Ever feel like you have too much to do, but no matter how productive you are, your list never seems to get shorter? As an entrepreneur, solopreneuer, business owner, or side hustler – you’re constantly juggling multiple tasks a day. If you’re reading this going, “I need to maximize my time so I can take weekends off!” I’m about to share 20 productivity tips for entrepreneurs of all stages.
The tips I’ve compiled in this blog post are a mixture of healthy habits, small lifestyle tweaks, tips to joyfully encourage discipline, and tech tools.
Combining these elements together will increase your productivity, help you manage your time more efficiently, and free up your evenings and weekends so you can truly achieve complete work-life balance.
20 Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs of All Stages
Being an entrepreneur and business owner is hard, no matter what stage you’re at. Particularly when you’re in the bootstrapping stages, you’re often juggling a 9-5 job and your passions at the same time.
I’ve organized this post by categories. So whether you’re a full-time content creator, a freelancer or service provider who works remotely, a CEO running a multi 6-7 figure business, or a blogger with a packed travel schedule…
There’s something here that’ll help you make the best use of your time so you’re not scrambling with deadlines or neglecting projects.
10 General Productivity Tips for Entrepreneurs of All Levels
Let’s begin with some general productivity tips for entrepreneurs and business owners. These tips apply to you, regardless of your stage of business.
1 – Avoid Looking At Your Phone When You Wake Up
The key to a productive day depends on how you begin it. It’s a natural instinct for anyone with a smartphone to reach out for it first thing in the morning. Especially if your alarms are set on your phone.
But looking at your phone immediately after waking up forces your brain to skip several important steps. This drives your brain right into a state that’s primed for distractions.
Plus, if you happen to scroll over news that’s negative, this will significantly impact your mood negatively for the rest of the day.
This is a great article that explains the scientific research behind the negative effects of scrolling on your phone.
Personal tip: I started putting my phone on Airplane mode the night before. That way, my phone isn’t buzzing first thing in the morning, and I’m able to ignore it for at least an hour.
2 – Establish a Success-Driven Morning Routine
It’s easier than you think. One step you can take to establish a success-driven morning routine is avoiding your phone (as mentioned above).
The rest of your morning routine is entirely up to you! Figure out what it is you need in order to set the tone for the rest of your day. I personally enjoy reading a page of the Daily Stoic, getting movement in my body by taking a walk, journaling, and meditating.
For you, it might look like a 10-minute stretch, reading a book, and making a cup of tea. No matter what, create your morning routine around activities that make you feel energized and in a positive state of mind.
3 – Capture Your Ideas On the Go
Entrepreneurs are always coming up with fresh ideas for their businesses. However, capturing these fleeting thoughts can be difficult if you don’t have a system in place.
Whether it’s your Notes app on your phone, a physical notebook you carry around, or the voice memo app – come up with a method of capturing and organizing your ideas when they crop up.
4 – Prioritize Your Hobbies
For the longest time, my business made up 90% of my life. The other 10%? That’s packed with a busy travel schedule that eventually took a toll on my body. (Anyone else no longer able to catch a red eye flight and explore the next day? Maybe it’s just a result of getting older.)
After moving to Los Angeles, I rediscovered my passions and prioritized my hobbies aside from work. This might sound counterintuitive – especially in a blog post about productivity as an entrepreneur, but it’ll surprise you how much time away discovering other passions can improve your work.
Making time for your hobbies minimizes burnout and keeps your work boundaries up. This means you’re less likely to drop the ball on projects and maximize your time spent working on tasks.
5 – Time Block Your Week
Organizing your calendar into blocks of time is a strategic way to stay proactive in your business (and life). The idea behind it is to organize your time into categories.
Most people would organize their time on their calendar into the tasks they must do. But with time blocking, you’ll batch similar tasks into a chunk of time, instead of spreading them throughout the day in many small bursts.
Time blocking increases your productivity by keeping you in the flow state of similar tasks. By avoiding task switching (hopping from different tasks of different natures), your brain has more time to adapt to the project at hand.
