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Productivity

Productivity Tips For Entrepreneurs

4 Productivity Tips For Entrepreneurs To Accelerate Marketing Results

Maintaining daily productivity is a delicate balancing act. Between your personal life, mental and physical health, and all the daily tasks involved in building your business, learning how to keep everything straight is a bit of a curve. 

But once you have a foundation for managing every little detail, you’ll find that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to doing. 

And your business will grow as a result! 

So to help you start tackling your ever-growing to-do list, keep these productivity tips for entrepreneurs in your bookmarks for a reference guide, and you’ll see your marketing results catapult! 

Accelerate Your Marketing Results With These Productivity Tips For Entrepreneurs

If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “there has to be a better way to do everything,” it’s time to lay down a foundation that will catapult you to success. 

Most productivity tips for entrepreneurs are like habits. They will take time to apply and implement. But if you practice patience as you’re trying new things and keep showing up each day, these habits will eventually stick.  

Does your business need website copy that connects with your audience? Feel like you’re wearing too many hats? FocusCopy brings clarity and engagement to your B2B marketing so you can close more leads. Want to get started? Schedule a call so we can talk about your goals

1. Find The Routine That Works For You 

If you don’t feel like your current routine is serving you and your goals, it’s time to reassess. Routines are the most crucial, make-or-break component of your productivity. 

Working at different times each day will drain your energy fast – not to mention waking up at different times or going to bed at different times. 

A routine is what keeps you on track. It’s what guides you through each hour of the day. It helps you stay focused. And most importantly, it is what tells you when it’s time to step away from your desk

A good, consistent routine will improve your productivity significantly. A bad, chaotic routine will leave you feeling drained all the time and like nothing is ever getting done. 

While it can take quite a while to find a routine that works for you and make it stick, once you find your groove, you’ll find you’re able to produce results on a consistent basis.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a little when creating your routine. While it’s common advice to start work early in the morning, we all have different biological clocks. 

If waking up at 4:30 every morning isn’t your cup of joe, think of your ideal wake-up time and when you feel the most focused. Then, build your schedule around those hours. When you wake up matters much less than how consistent you are with your schedule – which brings us to our next productivity tip.

2. Stay Consistent

Consistency can be a bit of a double-edged sword. When you consistently practice good habits, your productivity will soar. But the more that harmful habits start to creep into your daily routine, the more your productivity will suffer. 

All those little short social media scrolls can start to add up. And before you know it, you’ve lost an hour to distraction. 

Start by tracking your time! We are habitual time trackers. Every single task we have in our process is timed. It holds us accountable and helps us focus on the task at hand. We track all our time inside ClickUp (affiliate link here), but we also use Flow (a Pomodoro timer app) if we need to be seriously focused.

At first, building consistency is difficult. I’m not going to lie to you. It takes time, patience, and diligent effort to put good habits into practice. 

However, consistency begets consistency. The more you do a certain habit, the faster you will be consistent. This doesn’t mean that some days aren’t going to be slightly harder. Whether you’re feeling more tired than usual or just not feeling it at all, it’s normal to have off days. But consistency is what helps you show up anyway. 

And remember, what you put into your business is what you will get out of it. So as you might imagine, putting in the effort every day will start to add up. 

3. Take Breaks Seriously

Breaks are huge. Even though it can be difficult to designate a stopping point when it feels like you have so much you want to accomplish, even entrepreneurs need rest. Remember, we’re humans – not machines! 

And in reality, long workweeks can actually cause us to see diminishing returns on the time we put in. And since time, not money, is the most valuable investment you can make in your business, use it wisely. All of this is to say: quality, not quantity!

Pro tip: it is okay to take breaks in your marketing. This is your permission slip to take a break when you need it most. Can’t handle the amount of business you have? Turn back your marketing.

4. Find Your Flow 

The structure of your schedule acts sort of like a predictor for the success of your day. In other words, you cut out unnecessary distractions that go into making multiple decisions when you have a clear idea of what you’re going to be doing and when.  

It might not seem like making decisions can harm your productivity, but you would be surprised! 

Did you know that high-performing entrepreneurs and leaders often talk about wearing the same thing every day? That’s because they’re cutting out the number of decisions they have to make (and thus, the number of distractions). As it turns out, more choice isn’t always a good thing. 

And while it might sound extreme, some researchers have recently estimated that we make thousands of choices in our day-to-day lives. The exact estimation? 35,000

Can you imagine how much extra fatigue builds up as a result? From choosing what and when and where to eat, to our clothing for the day and the tasks we set for our business – try to make fewer choices, not more! 

Time-Block Your Emails & Meetings 

Speaking of decisions, think about creating a time block for responding to your emails or taking meetings over Zoom. 

Designate a time in which you will have your inbox and Calendly open, and then do your best to commit to that timeframe. In a way, time-blocking is kind of like setting healthy boundaries. You need them. Your emotional health, your relationships, and of course, your productivity all benefit from boundaries.  

