Productivity Skills to Help You Gain Time Back

In today’s work-at-home world, many entrepreneurs have difficulty focusing and completing tasks. Is it the environment or do we manage our time poorly?

Managing time is a difficult task for busy entrepreneurs, particularly as boundaries between home and work become increasingly blurred.

Even in chaotic times, you can still be productive and efficient with the right tactics and tools.

These 20 techniques for time management will help you reclaim your lost time.

1. It’s impossible to multitask.

If you feel like you don’t have enough time, you may be multitasking.

Multitasking is stealing time. As an entrepreneur, you want to give 100% to everything. But you end up putting 10% into one thing, 20% in another, and 5% into a dozen other things.

Switching between programs is not easy.

Harvard Business Review reports that “after an alarm has forced us to switch tasks, it can take up to 23 minutes for us to get back to our original task, according to a University of California Irvine Study.” “

It could take an hour.

Do you check your email or Slack inbox whenever you see the red circle? What you do actually takes more time.

Your tank will be empty by late afternoon. By late afternoon, your tank will be empty.

2. Use a single-task instead

When was the last time you focused on one thing for only 30 minutes? 10 minutes is enough. What about 10 minutes?

Close all 27 tabs you have opened, or click “New Window”. Click “New Window “. Listen to your favorite chill music without lyrics. Do it.

You can use a timer for 5 or 10 minutes to write nonstop without thinking.

3. Limiting yourself with artificial limits

Create fake deadlines.

Most likely, you have seen the situation before. A team member has to finish three tasks in eight hours. The tasks are spread from 9 am to 5 pm.

Would the work be completed if workers had only 90 minutes? They would likely have finished their tasks if given only 90 minutes.

Ari Meisel had to find a way to manage his business in just an hour per day.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a work-from-home environment that makes it even easier to succumb to Parkinson’s Law. If you do not have to commute, and there is no clock-out time, the day can be dragged out.

To stay productive, set artificial deadlines for tasks. Even time yourself.

Foundr members have also used this method, setting time limits based on their surroundings. They only bought WiFi when they were traveling for a shoot. Then, he challenged himself to complete as much as he could in the given period. He would then not upgrade the internet after the timer expired.

All activities that occur after the WiFi has been cut must be performed offline. This allows you to focus solely on your tasks and avoid being distracted by notifications, tabs, or emails.

Set up a false limit, and sprint for a short time. What you achieve will surprise you.

4. Pomodoro Technique

A time-management technique that has been around since the 1980s, Pomodoro Technique uses a stopwatch to break work up into 25-minute “sprints”, each followed by short breaks.

LifeHacker demonstrates the step-by-step instructions for effectively using the Pomodoro Technique:

  1. Choose a job that must be done
  2. Set your Pomodoro to 25 minutes.
  3. Mark your paper by checking
  4. Have a short break (five minutes is fine)
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

You can make this tactic even simpler by using online tools like Tomato Timer or a variety of apps.

Tell us how you like it in the comments section!

5. Zeigarnik Effect

You can resume an activity that has been interrupted. This is called the Zeigarnik Effect. There is a belief that it is easier to recall an unfinished task.

Bluma Zigarnik, a Lithuanian psychologist, observed waiters in a café and discovered that they had better chances of remembering details about tabs than those who have already paid.

What can entrepreneurs do to improve their productivity by using the Zeigarnik Effect? If you are struggling with a particular task, or if procrastination is a habit for you, take a 5-minute break. Return to the task after 5 minutes.

You may discover that after you’ve left the question open and allowed yourself to reflect subconsciously, as well as not feeling pressured to respond, your mind will be refreshed.

6. How to find your “Six Pack”.

Six Pack is not the name of a drink. It refers to six important cockpit instruments, such as the altimeter and airspeed. The six most important gauges are the easiest ones to read.

Ari Meisel advises you to think of your business as an airplane when it comes down to remaining focused.

Find the Six-Pack for your company. No matter what, your goal is to move your business even one percent forward.

How would you describe your six-pack for your company? This is where your focus should be. Eliminate anything distracting that doesn’t contribute to the goal or KPI.

7. Move your phone to another room

This tool is one of the best tools for managing an online business. The keyword here is potential.

Addiction to smartphones can cause distractions and hamper productivity.

After checking your mobile phone for just 2 seconds, it can take you up to 23 minutes to get your attention back.

Put your mobile phone away from you to prevent this distraction.

Try it out tomorrow, when you start work. It’s amazing how focused and productive you can feel during lunchtime.

8. Master Asynchronous Communication

Async communication is underrated and can transform your business. This is how you communicate with your colleagues by “passing back the ball”.

Doist Blog summaries the best

  • The team member will respond to your questions the following day when they can best handle the task.

Some communications still require synchrony, also known as “Sync”, i.e. The other person will respond in real-time.

Due to quarantine and social distance, many entrepreneurs are forced to change their communication strategy.

  • Example #1: Meetings that take place at the same location (or with a videoconferencing tool).
  • Sync Example #2: A real-time conversation between two people in Slack.

Only schedule synchronous communication when it is necessary.

Every time an appointment on Google Calendar is canceled and replaced with a 5-minute message or async video, angels are given wings.

9. Avoid Decision Fatigue

By avoiding decisions, you will gain a great deal of mental power.

Jack Dorsey, is the co-founder of Twitter and Square, and its CEO is Jack Dorsey. He is not fond of making decisions. He often has his team make important decisions for him.

As an entrepreneur, you probably have to make many decisions each day. Before you face a major problem, your time and energy have been spent deciding how to solve small problems.

Decision fatigue is the real issue. At the end of a long day, you may find that there is no more fuel in the tank and your mind is already tired from thinking about another task.

