Aaah, the power of compounding. Albert Einstein once famously declared compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe." Most people—business owners and entrepreneurs included—think of compounding as it relates to money. But compounding is a force that affects more than money. It affects time, habits and, of course, productivity. And when it comes to your startup or small business, keeping a focus on how to maximize productivity will pay all kinds of dividends to your success.
Here's a list of 5 proven productivity habits that will compound your business over time. And in many cases, they're the kinds of habits that will transform your productivity, results and focus in just a matter of weeks.
It's important to note that these are not “hacks", “secrets" or “cheats" that will lead to overnight success—they are simple habits used by some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners far and wide. They involve hard work, focus and dedication. When you put them to work for your business every day, they will compound in a big way.
Successful business owners have a lot of things in common, but one you're sure to find is a commitment to prioritization. Prioritizing is different for every individual and every business, but no matter what, there's at least 1 project that needs to be attacked every day. Set out 1 make-or-break task each and every day and concentrate on that task until it's completed. When prioritization like this becomes a part of your daily routine, it compounds into a productivity-boosting powerhouse of a habit.
Whether it's meditation, running, reading, playing music or just going for a walk, busy entrepreneurs make it a point to carve out time for their minds and bodies. These simple rituals break up your day, make you feel happier and lead to a clearer mind that will help you stay on point for the rest of the day. And when you commit to a ritual like this once a day, it will maximize productivity and minimize distraction.
You won't find a single small business owner or entrepreneur who doesn't wear all kinds of hats when it comes to running their business. Multitasking is just a way of life for many business owners, but it's important to know when to do so and more importantly, when not to do so. After all, trying to complete too many projects at once has been proven to decrease productivity in a big way. If multitasking is unavoidable, as it inevitably is for many business owners, try to find a way to be most effective. For many people, that's limiting it to no more than 3 tasks at a time. It all comes back to the first point: prioritization is key.
Technology is an entrepreneur's biggest saving grace and biggest time drain. But in today's world of 24/7 social media, texting, breaking news and email, it's hard to “turn off" when at work. Many successful small business owners and entrepreneurs make it a point to only check up on social media, personal email and news once per day. It can be a tough habit to break, but when you do, it will pay off by cutting out wasted time and opening up your day for a huge boost in productivity.
There is no one-size-fits-all productivity-enhancing system for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Everyone needs to find what works best for them. This could be as simple as only responding to email after 4 p.m. or as committed as waking up at the exact same time every day. Maybe blocking off time to tackle key projects on your calendar is key. Maybe taking detailed notes will help you get closer to your goals. Perhaps it's finding one day a week you just shut off completely.
Whatever your “system" may look like, be sure to stick to it. It will compound greatly to help make your business run better, faster and smarter.