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LESSONS ENTREPRENEURS TEACH ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. What you see on the surface doesn’t tell the whole story.

Successful business owners, millionaires, and serial entrepreneurs often started from nothing. They had to overcome many mental barriers, make a ton of sacrifices, make mistakes and learn from them, test different business ideas many of which failed, and deal with the lack of understanding of other people in their life.

Perseverance, focus, and motivation helped them stay strong so they could work hard until they created the one business that changed the rest of their career and life.

Each and every one of us has the potential to do the same. But even if you aren’t on your way to entering the business world, there’s a lot you can learn from entrepreneurs that you can apply to your life. Here’s what they can teach us about productivity.

SMALL STEPS MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE

How many times did you procrastinate on something because you weren’t sure where to start? Because you thought it will take a long time and didn’t know if you were ready?

It’s easy to make excuses instead of taking action. Especially when you plan a big step and become too overwhelmed to actually get started. The thing to remember about successful entrepreneurs is that they all began small. They didn’t launch their business all at once, but rather planned in small, incremental steps so that it was manageable and easy to maneuver.

One daily action is enough. Maybe you want to research the market for thirty minutes. Or spend an hour a day learning how to design a website or set up a sales funnel. If you need to study for an exam, learn a foreign language, or renovate your house, the same approach applies. Break your goal into small, simple steps that you can accomplish every day. As you work, day after day, every next step gets easier.

Entrepreneurs know that the best way to beat procrastination and finally get something done is to break down big goals and projects into smaller ones. Then, you simply need to do one thing from your list per day to move forward.

YOUR TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE

Businessmen know how to manage their time well. They have to. When you own your own business, you wear many hats all at once. That means you can’t afford to get distracted or overwhelmed by wasting time.

No matter what your goal is, you have to work to prioritize that goal in a way that fits into your current life. You might not be in charge of your schedule during the work day, but how you spend your time both before and after work is up to you. Maybe you need to get up an hour earlier so you have uninterrupted time before family obligations take over. Or you can stay up an hour later, or miss happy hour with friends.

We all have the same twenty-four hours to work with. And while everyone’s life demands use of that twenty-four hours differently, you can decide how and where to devote your free time. Figure out when you’re most productive so that you can maximize your time efficiently. Make sure you’re eating and sleeping so you are awake and focused with plenty of energy to dedicate to that time. Successful entrepreneurs understand how to use their time efficiently and effectively by focusing on the right things at the right time.

HAVE ROUTINES

Speaking of using your time effectively, one of the ways entrepreneurs optimize their time is by structuring their days. They plan them down to the last detail and follow that planned schedule to the minute. They know it’s the most effective way to spend their time.

But it also frees their attention and focus to laser in on the task at hand. They aren’t worried about what comes next because they know. It unloads that mental energy so that they aren’t wasting precious brain energy on the things that don’t matter.

You can tap into this powerful hack by starting and ending your day the same way every day. This ensures that you start your day off right by setting yourself up for success. And when you end it with structure and focus, you ensure that your body and brain is ready for a good night’s sleep, which sets you up for a productive tomorrow.

Some things to include in your morning routine are to wake up early, workout, journal, and eat a healthy breakfast. This is the time to plan your day by deciding what the most important thing to accomplish will be. Review your schedule and make any necessary adjustments. Even plan your free time.

At night, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get into a restful state. Avoid caffeine after 2pm so you don’t accidentally stay awake too late and stop watching any screens at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. This ensures your brain stops producing cortisol and begins releasing melatonin, preparing you for deep and restful sleep.

KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT THINGS

When you run your own business, you are typically pulled into multiple directions all at the same time. Everyone wants your time and attention. And that’s not counting the endless tasks constantly piling up.

Life can be stressful. Inboxes fill up, kids throw last minute snags into your day, bosses ask for help on last minute projects. That’s just a few of the ways stress can build. If you don’t know how to manage your focus, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the constant pull on your attention and time.

The key to focusing on the important things is the ability to assess your obligations and figure out how to manage them in your current schedule. Sometimes this means learning how to say no, asking for help, or delaying activities that are important but not urgent.

One tool that can help you with this is the Eisenhower Matrix. Divide a square into four quadrants. The top two columns are urgent and not urgent. The two rows on the side are important and not important. After you fill it in, you let go of anything that is not urgent and not important. For the things that are urgent but not important, find someone to delegate those tasks to. In the Not urgent but important box, you schedule a time to work on those tasks later. And in the urgent and important box, you put your focus there.

This simple exercise can help you identify what matters, what doesn’t, and learn to sort through all the rest. You can also use this to help sort through weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.

Conclusion

Successful entrepreneurs know what they are doing. And productivity is one aspect of life they never stop improving. You can embrace the mindset of these highly motivated and successful people to make progress in any area of your life.

If you want to learn more about how to embrace productivity, watch this video:

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