This is the key to getting more done in less time.
6 – Minimize Distractions That Cause You to Be Reactive
Distractions are inevitable in the workday. It’s unrealistic to cut off all distractions, especially if you’re a busy mom with kids, or even a dog mom (we all know unexpected spells of indigestion happen).
The key isn’t to get rid of all distractions entirely. It’s to minimize the distractions that you can control. For instance, setting time aside to respond to emails and texts is one way to minimize reactivity.
That way, you’re not distracted by responding to messages while in work mode.
7 – Give Your Brain a Break
Taking breaks throughout your work day is necessary. It reduces the urge to give in to distractions while giving your brain a much-needed boost throughout the day.
One of my favorite tools to help me time my work and breaks is the Pomodoro extension on Google Chrome. The prefixed setting is 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break.
On the 4th repetition of this cycle, your break is then extended to 15 minutes.
You can always set your preferred time on the tool if you prefer to work in longer or shorter bursts. So play around with it, find out what works for you, and watch your focus transform in just a short amount of time.
8 – Utilize Technology and Automate Where You Can
It’s 2023, and we’re fully immersed in the digital world. This means there’s most likely an app, tool, or device to help you automate things in your life.
I’ll dive into specifics later on in this post, where I share productivity tips for different stages of entrepreneurship. But some of my favorite tools for every business owner are:
- LastPass – for password storage
- Notion – organize your business, life, content, everything
- iCloud or Google Drive – gone are the days of backing everything up on an external hard drive
- Focus mode on the iPhone – have a hard time ignoring your phone while you work? Put a focus on!
- Google Calendar – my preferred way of keeping track of appointments and tasks
- Hatch alarm clock – this isn’t really a tool for automation, but it wakes you up gently by mimicking a sunrise. Plus, it gives you more reason to leave your phone for later in the day.
9 – Find Joyful Ways to Cultivate Discipline
We’ve heard it before – the secret to consistency is discipline. But what’s the secret to discipline?
Personally, I believe it’s joy. It’s what kept me accountable in the beginning stages of my business. Even though I was sacrificing my evenings and weekends as I created content, pitched myself for brand collaborations, and slowly scaled my business…
I wouldn’t have dedicated myself to it while juggling a 9-5 if I didn’t feel deep in my soul that this is a joyful endeavor.
That’s not to say that every little action you perform is joyful. Let’s face it, some days, you’re not going to feel “in the mood,” and things are going to feel tough.
But as long as the goal is towards something joyful – such as building a business you’re passionate about, then the discipline will come because of your deeper, more fulfilling purpose.
10 – Establish Your Non-Negotiables
Say it with me… If it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “no.”
Establishing your non-negotiables is important to upholding boundaries and protecting your energy. It’s tempting, especially in the early stages of entrepreneurship, to over-commit to projects.
While I believe there’s no harm in trying something new that you’re unsure about, saying “yes” to things you know aren’t in alignment with you, your values, and your goals, can drain your physical and mental battery.
And if you’re already resistant to the task, you can expect procrastination to follow. Take your time to learn what your boundaries are. Explore projects to find out what lights you up.
But if you encounter a task that drains your energy, set a boundary around it so you can focus your time and efforts in the direction you want to go.
5 Productivity Tips for Multi 6 to 7-Figure CEOs and Entrepreneurs
Since starting my blog in 2016, I’ve gone through several stages of entrepreneurship. From juggling a 9-5 and dedicating time to my side hustle (content creation and blogging), to scaling into online courses, and building a multi-7-figure business as an online educator…
Here are 15 more productivity tips to meet you wherever you’re at in your business. Let’s start with business owners, online course creators, coaches, and more who are scaling their empires.
I get it. This one’s a little controversial. But I’m not asking you to copy and paste the output from ChatGPT to create content.
However, using ChatGPT as a tool for market research can save you a lot of time. The key here is to feed it well. Because the output of ChatGPT is only as valuable as the input.
