Are you like me and wish you had more time in the day to accomplish the tasks that you need to get done? It seems like there are always way more things on my to-do list than there are hours in the day. As busy entrepreneurs, the task list can feel never-ending and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I put together a list of 10 productivity tips to help you get more done in less time so you can avoid overwhelm and burnout.
1. Use Task Managers to Help to Prioritize Tasks
I know one of the things that I struggle with as an entrepreneur is prioritizing tasks and keeping track of all of the things that need to get done. When I started to use a task manager, I was able to sleep better at night because I wasn’t sitting up at night thinking of all of the things that I needed to do tomorrow. For some reason, my brain REALLY likes to come up with great ideas at two a.m.
My mind is much less stressed when I have a place to park all of the things that I want to do. It also helps to cut the list down to a manageable number of tasks each day. I like to try to cram way too many tasks in a day. Then I feel bad when I can only accomplish about a third of them.
My favorite task manager is Any.do. I love this task manager because it is simple and easy-to-use. You can share lists with clients and assign tasks to teammates. (I also like completing tasks because it puts a line through the task.)
A lot of people really like Trello, Asana, or Click-up. If you like to use virtual sticky notes, these might be good options for you. (I find myself spending too much time trying to figure out how to organize everything.) Other popular options are ToDoist and Monday. If you want to read a great review of these different options, check out this in-depth analysis by Studio 1862. There is also nothing wrong with using good old-fashioned paper and pen. Just be sure to find an option that works for you and stick with it. I have spent a lot of time trying different systems. only to go back to my favorite Any.do.
2. Use Client Managers to Automate Repetitive Tasks
Client management software is awesome for managing client information, sending proposals, getting contracts signed, collecting payments, and automating a variety of tasks. My favorite Client Management program is Dubsado. You can use this program to allow clients to schedule meetings with you, collect payments, sign contracts, fill out forms, etc. I’ve automated my entire onboarding and client follow-up process. It is an amazing time saver! You can also use Dubsado to track your income and expenses. If you decide to sign up for Dubsado, use my coupon code to save 20% off your first month.
There are several Client Management systems out there. Think about the things that you would like to automate. Then pick a system that can easily handle those things for you.
If you want to really save time, hire someone to set up these systems for you. It will save you a lot of time and get you up and running more quickly. They can also advise you on best practices and may even have templates that you can use for emails and contracts Etc.
3. Track the Amount of Time That You Are Spending on Tasks
One of the best ways to understand how to improve your time management is to use a time tracker. Once you have a good idea of the tasks that you spend your time on, you can make decisions on how to make better use of your time. My favorite so far is Toggl. You can add an app to your phone. Just open up the app click the record button, enter a task and you are all set. You can even assign tasks to clients or projects. Toggl will show you how you spend your time. If you need to report hours to a client, you can go online, generate reports, and easily send them to clients. It saves a lot of time if you have to send reports of hours.
4. Batch Schedule Content
One common productivity tip is to batch processes. Basically, you take a bunch of the same task and do them all at once. Batching and scheduling social media content is a huge win. There are plenty of schedulers out there that you can use to schedule social media content. Currently, I’m using Later. You can spend a few hours creating content for a week or even a month and then check that off of your to-do list.
I also like to schedule blog posts. I’ve added a plug-in called Nelio Content. it allows you to schedule blog posts. It also allows you to schedule social media posts to promote the blog post. If you pay for the upgrade, it will suggest excerpts that you can use for additional posts. They aren’t always the best, but you can use them to get the creative juices flowing. It has a calendar so you can see all of the scheduled posts.
5. Use Voice to Text
Using voice to text is a big time saver. You can talk a lot faster than you can type. I have only recently started to use this in my business. In fact, this article was written using Google’s voice typing feature. You can easily use this by selecting voice typing under the Tools menu in Google Docs . It was efficient and easy to do. I will definitely be adding this to my tool box for future blog posts.
I also have been using Voxer to send voice messages instead of text messages. The voice to text for text messages on my iPhone is not very good. It is so much faster to send a voice message using Voxer. I also like hearing the inflection in the person’s voice. It gives me a much greater sense of what their meaning was. You can say a lot in a 1-minute Voxer message. It would take you so much longer to type that much text. Additionally, you can speed up the Voxer messages when you play them. It saves a lot of time. You can get an app for your phone or log in to the Voxer website on your computer to send and receive messages while you are working.
6. Add a Spell Check/Grammar Check Program
I highly recommend using a grammar checking program. I use Grammarly. As someone who writes a lot for a living, I was a little hesitant to install a grammar checking program. I thought that I was pretty efficient at that, I was wrong. Grammarly has helped me to be a more efficient writer and spend less time editing. With Grammarly’s help, I can save my energy for creating content instead of editing it.
7. Save Your Passwords in a Password Keeper
If you were like me, you can’t remember the passwords that you have for anything. I can’t tell you how much time I have spent resetting passwords. It’s super annoying. It’s also a huge waste of time. One of my favorite applications is called LastPass. It saves all of your passwords in a password-protected vault and adds them to websites at your request. Additionally, if you need to give someone access to an account, you can send them an invitation. They can get into the account, but don’t have the username and password. It’s very easy to remove access if they no longer need it.
8. Remember to Take Breaks
This productivity tip seems counterintuitive, but taking breaks can improve your productivity. Much research has been done that shows that human brains accomplish more if we work in shorter blocks of time. It is recommended that you take a short break every 25 minutes. This is called the Pomodoro Technique. To-Doist has a great article on it. You can even find timers that will help you with this. I use an app called Forest. you set the amount of time that you want to work and for every block of time that you complete, Forest plants a tree. If you pick up your phone, the tree dies. It reminds you to take a break when the block of time is over.
9. Do Keyword Research Before You Write the Blog Post
This is one of my favorite productivity tips. It’s really easy to get attached to a blog post idea. Before you start researching the post or put a lot of time into it, do some keyword research and see if it’s something people are looking for. It is a huge time-waster to write a blog post that no one is going to see. One of the best research tools that I have found for this is Ubersuggest. Only does it give you the number of searches per day, but it also gives you backlinks, content ideas, number of posts to Facebook, and Pinterest as well. It makes it really easy to see if something is worth spending time on or if you should consider other ideas.
10. Outsource Tasks that You Aren’t Good At
I’ve already alluded to it earlier in this article, but the best way to save time as an overwhelmed entrepreneur by outsourcing. It’s so easy to waste a ton of time trying to do things that you aren’t good at. Sometimes, the person that you hire to do a task can do it 10 times faster than you can and may even get you better results. How much is your time worth to you?
These are just a few of the productivity tips that I came up with. There are lots of ways to use technology to reduce the amount of time that you spend on tasks or at least manage your time better. They won’t work unless you use them. Let me know which ones you try and how they work for you.
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