Scott Britton, cofounder, Troops
For me, it’s by far and away waking up early. I’m usually up at 5:30 a.m. and reserve the beginning of my day, when no one is there to distract me, for my most important activities, which can include everything from working out and meditation to writing new pitches and strategically thinking about my business.
Whenever I say this, most people ask me, “Well what time do you go to bed?” Usually before 11 and closer to 10 … which is also very good for your productivity and health.
Tracy Osborn, CEO, Wedding Lovely
The only emails in your inbox should be ones you don’t expect. Set up aggressive filtering, unsubscribe from everything you can, and archive unneeded messages.
Having a clean inbox — once you get into the habit, it’s not that hard — will get your day started out on the right foot to get your most important items done.
Peldi Guilizzoni, CEO, Balsamiq
Hire enough people who are better than you to be able to delegate a large part of your job to them. Finally, now I get to be CEO and spend my day thinking strategically.
Casey Zeman, CEO, EasyWebinar
Walking. Walking, hands down, is the best way for me to get clear on objectives.
As an entrepreneur, I often realize that if I don’t plan projects or take time for creative/critical thinking, things can take a lot longer to get done.
Walking with my dog 3-4 times a day helps to not only break up my day and reset, but also, when I am walking with him, I take notes on my phone. Voice Memos, to-do lists, etc. Not to mention, I feel that when I am out and about, creating content is much easier.
When I am on the go or doing errands, creating a Periscope broadcast, Snapchat story, or Facebook Live broadcast is a great way to stay connected to my audience while I’m getting exercise.
Sujan Patel, cofounder, ContentMarketer.io
Say NO to things that don’t help you with your 6 month, 1 year, and 5 year goals.
In order to do this, you need to set goals for those intervals. Once you know where you want to go — professionally and personally — you can easily evaluate if an opportunity can truly help or not.
A new opportunity will knock on your door every day, and the worst thing you can do is answer the wrong ones and spread yourself too thin.
Laura Roeder, founder, MeetEdgar
Let software do what software can do so that you can do what only a human can do!
We use our own software, MeetEdgar, to handle sending out all of our social media updates.
We are a bootstrapped company, so free channels like social are essential to our growth. What used to take 15+ hours per week now only takes a few hours.
Ryan Hoover, founder, Product Hunt
Often times we prioritize the things we like to do instead of the things we should do. Broadly speaking, designers like to create beautiful experiences, programmers love to solve hard technical challenges, and marketers are inspired to imagine new creative campaigns.
But sometimes this “fun” work shouldn’t be the highest priority for a founder or small startup.
Claire Lew, CEO, Know Your Company
Don’t schedule meetings on Mondays. Your energy is a finite resource, and it fades as the week progresses.
So starting off the week uninterrupted – with zero calls or meetings on Mondays – allows me to focus my energy and time on what’s most important, first, and gives me a burst of productivity early in the week.
Ruben Gamez, founder, Bidsketch
The best way to way to be productive is to be working on the most important things first. You’re not going to make progress if the stuff you’re getting done doesn’t matter.
To help me prioritize, each morning I start by asking: “Which one of these tasks will have the biggest impact on my business? What can I get done that will speed up or make other projects unnecessary?” Priorities change, so it’s important to ask these questions on a regular basis.
Dan Martell, founder, Clarity
Block Time. Every Sunday, I review my key projects I’m working on and schedule 60-minute work sessions each morning to move those projects forward. Once it’s scheduled, no one else can take that time from me. It’s a great way to get the big rocks taken care of.
Adrian Rosebrock, founder, PyImageSearch
Much like software developers know that ‘root isn’t a good place to hang out,’ the same can be said for entrepreneurs and their inboxes. I only check my inbox 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — and only after 4 p.m.
The result is a much more efficient usage of my time and energy, allowing me to focus on growing my business, rather than simply working within it.
Joe Magnotti, CEO, Empire Flippers
Have a schedule and stick to it. What works for me is up early, straight to work until lunch, and the afternoon off with a workout. I use late evenings for project planning and some phone calls. This is an especially effective schedule in Asia, where the time difference makes the middle part of the day useless.
Richard Felix, Jr., founder, Stunning
This may sound counterproductive, but I take a lot of breaks during the work day. I work for 25 minutes, then I go and do something else for 5-10 minutes, then I get back to work for another 25 minutes.
Basically, I use the Pomodoro technique. One of the best things about being my own boss is that I don’t have to appear to be busy for 8 hours in a row. That gives me the freedom to get other things done around the house, take the dog out, etc., while still accomplishing my tasks for the day.
Peter Coppinger, founder, Teamwork
Determine what’s the single most important thing that you need to be working on, and work on that. Exclude or delegate everything else. Every day I check the outstanding tasks in Teamwork Projects and rank them by priority.
Don’t succumb to email. Constantly checking email and replying right away is a big drain on time. I check mine at three stages throughout the day.