Because pausing your work to respond to messages or meet with clients can slow down your work significantly. Every distraction or notification you switch your attention to can cause you to lose focus and steam on the task at hand. And once you stop working on something, it can be much more difficult to get back into the groove. This also means…

Avoid Multitasking

You’ve probably heard talk before about “being in the zone” or even felt like you were in the zone yourself while you’re working on something engaging. And that’s actually because “being in the zone” is a real psychological phenomenon! 

It’s called “Flow”. And when we enter a flow-state by eliminating distractions and focusing our attention on one thing at a time, we can actually produce a lot of results in a shorter period than if we were constantly switching our attention from one thing to another. 

A good way to keep your focus on a singular task is to turn your phone onto airplane mode, mute notifications on your desktop if you’re working on your computer, and then set a timer! 

Try to work on just ONE THING for as long as the timer is counting down, and see how much you accomplish. Setting a timer is also a great way to help you get out of a slump on a particularly low-energy day. 

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Delegate Tasks

Similar to cutting out distractions, if you have a team, delegate tasks so that you can focus your attention on other priorities

Your team is a group of people you should trust – so you know that by delegating them an assignment, they will be able to rise to the occasion. 

Additionally, if you don’t have a team yet, think about forming one if you’re at that stage of your business. Having a group of people you can depend on is huge for a business owner’s productivity. And feeling like you’re supported can help you combat feelings of imposter syndrome that so many entrepreneurs face today.

“Eat The Frog” 

Speaking of sayings… Have you ever heard the advice, “eat the frog”? This means that before you do anything else on your to-do list, you tackle the thing that is giving you the most anxiety or that feels the most daunting. 

When we get the harder things out of the way first, we actually help our productivity because we gain a sense of accomplishment before we even take lunch. 

This can boost our motivation and help our minds stay clear and focused because we aren’t distracted by all that dread building up in the back of our minds. 

While it’s perhaps the most difficult time-management skill to put into practice, (and can certainly be the most intimidating!) with all things, we get better the more we do something. And adopting this habit early in your entrepreneurial journey will help you see incredible results. 

It’s okay if you have to season the frog a little first, though. No judgment here!

Want To See Your Marketing Results Catapult? 

The life of an entrepreneur and business owner involves wearing a lot of hats. But connecting with FocusCopy for all your copywriting and content marketing needs allows you to hang up your writing hat and focus on other parts of growing your business. We want to help you succeed by converting your prospects into long-term clients, as well as offer you support on your entrepreneurial journey. Find out more about our services and let’s hop on a call! 

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Avoid Business Burnout

Avoid Business Burnout by Communicating Your Boundaries

Back-to-back Zoom or Teams meetings. No boundaries between your home office and your home. Heightened stress due to uncertainty or overwhelm. It’s no wonder that I’ve encountered so many entrepreneurs who confess… 

  • “I’m exhausted.”
  • “I’m tired.”
  • “I just need a minute.”
  • “When will this be over?”
  • “I need a break.”
  • “I’m spent.”

Burnout is a real thing, and it’s rampant among business owners right now. So we partnered with one of our friends Chelsie Ward of Chelsie Ward Wellness to discuss how to avoid business burnout to protect your health and how to communicate your new boundaries. 

What is Business Burnout? 

Burnout is emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged or persistent stress

If you’re a business owner experiencing burnout, you probably have trouble finding the energy to complete and oversee normal business procedures – despite your best efforts. As a result, your company could be underperforming, causing even more stress to fuel the burnout fire.   

Why Burnout Is More Common During a Stay-At-Home Order

Many business owners and entrepreneurs are not quick to admit when they are experiencing burnout. Afterall, we know what we signed up for! We didn’t decide to start our own businesses because we thought it’d be a walk in the park. Our work is constant and demanding, but we are committed to giving it our all because we are passionate about what we do.

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”

Simon Sinek

However, no matter how passionate you are about your company—the people you work with and serve—these unprecedented times can cause anyone to burnout. It’s not a sign that you don’t care, but rather the opposite. 

As a business leader, many people depend on you. You’re responsible for livelihoods. Maybe you’re someone who is typically able to cope well with business-related stress because you have in mind a certain path forward to help others. 

However, burnout is more common during a Stay-At-Home order like the one we’re currently in because things are so uncertain. This pandemic is a prolonged stressful event where solutions are not always clear. Guidelines and best practices for conducting business are constantly changing. An olympic athlete wouldn’t have enough stamina to keep pace with it all! It’s no wonder, entrepreneurs just like you are experiencing quicker rates of burnout.

So what can you do to avoid  burnout without sacrificing productivity during a Stay-At-Home order?

Two words.

Create boundaries.  

