Pablo Picasso once said “Action is the foundation key to all success.” As an entrepreneur, you know this all too well. If there is action, there will be production and, as a result, money in the bank. The more productive you and your employees are, theoretically, the better off your company will be as a result. But determining how to improve productivity isn’t always so straightforward–unless you were Henry Ford, of course.
Even if you know some ways to improve your productivity, you may not have the time to pull it off. Many entrepreneurs realize that they could double their or their employees’ hours, in order to double productivity. But let’s be honest: that would not only drain you, but it could be quite costly. Luckily, there are ways you can double your productivity in half the time!
Here are my top three ways for doubling your productivity in half the time:
1. Work in spurts. This is something I learned form my daughter. It’s little, but the results are significant. Many kids try to cram studying for tests into a 5- or 6-hour intense, last-minute session. The problem with this is that, within 60 minutes, so much information gets jumbled up in their heads that the benefits of ongoing studying rapidly diminish. Add to this that our minds and bodies are designed for short spurts of effort and then breaks for recovery. Long, sustained periods of pure work simply don’t work! So, as strange as it may sound, the biggest key to productivity is working on projects for short periods (60 minutes) and then taking a true break. Get up and go for a 20-minute walk. Then do push-ups or pull-ups. Don’t want to move? Then just close your eyes and chill. The key is to give yourself a long enough break for your mind to totally and completely stop thinking about work. And make sure you don’t get interrupted, which means no phones and no distractions.
2. Nap. I’m serious about this one, so hear me out. You know that time in the early afternoon when you get snoozy and struggle to stay awake? Well, guess what? Your body is telling you to get some sleep! In fact, if you allow yourself a good 30- to 60-minute nap, you will be recharged and far more productive in the afternoon. Many studies report that you need 8 hours of sleep every night. But even with that, you will probably find you are really tired as afternoon approaches. Getting a nice afternoon nap will still give you your 8 hours total (take 7 at night and 1 during your naptime). You will be charged throughout the entire day!
3. Task lists without due dates. I’m sure you know all about task lists. And you probably know how easy it is to get one started. But that doesn’t mean you always get everything on it done, or even come close to it. The problem is the due dates. Having due dates makes you focus on the urgent stuff, but not necessarily the important stuff. So change the task list by ditching the dates. Then add a column so that you can put a little symbol next to each task. Put a smiley face next to tasks for clients. Put a dollar sign next to tasks that will bring in revenue.
Productivity requires that you perform an action, but it doesn’t mean that the action should take a long time or that you need to double your time to do it. You simply need to follow the methods outlined above in order to increase your productivity, reap all the benefits, and yet not increase the amount of time you spend doing it. That will help you grow your business–surprisingly, with less effort!