What key strategy do you have to stay productive and at work when you are busy at work and have things to do?
These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization made up of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. YEC members represent almost every industry, generate billions in revenue every year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Use a traffic light system for availability
Eliminating distractions is the first task. I use a traffic light system: a traffic light above my office door shows red when I’m on the phone or unavailable, yellow only for urgent matters, and green for my open door policy. This has been customized by our team members in Slack when they change their status to indicate availability and it helps instill respect among their peers by setting clear boundaries.
– Shay Berman, Digital Resource
2. Make a comprehensive to-do list
It’s really easy to get distracted even if you’re the best at multitasking. I find that making a to-do list helps me visualize my day. I prioritize the important projects and then block time slots for the remaining tasks. What is really great is the feeling of accomplishment when you tick off completed tasks. At the end of the day my planner is full of doodles, but what a wonderful mess!
– Andrew Saladino, kitchen cabinet kings
3. Prioritize your tasks first thing in the morning
I would make a to-do list for the next day the night before. I would check the list in the morning to prioritize before the work day starts and leave the list where it is visible during my work. It reminds me to be on the right track when derailed from my job. When I get distracted, I take a short break and come back to regain focus.
– Meeky Hwang, Ndevr, Inc.
4. Build in on time for distractions
Budget limited time for your favorite distractions and tasks. There should be tasks that are negotiable and non-negotiable. Reward yourself for every task you complete. For each two-hour task, allow at least 30 minutes to a maximum of an hour for your favorite distraction. Instead of making excuses to get distracted, find ways to be rewarded with the chance to have a good time.
– Daisy Jing, banish
5. Concentrate on one task at a time
People tend to multitask when a certain amount of work needs to be done in a short amount of time. Organizations often lose productivity due to multitasking, which inevitably affects sales. When you’re on the right track and fully immersed in a task, your productivity is at its peak. So drop everything and focus on one task at a time.
– Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
6. Divide tasks into groups
To stay productive when I’m very busy, I divide my tasks into groups: one critical task, three medium-sized tasks, and five smaller tasks. You can change the number based on how much you need to accomplish that day, but it generally works for me when I have a lot on my plate. I can focus on one thing and rest assured that I have a plan to get everything done on time.
– Jared Atchison, WPForms
7. Listen to music that promotes productivity
To stay productive, I played focus-specific music designed to help you get a lot done in a short amount of time. Some examples are the music on Brain.fm or classical music playlists on YouTube. These somehow help me stay at work and finish my to-do list faster.
– Stephanie Wells, impressive shapes
8. Prioritize a healthy lifestyle
One overlooked productivity hack is a healthy lifestyle. Numerous studies show a direct connection between health and mental acuity. Make time every day to exercise and clear your mind, even if it’s just a walk. Eat clean all day so that you don’t feel sluggish in the afternoon. When you take care of your body and give it the right fuel and exercise, you can keep your focus a lot easier.
– Shaun Conrad, guitar repair bank
9. Turn off your phone
Turn off your phone when you want to focus. Put it out of your physical reach. I promise you the messages and calls can wait most of the time. If you have an assistant, let them know you don’t want to be disturbed for an hour, or how long it will be to complete your priority project. We all live in a world full of distracting habits, rings and alarm banners. Turn off the noise.
– Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
10. Break off part of your day
Disconnect your wifi and cut out a part of your day if it really matters. By disconnecting you will avoid distractions. Canceling any part of your meeting gives you time to not only make yourself productive but also more creative.
– Adam Crawshaw, Congregation
11. Find your rhythm
Productivity is about finding a rhythm for me. When I feel “out”, I find it difficult to do my best. I’ve found that small but important things like breakfast, music, and a space to stretch my legs all help to maintain my energy. This allows me to stay productive from the start of my work until the end of the day.
– John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
12. Take short breaks
Take breaks, even if they are small. This may not seem intuitive, but it is not. When you try to do 20 things in a day and go full blast from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Without a break, you might think you’re doing things, but actually you’re not. Take a break, take a breather every few hours, and be sure that you are getting things done with a high level of quality.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
13. Start with your most difficult task
Focus. If you want to do many things well in one day, you have to do them one by one. Before you start the day, you should know all of the tasks that you need to do that day. Start with the hardest and most important thing before doing anything else. That way, you can get important work done every day over the long term and keep your productivity high.
– Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS