set the tone for the week and keep all team members on the same page. If anything isn’t working well, we know Monday is a time we can recalibrate. Our in-house messaging tools like Slack also help with check-ins when something urgent comes up.
  2. Keep a positive and motivational company culture. This will inspire your employees to work hard and grow with the company. Make it easy for your team to test out new ideas and innovate. We teach our employees to not be afraid or hesitant to bring new business ideas to the table. We also show our team members that there are very few obstacles if they want to try out a new project or method of doing something.  

So, there have it, the most effective productivity tips from some of the smartest minds of this era.

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