To become – or remain – successful in 2019, entrepreneurs must arm themselves with tactics that are geared toward navigating today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing business world. As a result, many of us look to efficiency experts or the super-successful for help in achieving our professional goals. Here’s a compilation of 8 of their top tips for getting more done this year, while feeling less overwhelmed as a small business owner.
1. Just Say No
There’s one simple habit that Warren Buffett says separates successful people from everyone else: the ability to say no to almost everything. Much of what we do say yes to, meanwhile, can – and often should - be delegated to somebody else.
With the typical 10-hour workday comprising only 600 minutes, your first question on any given morning should be “where can I make the best use of my time?” followed by “who can I get to take care of the rest?”
2. Focus on What’s Important Today
Successful entrepreneurs often focus on one important goal at a time by dedicating a sizeable chunk of their daily allotment of minutes to advancing their objective. The more uninterrupted time you can carve out for tasks that will help further your goal, the faster you’re likely to reach it.
To help you schedule your time more effectively, try keeping the 80/20 rule in mind as you move through your day. Known as Pareto’s Principle, this rule describes how 80% of our results come from just 20% of our actions.
3. Ditch Your To-Do List
Are you a to-do list advocate? If so, are you aware that some experts believe it can be worth abandoning your list in favor of immediately scheduling those tasks on your calendar? Assigning a specific time and date to pending errands or activities ensures:
- integral business steps are taken, and
- measurable progress continues to be made
And since we tend to recall unfinished chores more readily than the ones we’ve completed, getting more tasks done, more often, can reduce the number of intrusive thoughts interrupting your workflow each day.
4. Carry a Notebook
To-do lists aside, some high-profile entrepreneurs continue to swear by their notebooks. In fact, with the average human brain generating an estimated 50,000 - 70,000 thoughts every day, it isn’t difficult to understand how writing your most pertinent thoughts down can a) help keep your mind clear, and b) prevent your most creative, inspirational ideas from going astray.
5. Make Time for Life
As you set up your weekly work calendar, remember that maintaining an appropriate work life balance is essential to avoid burning out. Entrepreneurs often ignore the fact that, as much as they manage to get done today, there will always be more to accomplish tomorrow.
There is no finish line when it comes to running your own business. So make sure you consciously schedule time for other important pursuits, whether they include family time, leisure and physical activities, vacation, or volunteer work.
6. Take Control of Your Communications
How many of your 600 minutes do you spend checking messages each day? Highly productive individuals embrace two vital concepts when it comes to monitoring their business communications:
- Designating set periods of time throughout the day for reading, listening to, and answering texts, emails, and phone calls is critical
- Once a letter is opened, an email is read, or a voicemail is heard, it should be dealt with immediately whenever possible
Making a habit of touching basic tasks only once not only saves precious time in terms of re-reading, re-listening, and re-evaluating your communications, it helps keep a litany of mental to-do tasks from cluttering your thoughts.
7. Leverage Your Connections
Taking advantage of your digital connections is a great way to solicit feedback and seek valuable business advice. On sites like LinkedIn, for example, thought leaders, business consultants, and professional mentors are all just a quick click away.
At the same time, many entrepreneurs look to their online business associates when they need an informal sounding board or source of support. No matter the challenge you’re facing, chances are good someone in your network has faced something similar - and would be happy to share what they’ve learned.
8. Honor the Little Moments
It’s the small moments in many entrepreneurs’ careers that make the biggest impact on their eventual success. Similarly, recognizing the little moments in the lives of others is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers and strengthen your professional partnerships.
Some business owners make a point of:
- regularly sharing articles or industry news with key suppliers and business associates, or
- acknowledging their clients' birthdays, family events, and other personal milestones
The positive feelings generated by such practices will not only go a long way toward enhancing your personal brand, they’ll improve the overall quality of your business connections.