It’s 5 P.M. on a Thursday. You are feeling beyond tired and are sitting at your desk after having four back-to-back meetings all morning. Your last project didn’t go as well as you had planned, and your extremely talented but difficult-to-understand millennial worker is bugging you for a promotion after only six months with the company. Sound familiar? It’s safe to say you are stressed out, as any CEO would be, in the constant roller coaster ride of being an entrepreneur. Fortunately, there are some methods or ‘hacks’ that can help us utilize the limited time we do have and turn it into productive and efficient work.
Create a mind map
A mind map is used to outline the information that you store in your mind onto an easy-to-use diagram. The main goal of mind mapping is to help CEOs focus on one project at a time, without ever losing sight of the main objective. Creating a mind map will allow you to prioritize and realize what is most important to you. Try an online mind mapping tool, rather than creating a mind map on paper, to avoid having a messy diagram with constantly crossed out sections.
Create a To-Do list
Use a Visual Project Management tool like Kanbanery or Trello, to create to-do lists that map out all of your tasks on the same page, and delegate these tasks to your employees. These organizational tools are easy to use, and the to-do lists created are sharable with your employees. This allows them to stay up to date as well. Most importantly, these tools will help CEOs avoid hearing the dreaded question of “What am I supposed to be doing again?”
Track how you use your time online
Download “RescueTime” to keep track of how much time you spend doing particular activities online. RescueTime provides weekly email reports showing you how much time you spend on certain sites, such as Twitter or YouTube. The results may shock you and motivate you to spend less time on distracting sites.
Block out Distractions
First thing to do is set your iPhone and Mac to “Do Not Disturb” mode, where all alerts, vibrations and sounds are turned off. The next hack is to use the free app “SelfControl” to create a list of websites you consider distracting, and block out those websites for a set period of time. This tool will give you no way to reach those websites until the time expires. If this blocking method seems too heinous to you, then you can try Pocket. This app allows you to save content (articles, websites, videos etc.) that you find online and view it on any of your devices later when you have free time.
Outsource small tasks to small service marketplaces
If you have a certain task that needs attention, but don’t feel comfortable enough (or don’t trust any of your employees to complete the task) then you should take advantage of small service/freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr, ODesk and Elance. It’s interesting to see what tasks you can get done with only $5 bucks.
Delegate a certain day of the week as a “No-Meetings Day”
“No Meeting Wednesdays” is a concept that Facebook implemented in order to allow at least one day of the week where everyone can do task work uninterrupted. This hack doesn’t have to be a strict rule but more of a guideline. Common sense judgment is needed here, as there will obviously be times where a meeting is needed during this time, but there should be a conscious effort to try to keep this particular day meeting-free.
Work on Sunday Night
According to Bharath Kumar M., the co-founder of Pugmarks.me, Sunday night may be one of the best times to get stuff done. There are no distractions or meetings, time with your family has been spent, your family is most likely asleep, and you are loaded with ideas from the time you have had to think about your company for the past two days. After a successful Sunday night work session, you can go into the Monday work day feeling confident and ready for anything that the day brings.
One of the simplest ways to be more productive is to take some time every morning, before you go to work, to reflect on all the things you have accomplished in your life. Realize the value and worth of your accomplishments, current projects and dreams. This will help put you in a good mood for the rest of your morning. Beginning the day positive and grateful is a huge help in getting your best work done.
Image Credit: http://www.mindtools.com/