Every entrepreneur looks for ways to become more productive at work, so here are some of the best hacks from the pros.

Pick the most important emails

Do as Elon Musk and start by checking your critical emails at the start of the day in a half-hour period. Filter out any that are ‘noise’ or just for information, focussing on those that have most relevance to your projects. This will help to prioritise your day’s activities and get you into the right frame of mind with an understanding of the issues.

Get meeting attendance right

There is nothing worse than time-consuming meetings with endless attendee lists that simply become unproductive. Keep Jeff Bezos’s ‘two pizza rule’ in mind and only invite the number of delegates that could be fed with two pizzas. This will ensure the meeting is brief, creative and energetic, focusing on outcomes rather than becoming a waste of time; in practice, this means six to eight people.

Keep a day free

The CEO at Asana, Dustin Moskowitz, keeps one day of the week entirely free from meetings or other commitments. He got this idea from the ‘no meeting Wednesday’ rule at Facebook and now blocks out Wednesdays in his diary. This means he gets to focus on his priorities without interruptions and gets some real work done!

List it

Richard Branson is the ultimate keeper of lists and prefers to handwrite them. This means he can transform everything from big projects to daily tasks into manageable list items that can get crossed off once achieved. By writing everything down, nothing gets lost. Keep a notebook to hand and give it a go!

Set big goals

Skybound Entertainment co-founder Robert Kirkman sets over-ambitious goals to ensure he remains productive; for example, if he wants to write five pages of a screenplay in one day, he sets a target of 12 and is winning if he manages 6 or more. This stretch approach means he is always working hard.

The best ideas

Steve Jobs may have had a controversial reputation as a leader, but he was certainly adept at getting results! One primary rule was that he filtered out any idea he didn’t believe was excellent. He would task his top execs to create a list of 100 ideas for how Apple could become better in the following year at business retreats, then keep crossing out submissions until he came to his ‘big 10’ list. Of these, he focused on the best three – a three per cent focus rate.

Which of these ideas might you be tempted to try to better your own results? Whichever productivity hacks resonate with you, remember that Century Business Finance can help with the business loans you need to put your ideas and strategy into action.

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