My top 4 productivity tips for a business owner

The most common question I get is “How do you find the time to do so many things?”. I swear someone asks me this every single week.

It’s a good question, to be fair.

From the outside, I probably look like I work 24/7 and have absolutely no social life. The reality is, I am out most evenings, have time to do a lot of volunteering and have watched what feels like almost everything on Netflix.

So, how do I manage to do so many things and still have a normal social life and downtime?

I thought I would share my top 4 productivity hacks that help me stay organised:

Have a clear set of goals

I recently watched the King Richard movie and Serena and Venus’ dad kept telling them the same quote:

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

I completely resonated with this, as I believe that if I could go back and do one thing better when I first started out on my entrepreneurial journey, it would be to plan more.

It has also been said that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down! So, make sure you write down your goals, and even share them with someone else so that you’re accountable to them.

These goals can be monthly, quarterly or even yearly. In fact, they can be any timeframe you want! So long as you’re working towards something.

Otherwise, how else can you measure if you’re making good progress?

Get a productivity planner

I genuinely think productivity planners work and are not just another entrepreneur accessory that looks nice. Whenever I use mine properly, my productivity skyrockets. I have found myself waiver sometimes and then I get completely messed up – so there is a clear correlation there.

You don’t have to use a physical planner if you are all about going digital for everything. I’ve also used Notion to plan my day, and I’m a huge fan of Made to Plan who has grown super popular from her highly aesthetic Instagram profile.

Personally, I use the Intelligent Change products. I have so many of them!

I started off with just the standard Productivity Planner, which is so sophisticated and slick with its black and gold leather book. Now it’s even in cream! However, I have recently upgraded to the quarterly planner, as I use the Rocks method with my team, as we work with the EOS method.

Each day, I plan out what the most important thing is I need to do and do not let myself get distracted by anything else until I have completed it. This is the method I learned from reading The One Thing.

It also uses the Pomodoro Technique, so it keeps me focused and I work in 25 min sprints, taking a 5-minute break in between, keeping fresh and not overworked.

Block out time for focused work

I started doing this after reading the book Deep Work by Cal Newport. He definitely goes to the extreme and books out months with no digital comms at all. (I don’t think I could survive that!) But now, if I have something important to do, then I block out some time to get it done without any interruptions.

Before I did this, I would allow myself to check emails in between working on the project, deal with team requests, answer calls, book in meetings etc. But the time in between all that was never really focused enough, and I would get so disjointed and lose my flow.

Therefore, I started out blocking out periods of time when it was really important to do so and suddenly, I got so much done in a fraction of the time!

Minimise distractions

This will definitely be done during the time of focused work, but you need to learn how to minimise distractions in general. It’s so easy to slip into habits of getting distracted by emails or picking up our phones and scrolling through social media.

I definitely have done both, multiple times a day!

Emails can be the biggest killer of productivity and I have written a separate email on how I get to Inbox Zero every day in a separate, more detailed blog post that you can read.