Have you ever wondered why some entrepreneurs can be so productive, even though they only have the same number of hours as you in the day?
Want to be able to be as productive as them, so you can lead the life you truly want?
We’ve put together a list of things that successful entrepreneurs are good at and build into their working lives. By taking one or leaves out of their book, you’ll enhance your career, your home life and your future self, as well.
1. Have a vision
Entrepreneurs have an end goal for their company and a vision for what they want to achieve. This helps them focus on the what are the most important tasks that need to get done on a day-to-day basis and allows them to stay PRODUCTIVE rather than busy.
Furthermore, because they have clear goals, they have a sense of purpose which can help them be persistent and have a positive mindset. In the long run, they can concentrate and work on something more consistently than you or I can.
And this is what ultimately pays off for them in the end.
What is your goal for your career?
What do you want to achieve in your career? Is it to keep developing your abilities? Is it to be the authority on a subject? Is it to use your knowledge to help others?
Knowing what you want from your career and reminding yourself of your WHY is a great way to keep yourself motivated, and forward your career. You'll be excited about your future prospects and therefore achieve more.
Plan for today, tomorrow, this month and this year.
Entrepreneurs know what they are trying to achieve at every stage.
But it also means planning for every eventuality and being flexible if need be.
An easy trick to hop on the planning bandwagon is for you to plan your next day just before you leave work in the evening. It's the last task you'll do. This one thing will make you far more productive as it means that when you come in in the morning you can start right back at working, rather than having to think about where you left off yesterday and what more you need to do.
For now, you could just have a list of all the things you need to do for the day.
However, if you're someone that called into meetings often and need to be here, there and everywhere with your time, you could instead have 'one big task' for the day, that if you accomplish will stand you in good stead.
Once again, this is taking a leaf out of a successful entrepreneur's book in that they use their time wisely.
As we've already said, entrepreneurs only have the same hours in the day as us mere mortals, so they are good at using their time in a way that helps them accomplish everything they set out to.
They may do this in a variety of ways, for example, by setting a routine for themselves so that they don’t have to worry about what to wear or eat or what type of exercise to do and can focus on the work.
They might use productivity methods such as:
- time batching - putting together all their similar tasks to do at the same time
- time blocking - blocking out time in their diaries to focus on work that requires concentration
- the 'eat the frog' method - to help them focus on their top priorities for the day
- setting their own deadlines - so work actually gets completed
They might also have the luxury of scheduling their days so that they can put in the work when they know they can function best. For example, if they can concentrate for hours on end in the morning, they might schedule their meetings for the afternoon when they can sit with a coffee and other people, rather than put their head down and get stuff done.
3. Schedule daily learning
The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to be on top of their game, and the only way that they can do this is to continue learning. This might be through staying on top of their industry, or through the learning of new technology which is going to speed up their business processes.
Whatever it is, entrepreneurs stay one step ahead of others.
How could you do this to enhance your career?
Could you also schedule half an hour of your day to dedicate to reading more about your industry or role? If not, another idea would be to create a short playlist of TED talks that are worth you watching. When you have some downtime, either at home or at work, you can pull out your list and get started.
Or there might be an online course that you’d like to take?
If you want to take this aspect to the next level, why not ask your line manager if there’s any funding to help you improve and develop certain skills that are in line with what the company needs?
4. Keep track of progress
As well as planning, entrepreneurs also keep track of what’s working and what’s not. This means that they can quickly pivot if something is not going their way.
Being nimble and able to pivot is such an important part of any company’s journey.
Think about the progress of your company and your place within it.
What's not working as well as it could in your company? Are there new technologies you think putting into place will help you or the company as a whole?
Are there drastic changes to your industry, and will your company soon need to pivot? What can you do to stay relevant? What will your position be when your company pivots?
5. Take time to do other things
As well as excelling in the workplace, entrepreneurs also take time to do the things they enjoy outside of work.
Other than enjoying the company of their friends and family, or indulging in their hobbies, entrepreneurs know that they are in it for the long slog and that having other interests is a great way to keep up that motivation in the long term.
Furthermore, it's a well-known fact, that having diversity in one's life is a great way to be more creative. As acknowledged in David Epstein's book, Range, Nobel laureates are 22 times more likely than others to have serious hobbies unrelated to their work.
Additionally, Tim Harford in Messy, proposes a theory for creativity and hence problem-solving, and suggests that it's all down to unexpected connections. So the more you know about many different things, the more likely you are able to solve that pernickety problem.
Remember that life is not all about work and you're more likely to have a breakthrough in your career if you also put your energy into different things.
6. Take care of their physical and mental health
Entrepreneurship is all about the long haul. And that requires motivation and the ability not to end up burnt out.
Entrepreneurs make sure that they are physically and mentally healthy as they know that in the long term it’s so much better for productivity.
Sure, they might have late nights, even late nights over a whole year, but to survive in the long term, they’ll ensure that they get enough sleep, exercise, eat well and maintain friendships.
What are you going to do to rest and recover from work?
7. Encourage others
Behind every top entrepreneur is a talented team. Entrepreneurs realise that they can’t do everything. But getting a better understanding of where they really excel and then bringing in a fantastic, well-thought-through team that can work with them to create their vision is what entrepreneurship is really all about.
As an individual, you can understand where your talents lie and use them to your best advantage in the workplace. Volunteer if you think you can do a good job on something that no one else can, and you’ll see your position within the company go far.
8. Don’t beat themselves up if they have a bad day
Finally, we all have bad days, and that’s no different for an entrepreneur. Rather than beating themselves up about it, they acknowledge that it’s happened and move on.
You should take a leaf out of their book and move on too.
What are you going to take away from the habits of entrepreneurs? What can you easily start in your life that will help you excel in your career?