3 Steps to a Productive Work Day for Entrepreneurs
As I have talked about I recently left my day job and started working from an office on my online business full time.
With my new schedule I have tried to make myself as productive as possible.
This (intentionally short) post is the 3 keys I have found to ensuring I have a productive day…
- Do the most important/biggest/ONE task first thing in the morning
- Have a plan for the day
- Have a schedule for the day
ONE – Do the ONE most important thing first. Whatever spin you put on it (the one thing book, eat that frog book or robin sharmas 1/90/90 plan)… All the advice points to basically the same plan: pick the most important/biggest nastiest task that will make all other tasks easier or irrelevant and work on it first thing when you start your workday until it is completed or 1.5-2.5hrs has passed. I have found that days when I do this I look back on the day and not only did I get more done at the start of the day the momentum carries over to the rest of the day.
TWO – Have a Plan – The second most important part of being productive is my evening/weekend work where I continue to try and have all emails well handled before I turn in for the night and have a detailed plan including knowing before I sleep what my first big task of the day is going to be. This evening work combined with having a plan sets me up for the next day to be fully productive. The hidden benefit of listing out all the work I plan to do including picking the major task I am going to tackle first thing in the morning is that I feel very well prepared to handle it in the morning while my subconscious has been chewing on the problem/project all night.
THREE – Have a Schedule – One of the concerns of having more time was that I would end up being in a position to not be efficient with my time. To try and overcome this I have decided to make sure my work hours are fixed so that I am forced to get as much done in the time I have and fight Parkinsons Law “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” from allowing tasks to take over my entire day.
Like most things in life the steps to achieve improved productivity are simple but not easy to follow consistently.
I am still improving and have a lot of room to improve especially on getting more consistent with sleep, diet (more energy building foods like vegetables and less energy draining sugary snacks) and exercise (not too intense or too little – the balance is tough).
What are your personal keys to having a productive day?
Thanks jon for this great post, am guilty of starting my day lazy… Am from africa and already a full time blogger/niche site builder. Yet i start my day lazy which means i end up doing nothing fruitful at the end of the week.
Infact i have a site one page one 8-10 for 5months, and my lazilness caused me to leave it with no work done, no improvement when its in a niche where i made $1500-$2000 a month last year.
Thanks for this post, its meant for me
Hi Paul, I definitely understand where you are coming from. There are certainly some sites of mine that I have neglected over the years that I shouldn’t have! Good luck building your up!
I have definitely found that my work expands as far as I will let it. I am starting at a co-working office at the end of august to try and combat this as well.
Hi Ethan, good luck with combating Parkinsons law!
Ive been doing top 3 list most days plus using the Pomodoro timer for 25minutes of intense work. I also have a weekly planning sit down, what went well, wins, challenges, lessons learned and using the dot system to track exercise, meditation and the things above. Works very well 🙂
Jon…. just what I needed! I actually got the book you talk about and I’ve been eating those frogs…. Ughhhh! But what a difference in my results. Instead of wishing I had completed my list for the day, I’m getting stuff done!
Tony Robbins talks about what you have here and in the video: Action > Results > Belief > Potential > back to Action and so on. It’s a snowball or domino effect (80/20). Eating the biggest baddest frog first thing in the morning motivates me to do more, which I do. My one goal for the day is to eat that frog, the rest comes after the results.
Thanks for the motivation and resources! And thanks for sharing this post!
I think the key of productivity is focus. When you focus, you can finish the one big task so well.
Productivity people has strong discipline, the thing that I must practice and train myself everyday, Jon.
Thank for sharing 😉
Having a schedule for the day is very important. Otherwise, one will just ended up doing nothing throughout the day.