Here are some ways you can use ChatGPT to streamline your research process:
- Statistics – Ask it for significant statistics in your niche or industry. But do your due diligence to fact-check it.
- Expert references to back up your claims – Again, fact-check it because A.I. does tend to falsify claims.
- Content ideas – Be specific about it. Ask ChatGPT for trending topics and ideas for your audience.
- Customer insights – Use it to ask questions about your ideal customer to get to know them better.
- Sales and positioning – Dive deep into specifics regarding the benefits of your products or services. This will help you write copy for sales pages, emails, and more.
A.I. is a powerful tool that can streamline your research process. However, human intelligence and empathy is at the core of building authentic, meaningful, and long-lasting relationships with you and your customers.
P.S. In case you were wondering – Team CG doesn’t implement the use of A.I. in any copy or content you see. Real human empathy and connection are important to the relationships we foster. However, we leverage these tools ethically to streamline our creative process.
It’s why you’ll read very specific stories in my emails – stuff ChatGPT could never dream up.
Credit: Suneera Madhani
Outsource and Delegate Tasks
A crucial part of scaling your business is knowing when to outsource and delegate tasks.
Using the Eisenhower Matrix, pinpoint which tasks you need to delegate first. The Eisenhower Matrix is broken down into 4 categories:
- Not important
- Not urgent
Filling in the tasks according to the 4 quadrants will help you decide how to delegate and outsource where it matters most.
Set Meeting Agendas
Hosting a “that could’ve been an email” meeting isn’t just a waste of time and productivity; it could drain your team members of their energy.
Creating and following a meeting agenda will help you stay on course. Furthermore, you might realize that the meeting you requested could have been an email.
Foster Alignment and Team Culture
When your team operates smoothly, your business accomplishes more. Fostering alignment and team culture is crucial to understanding each member’s role.
This allows for efficiency in production and project fulfillment, but it also makes working a more joyful experience. It also keeps morale high when working with a completely remote and virtual team.
A page out of Team CG’s playbook – host quarterly team events! We’ve done virtual cooking classes, virtual trivia night, and a tarot card reading.
Communicating with your team and keeping everyone in the loop is crucial for your team’s success.
5 Productivity Tips for Solopreneurs, Freelancers, and Service Providers
Optimizing your productivity can feel daunting when you’re running the show solo. Here are 5 productivity tips that worked for me back when I was building my business as a solopreneur.
Invest in the Right Tools
Don’t be afraid to invest in the right tools. This can streamline time-consuming tasks like your onboarding process.
It can also help you keep track of your most urgent tasks, especially when juggling work for several clients.
Here are some popular tools to test out:
While the paid versions of these softwares definitely have more powerful and robust capabilities, signing up for the free trial to test things out can help you decide which tool is right for you.
Invest in Your Growth
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to invest in your growth.
This will save you so much time as it’ll help you get where you want to grow faster than if you were to Google your answers.
Invest in online courses, coaches, or mastermind programs and learn from those who have been where you want to go.
Not only will you have proven strategies to replicate, but you’ll also learn what not to do instead of testing it out for yourself and learning it over the course of a few months (if not years).
Avoid Task Switching
One of the biggest mistake productivity pitfalls is switching between tasks.
For example, if you’re working on a launch strategy plan for an upcoming online course or product, you don’t want to switch gears and get sidetracked with content creation suddenly.
Not only will this disrupt your process and productivity, but it’ll also suck up a lot of time as your brain switches from strategy to creative mode.
This is where time blocking comes in handy. Carve out chunks of time on your Google Calendar where you’re doing the same types of tasks in a larger timeframe. If you’re going to film some Reels, set aside a large window of time to batch your Reels for two or more weeks.
Find a Community of Like-Minded People
Being a solopreneur affords you lots of wonderful opportunities and freedom. But the one downside is that the motivation and inspiration fall entirely on your shoulders.
Finding community is essential for your productivity. That’s because you’re not going through a journey that only you would understand.
