Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything today. However, you might be happy to know, there are some simple things you can do to maximize your time and productivity. For starters, have a set routine — that could be a specific time to get coffee in the morning, a brief workout or a process for catching up on emails.
Want more ideas?
As part of Entrepreneur‘s “Guide to Getting More Done Every Day,” check out these 11 productivity secrets from successful entrepreneurs.
“I have a set routine I never break: Get up, walk to a coffee shop, have an espresso. It gets my brain ready to prepare for everything I am doing that day. When I’m home, I take my son, and when I’m traveling, I get to explore a new place.”
— Patrick Quinlan, CEO, compliance management software company Convercent
“At 6 a.m., five days a week, I ride for an hour on a stationary trainer. The meditative state I achieve while working out always sparks new ideas, so I’ve started capturing those thoughts after my rides, either with Siri notes or old-fashioned pen and paper.”
— Neil Grimmer, founder and CEO, personalized nutrition brand Habit
“The Keurig is set to go on at 5:30. I like to have my coffee and check emails before I wake up my children for school. I use this precious time to organize orders, plan warehouse priorities for the day and check in on production. This allows me to go into my day feeling proactive and ready.”
— Sara Stein, founder, gift brand Sisters of Los Angeles
“Fake [listening to]headphones. I have these obnoxiously large, white-and-red headphones that go over my entire ear and can be spotted from miles away. Sometimes I just put them on even if there is no music playing as a signal to leave me alone. Works like a charm. Until my team reads this!”
— Scott Tannen, co-founder and CEO, bedding company Boll & Branch
“Block ‘work time.’ My co-founder Alex and I both carve out 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on our schedules every day and protect it as best we can, so we can get through pressing items and avoid being a bottleneck to the team on outstanding questions.”
— Jordana Kier, cofounder and co-CEO, natural tampon company LOLA
“Everyone steps out of their office at 9 a.m. and shares a piece of good news. It can be professional or personal, as long as it’s office-appropriate. It gets team members into a shared space and allows us to start the day on a high note while getting to know each other and talk about successes.”
— Monica Guzman, COO, public relations firm Konnect Agency
“For our internal executive meetings, if one or more people arrive late, they have to buy lunch for the next meeting. This keeps people on time and gamifies the meeting. We laugh about it with each other every time.”
— John Rubey, CEO, content provider Fathom Events
“If you commute to work on the subway, with limited connectivity, as I do, think of one meaty email you’ve been avoiding writing and give yourself the length of the commute to really dig in. It makes the trip go faster and lets you start your day with a great sense of accomplishment.”
— James Hirschfeld, co-founder and CEO, stationery brand Paperless Post
“We schedule regular 20-minute walking meetings with our colleagues. The limited window forces function and encourages both parties to be efficient in their communications. It’s surprising how many issues can be resolved or clarified in that tight timeframe.”
— Evelyn Rusli, co-founder, baby food brand Yumi
Sometimes you simply can’t get out. “In the office, there’s nothing wrong with doing sets in between calls and meetings. Do 20 squats, 20 jumping jacks.” Bonus points if you break a sweat. (Sorry, work clothes.)
— Martellus Bennett, founder of creative firm The Imagination Agency