This blog is about complete transparency of every little detail behind my business and work life in general.
I’ll start this post with a personal confession: I’m extremely hardworking, but I am not very productive. It’s a problem.
Especially since I run a company with $2M+ invested into it and with 20 people on our team.
I am bad at concentrating on tasks throughout my day. I’ve seen this take a toll on my productivity and business as a whole. I get interrupted, and I’m terrible at saying “no” to questions, comments, meetings, etc.
I’m actively working on improving my productivity. I’ve had some successes recently. I’ve managed to boost the time I spend on productive tasks without interruptions by 2X. That is pretty good for me.
It’s very cliche, I know. It seems like everyone writes and talks about productivity tips. There are thousands of articles, books and videos on this very topic. I’ve tried many things, but only a handful work for me.
Here are the daily habits which increased my productivity:
- Do not check any social networks during the day.
- If I start working on a task, I try not to do anything else. Do not answer emails or messages in Slack/Skype. Do not pick up the phone. It’s better to put it away.
- Try to separate myself from others by listening to music while I’m working on a task.
- Let others know that I am busy when I’m working on a task.
- Even if I don’t like the task, try to get it done right away.
I try to adhere to these principles every single day.
I am also experimenting with a number of different task management solutions. I’d be curious to hear if you have any better solutions for keeping track of your daily tasks.
Tools and methods I utilize:
*Paper and pen
*Saving certain task information to Gmail drafts
*Notes on MacBook
*Text on MacBook
*Sending emails to myself
I tend to use Google tasks the most, because it’s simple, accessible from all devices, and free.
Below is an actual account of my typical day and how I implement the daily habits and task management tools I’ve listed.
Every evening, I spend 15–20 minutes creating a list of tasks for the next day. After checking which tasks are left and which are accomplished, I add new ones to the list and prioritize them. Priority is very important. The most important task should be number one and take precedence over the others.
The next morning, I begin working right after I wake up. I check emails while brushing my teeth and grabbing breakfast. I know, not the healthiest habit, but I’m working on it.
While driving to the office, I listen to a podcast or Youtube video, sometimes while reading and answering emails. I know I should stop doing the latter while I drive.
I’m an inbox zero guy meaning I strive to keep my inbox clean. If, for some reason, I have unread messages that are older than one week in my inbox, I mass mark them as read.
At the office, I focus on accomplishing the first task I outlined from the evening before. This is the most important one for the day. I only work on my second task after the first is checked off.
The list of tasks which I create only receives about half of my time every day. I wish I had more time to work on these tasks, but the reality is that I don’t. Meetings, conversations and calls get in the way.
I know most entrepreneurs struggle with productivity, so I’m not alone. Feel free to send and share any tips and tools which have increased your productivity.