Boundaries & Their Health Benefits 

Before we get into how to communicate your boundaries to avoid business burnout, let’s talk about the health benefits of boundaries. 

Better Routine → More Productivity

When things are going well, it is easier to stick to a routine. We feel confident that things are on-track even when we decide to take breaks to…

  • Workout for an hour
  • Meditate for 20 minutes
  • Spend time with family
  • Practice a hobby we enjoy

We can incorporate these things into our routine because we know from experience that at the end of the day, everything that was pressing can be accomplished.

But, once we start to feel overwhelmed, it can be hard to justify taking even a 20 minute break. When we’re stressed, the first thing to breakdown is our normal routine. You might think that skipping out on these small breaks will give you more time to spend working on increasing demands. 

In reality, routines with more scheduled breaks lead to more productivity. For instance…

… A few moments of meditation each day can improve your focus and concentration.

… Daily exercise circulates blood and releases endorphins to boost your energy and mood.

… Task-switching or doing activities outside of your normal work can help you overcome blocks by promoting creative problem-solving.

Be willing to create a routine with structured breaks, so you can take care of yourself and efficiently serve others.   

Better Rest

Have you been burning the candle at both ends? Stress can lead us to let go of our boundaries that let us rest. But sleep is incredibly important for our cognitive functioning and mood regulation. 

If staying up all hours of the night seems like your only option lately, have you heard of Parkinson’s Law?

Use Parkinson’s Law

According to Parkinson’s Law, work expands to fill the time available for its completion. In other words, if you give yourself the whole day to work on a one-hour task, it will take you the whole day to complete it.

If you’re not strict about your boundaries around work hours, you’ll end up spending more time than you need to on certain tasks. If you’re working until the eleventh hour day in and day out, you’ll eventually lose steam! 

Instead, use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage. Set tighter timelines for your tasks, and be strict about them!  If you know you only have a certain amount of time to complete something, you’ll find a way to do it more efficiently.

This will help you get more rest, so you’ll be better prepared to tackle the big things each day.  

Less Stress Due to Unmanaged Expectations

Success in any relationship—professional or personal—comes with a level of  expectation. When expectations aren’t met, disappointment, frustration, and stress tend to rise to the surface. 

Now is a good time to ask yourself whether your expectations for yourself and others are realistic. And no, I don’t mean realistic for a month or a year ago. I mean are they realistic for right now

Give yourself time to reassess your expectations in light of current events. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop pursuing big things! It might just mean it’s time to pursue different things, or approach them from a new direction. 

Setting clear boundaries around what you can and can’t accomplish is critical to reducing stress.  

Communicate Your Boundaries to Avoid Business Burnout

Once you’ve established which boundaries you’re ready to set, it’s time to communicate your boundaries to avoid business burnout.   

Tell Everyone What You’re Doing

Setting boundaries doesn’t mean you have to drop off the face of the earth without a word. In fact, you should do the opposite!

It might seem counterintuitive to talk about setting boundaries when we all feel like we should be doing more. But by being transparent about your approach, you can help others do the same. 

Tell everyone what boundaries you’re setting and why you’re setting them. Highlight all of the health and productivity benefits that your non-work activities are affording you. When they recognize the value in these boundaries, they’ll be able to respect them and might adopt them themselves.

Block Off Time On Your Calendar

Don’t be afraid to block off time on your calendar. Seriously! 

Even for companies like FocusCopy that work remotely 100% of the time, it can be very easy to flirt with the line of burnout.

A couple of weekends ago, we had a lot of client work to produce. Knowing that my team would be spending the weekend writing over 20 deliverables, I blocked off my calendar on Monday and Tuesday so that no one could schedule a meeting with me. I know what you’re thinking…

Lauren, that seems silly. You may be throwing away sales opportunities. 

Maybe so. But, if those opportunities aren’t willing to respect what I need to be healthy now, then think about how they’re going to be when they are clients.

Establish New Standard Operating Procedures

As your boundaries and expectations change, you’ll want to keep your standard operating procedures updated too. This will minimize miscommunications and help establish routine to increase the wellness and productivity within your company’s community. If you’d like some tips about stages of SOP adaption, development, and implementation, check out this blog.

Take the steps to avoid business burnout, so you can continue to do what you do best during these stressful times. 

Meet Chelsie Ward of Chelsie Ward Wellness

Chelsie Ward of Chelsie Ward Wellness has a background in applied behavior analysis. Her study of the psychology of the mind has helped her devise successful behavioral intervention techniques to help others succeed in reaching their health and wellness goals. Her career as a nurse (BSN, RN) has given her extensive insight into the conventional Western approach to health care and see firsthand the negative, systemic effects to our bodies caused by the food industry and big pharma. If you’re an entrepreneur, business leader, or just a busy professional who is struggling with some facet of your health, Chelsie can find the root to your problem and build a solution to heal yourself. Learn more about her coaching programs here.