Take fewer and more frequent decisions.

Can I trust that others will make the right decisions without me?

This principle can be used to decide which decisions (fewer) you should keep under your control.

10. Sort your decisions by their irreversibility and reversibility

Think about how much you worry. Most of your decisions can be made without any risk.

Farnam Street describes the Reversible Inevitable Principle. The grid illustrates how you should think about every choice.

It isn’t a good idea to spend too much time making a decision that can easily be changed. It is better to “move fast and break things” than spend too much time on a decision that can be reversed. “

Take some time to consider a major decision, like sending out an email to 2,000,000 people. A decision with both irreversibility and consequences is worth considering, for example, signing a contract that will have lasting effects or signing a five-year lease agreement.

Jeff Bezos describes this decision-making approach in one of his shareholder’s letters.

Some decisions cannot be changed. They are called Type 1. We call these decisions “Type 2”. The majority of decisions can be changed, reversed, or reversed.

Bezos stated that the second type of decision could and should be made quickly.

Try to reverse your decision as quickly as possible.

11. Own Your Calendar

Chris Dixon, the partner and investor of a16z, once said: “Your email is an external task list.” G-Suite is often used in a reactive, not proactive manner.

Get control. Tell the calendar to “No”. Deferring important emails until you have time is possible. Don’t add meetings to your Google Calendar that you do not have to go to.

This tip is important, yet simple. Take control of your schedule and time. Only you can own it.

12. Don’t eat the frog

For maximum productivity, it is not recommended that you “eat the Frog”.

A frog in the early morning can sap your energy, making you vulnerable in the afternoon.

Do the hardest task first. Don’t let it bother you.

After completing the task, you can regain control of priorities and time.

13. Forget about morning rituals

There’s no need to make those complicated smoothies that you see on Instagram or have a big breakfast each morning.

You can do other things, such as showering, making coffee, or getting some fresh air and exercise. Showering, making coffee, or exercising are all things you can do.

If your morning routine unlocks productivity, continue to do it. However, some founders find that an evening routine can be just as effective.

14. Try a routine for the night

You can also meditate for 30 minutes and set a reminder on your calendar to switch off devices at night. Set a calendar reminder to turn off your devices and meditate for 30 mins.

It will save you time. You don’t need to waste the first hour of your day trying to figure out your priorities. You will know what your priorities are and you can spend that time getting things done.

By establishing a consistent bedtime you will be able to improve the quality of your sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed.

15. Find your Peak Time

Would you rather be awake in the morning, or at night? Are you guilty of not being present during your 9-5 business hours?

Everyone has a “flow period” which can be defined as a time of 60 to 90 minutes in a day when they perform at their best. Your best time is when your brain is firing, you are focused and you don’t allow anyone else to mess with you.

One person’s best time may be the morning, while another may perform at its peak in the afternoon. Other people may work at their highest level between midnight and 11 pm. In an hour, they can achieve more than the previous day.

You can find out when you are at your most productive by using the CNS Tap Test. To learn more about how to perform this test, check out Foundr’s Productivity Machine Course.

Reflect and identify the moments when you feel “in the zone”. Schedule any boring tasks or meetings away from those times.

16. Dressing for Success is Not Required

After COVID it’s more important than ever to dress comfortably for remote work.

When you’re on a video chat, you should look your best from the shoulder down.

Keep it simple and avoid decision fatigue by keeping your wardrobe simple.

Former US president Barack Obama, for example, admits to only wearing gray and blue suits. “

Not only will you save time, but also energy. If you spend less time worrying about what to wear, then more time can be spent on important tasks.

The concept can be used in more than dressing. This helps to keep you focused and will help you regain brainpower.

17. Separate your work and home life

Digital tools are not the only way to compartmentalize your time. When working from home, you may have to remove yourself physically from distractions that cause stress.

Dishes are piling up in the sink. Dirty laundry is visible at the back of the room. Daily news is being played “in the background” on TV. A daily news loop is playing on television.

In these cases, it’s better to create a work area that is separate from the rest of your home.

There are many ways to make your home workspace perfect for freelancers and entrepreneurs. All you need to do is decide. Make a work area that is separate from dirty dishes and points away.

18 Three things to do before lunch

Michael Karnjanaprakorn was the founder and CEO of Skillshare. He also created Otis, a tool that uses blockchain technology to help investors invest in alternative assets. His daily motto is “Get three tasks done before lunch”. It didn’t have to be a major task – it just had to be included on the list.

This “three before noon” method eliminates this feeling because you’ve already accomplished some tasks. You can reward yourself with a lunch break and rest.

19. When in doubt, do something

Do you feel like you’re not being productive? Try something. It is better to take action than be perfect.

You can get a little boost of accomplishment each time you mark a Trello task “complete” or move it forward. You’ll feel a sense of achievement each time you “complete” a Trello project or advance it.

Spending an hour on something is preferable to thinking about it for 10 hours.

20. Automate, outsource, and optimize

Some entrepreneurs argue that tricks and tips aren’t the answer to increasing productivity. They say that you should use a method that is step-by-step to get back your time and focus. The O.A.O. method is an effective way to change lives.

O.A.O. A few words about

  1. Audit – Audit and optimize your systems and processes so anyone on your team can perform them.
  2. Automation – Once your processes and systems have been identified, you should automate everything possible. Zapier can help with this.
  3. Ari’s system shows you how to delegate or hire virtual assistance.

Ari Meisel teaches the Foundr’s course Productivity Machine. You will learn about this system. The course contains 20+ videos and a guide to help boost your productivity.

Have a fun and productive week.

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