Other solopreneurs and freelancers might not provide the same service as you, but they know your specific struggles of running the show yourself. From landing clients to growing your business – having a peer to offer support and insight is invaluable.
It’ll also motivate you to keep pushing forward, especially when things get tough.
Find a Base to Work From
If you’re working remotely or working from home, finding a space that increases your focus can boost your productivity.
You want your space to be functional, comfortable, and fits your working preferences. Some freelancers enjoy working at home and in silence. Whereas others feel more productive when they set aside 3 hours to get their work done at a cafe.
Whether you’re renting a coworking space, finding a new cafe to sit down for a few hours, or creating a work corner in your home that you genuinely enjoy spending time in, establishing a working environment that gets you in a flow state is a great hack.
5 Productivity Tips for Content Creators and Bloggers (Full-Time and Part-Time)
Last but not least, here are 5 productivity tips for content creators and bloggers. This is for you if you’re currently working full-time as a creative, or if you’re starting a side hustle that you’re passionate about.
Use a Scheduling Tool
If you’re not using a scheduling tool for your content publication, you’re throwing hours every week away.
From Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and more, social media scheduling tools do so much more than hit “publish” on your post. You can also opt for platforms that provide analytics and insight, such as Later.
There are a variety of free and paid scheduling tools, including:
- Meta Business Suite (free – Instagram and Facebook)
- Tailwind (for Pinterest)
- Later (Instagram and TikTok)
- HootSuite (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn)
This is a great Chrome extension for content creators. It works by keeping tabs on who opens your email and who doesn’t.
If you’re diligent about pitching for brand partnerships and collaborations, MailTrack will tell you whether the recipient has opened your email. This is helpful for your pitching efforts, so you know exactly who to follow up with, when.
Be Mindful of Media Consumption
Spending a lot of time on social media can hinder your mental health and mindset. Scrolling mindlessly can inadvertently push you into comparison mode, making you feel like you aren’t worthy enough or as good as the person you’re comparing yourself to.
As a content creator, spending time on social media to get to know your audience is crucial. However, you’re also a consumer of social media yourself.
Be mindful of the time you spend and implement social media breaks. It’s healthy to unplug every now and then to increase your productivity in the long run by avoiding burnout.
Batching your content ahead of time shaves hours of work off your week. It’ll also keep you in proactive mode – where you’re carefully strategizing your content ahead of time, instead of scrambling at the last minute just because you need to get a post up.
I have a great post about building an effective content calendar that will help you batch a month’s worth of content in as little as a day.
And if working smarter is what you’re about, here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you repurpose content like a pro.
Oh! I’ve also got a post about timeless Reels/TikTok ideas that’ll never go out of style, saving you hours of trend hunting and research.
SOPs, or “standard operating procedures,” is a great way to streamline the different processes of your business.
You can create an SOP for every touchpoint of your creative business, from:
- Conceptualizing and brainstorming content ideas
- Research TikTok and Reels trends
- Writing captions
- Writing blog posts
- Keyword research and SEO
- Email marketing
- Pitching for brand collaborations
- Filming content
- Shooting content
The list goes on and on.
Simply break down the process of each touch point into step-by-step instructions. While it may seem irrelevant to you know, this will be an incredibly valuable resource when you’re ready to make your first hire.
Not only will you know exactly how to delegate a task to your new team member, but they’ll be set up for success with detailed SOPs.
Take the Productivity Tips You Need and Leave What You Don’t
There are 20 productivity tips for entrepreneurs at all levels, but you don’t need to use every single one.
Because no productivity tip, hack, or trick will work if you don’t stay consistent with it.
Remember, the key to discipline and productivity is joy. If you’re happy and content with the habits you’re implementing, the more likely you are to stick with them. The more likely you are to stay consistent with them, you stand to reap more benefits and success from your efforts.
Read through this post, save it for later, and find your own unique blend of productivity hacks that work for you. These are just a few of my go-to recommendations, so try them out to see if they work for you, too!