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Productivity Tricks: Business Cheat Sheets

Friday, May 31st, 2013
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

Increase Productivity Cheat Sheet

Download the Increasing Productivity PDF here.

As a business owner, you need to put in a lot of hours of work every day to help grow you business into a success. Malcolm Gladwell pointed out in “Outliers” that it takes 10,000 hours of focused dedicated practice in an area to become an expert in an area. For your business to achieve your dreams, you are going to need to be an expert in your domain and the sooner you can get there the better. So how can you reach 10,000 hours of dedicated time in your business most quickly? I have found these 9 productivity tricks on this edition of the Business Cheat Sheets to be essential:

  1. Exercise daily – Getting in a good workout at the end of each day is an excellent way to drain stress and worries that build up throughout the work day. I personally prefer very vigorous workouts like Crossfit and rock climbing and running. When you are doing a hard physical workout it is impossible to keep thinking about your problems. This allows you to start fresh the next day.
  2. Eat healthy - It goes without saying that your nutrition and diet are huge determinants in how strong your mood and focus are each day. I begin each day with a blender drink containing a mix of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and salmon oil.
  3. Don’t Let Email Control You - Email is a powerful tool, but if you let it control your agenda you will lose a lot of productivity. Email is best used in moderation. I suggest having designated times each day when you check your email like 8am and 5pm. That way you can get back to everyone the same day, but your email does not turn into your task master.
  4. Plan Your Breaks – Just like you plan your workweek, you need to plan your weekends and vacations. I try to plan fun, non-work related activities for at least one day per week as this gets my mind off work and allows me to start the next week fresh and newly motivated. For me, this means going hiking, camping, rock climbing, or short travels to nearby cities.
  5. Get 8+ Hours of Sleep - Sleep is the time when your body and brain repair and replenish themselves. Not getting enough sleep each night does not mean you are working hard – it simply means that your body will not fully refuel and re-energize itself. Your productivity will go down. Sleep is essential.
  6. Naps – Naps are a secret superpower for gaining more productivity out of each day. A 30 minute nap will make you just as efficient and sharp as you are in the morning in the afternoon. The human body is built to take naps and most countries in the world have siestas or naps – Americans are the odd man out here. Take naps!
  7. Get organized - Use tools like email labels, desktop folders, etc to help you get and stay organized. Disorganization will cause lost time and frustration while you hunt around for things you need to do your job.
  8. Use Task Lists – Each morning or evening, reorganize your task list so that you know what your top priority tasks are that must get done that day.
  9. Avoid Multi-tasking -  For most people and most jobs, multi-tasking will lower your productivity levels over the long run. Focus on one task at a time and knock it out before moving on to the next item.