I've spent a lot of time as an entrepreneur, but these seven hacks are some of the best tricks I've found.
As an entrepreneur, productivity is absolutely indispensable. You have so many tasks, so many responsibilities, and so many people pulling you in different directions that a dip in productivity, even a temporary one, can leave you high and dry. Raw forces to increase productivity, like putting in more hours or forcing yourself to work harder, aren't good long-term measures to increase the amount of work you produce because they have a tendency to exhaust and frustrate you over time. Instead, rely on simple tricks to make your life easier.
These seven tricks, in particular, have helped me through countless hard situations:
1. Isolate yourself for bursts of time. Communication is important, but it's also distracting. If you have an important project or task to work on, try shutting off your phone and Internet access for short bursts of time, like half an hour. This is especially helpful in eliminating other online distractions.
2. Shorten (or eliminate) meetings. Meetings are also important, but seldom are they as important as everyone thinks they are. The next time you're up for a meeting, see if you can cancel it and replace it with a detailed email. If not, try to shorten it. You'll save hours of your life this way.
3. Walk away from tough problems. If you're like me, when you face a tough problem, you want to sit down and stick it out until it's solved. But I've found that walking away from it and taking a break is a better approach. It allows your mind to decompress so you can come back to the problem with a fresh mind and greater focus.
4. Utilize your commute time. Don't waste the time you spend driving to and from work. Put on the news or have a phone meeting with one of your colleagues.
5. Set up micro-goals. Instead of focusing on completing "the project," break the project down into smaller tasks and goals, and focus on completing those goals individually. It makes any job far more manageable.
6. Shelve the unnecessary tasks. If something doesn't demand your immediate attention, don't pay attention to it. Put off those low-priority tasks indefinitely and focus on what counts right now.
7. Learn to delegate effectively. You're surrounded with people who work for you or with you. Don't be afraid to delegate some of your work responsibly.
If you can incorporate these productivity hacks into your position as a leader or entrepreneur, I guarantee you'll get more done in the long run.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.
This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.