For many entrepreneurs, owning a small business means putting on whatever hat you need to at the moment to get the job done, especially when you’re first starting out. This being stated, it’s important to set up a consistent routine that you know is aligned with helping you reach your business objectives and be successful.
Below are six daily activities that entrepreneurs (in any industry) should be performing in order to maximize their productivity.
1. Divide time between Busy Activities and Lead Generation
As a business owner, it’s easy to be so consumed with “being busy” that you forget which tasks are providing the biggest impact on your brand. The easiest way to do this is to divide them into two categories: Busy Work and Lead Generation. Busy Work is the day-to-day operational activities that every business owner needs to do to keep the business running smoothly, such as reviewing invoices, conducting meetings, and answering emails. Lead Generation activities include any high-impact activities that can result in new leads, such as creating new website content for lead funnels, engaging with audiences on social media, conducting sales calls or webinars, etc.
2. Knock out the easy, high-priority tasks first
Task-grouping has always been a great way to help prioritize what activities should be worked on and when. Divide your tasks into the following groups: high-priority/easy, high-priority/hard, low-priority/easy, and low-priority/hard. Start your day with the high-priority tasks to ensure that they’re completed on time, then switch to low-priority tasks when they’re done.
3. Create time-slots
Everyone works differently. However, operating on a fixed schedule helps you to work more efficiently by forcing you to think about the amount of time that it’ll take to complete your given activities. It also helps you keep a close eye on how much time you really have in your day to get things done. Use 15-minute blocks to allow yourself a bit of free time if you finish a task early or need to add extra time to another.
4. Check out new products and trends
In order to stay successful in today’s marketplace, it’s imperative to know what new products are gaining traction, as well as the overall landscape of the industry. Reading white papers, blogs, and industry news updates can keep you in the loop and provide great insight into new product ideas.
5. Put emails in their place
Checking and responding to emails is one of the biggest culprits known to sabotage time management. Not only do they distract you from your current activity, but they do so in a way that often leads you to believe that answering them won’t take up much of your time. And before you know it, you’ve spent 30-40 minutes answering emails without even planning on it. Set aside time at the beginning or end of your day specifically for addressing emails — don’t let them run your day.
6. Take 15
Giving your mind a break from hours of focus can prevent you from having a mental burnout and/or tension headache-which can be common for entrepreneurs. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break, especially when you feel like you’re starting to lose focus. Try taking a quick walk around your office building to keep your mind refreshed. Bring snacks for your breaks and eat them outside if the weather permits. Make it a habit to take scheduled breaks throughout your day. You’ll find that they can really help you to recharge quickly.
Having a daily routine is the key to running a successful business. Taking accountability to complete activities related to your overall business goals is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you’ll reach them.
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