20 Productivity Hacks and Time Management Tools for Entrepreneurs | The Big Bang Partnership

20 Productivity Hacks and Time Management Tools for Entrepreneurs

What can you do with your extra time

Tips and tricks to help you be more productive in your business

As an entrepreneur, time is not your most valuable resource. Your ideas, focus, energy and attention are. Click To Tweet

How are your plans for growth going?

Have you got loads of potentially great ideas that you never seem to get around to doing anything about?

Is it sometimes difficult to get important stuff done with lots of distractions, heaps of information to take in and a fast-paced business environment?

Have you got a big project, launch or new venture coming up that you’re under pressure to deliver on top of your day job?

As an entrepreneur, time is not your most valuable resource. Your ideas, focus, energy and attention are.

To make meaningful progress on most things consistent momentum wins over working in fits and starts every time.

My FREE e-course, Productivity for Entrepreneurs, will really help you with this.

It will give you an understanding of how to leverage your own energy, activity and planning preferences to generate optimal outcomes for yourself and others. You’ll also learn about tools and techniques for overcoming procrastination and dealing with distractions.

Sign up for your free course playbook here…

Productivity for Entrepreneurs features 10 sessions that will take on average no more than 10 minutes to complete.

Each session includes tips and techniques that could transform how you use your time, and release more creative head space, if you put them into practice regularly.


YES PLEASE, I’D LIKE MY E-COURSE NOW!

Productivity for Entrepreneurs features 10 sessions that will take on average no more than 10 minutes to complete.

Each session includes tips and techniques that could transform how you use your time, and release more creative head space, if you put them into practice regularly.

To make meaningful progress on most things consistent momentum wins over working in fits & starts every time. Click To Tweet

Productivity skyrockets your results

I have learned an incredible number of smart techniques and approaches that I am excited to share with you.

For years I worked at demanding full-time corporate job in leadership roles, before making the leap to start my own company that helps people in organisations to innovate and grow.

Alongside working full-time, setting up my business and taking it from strength to strength, I successfully completed my MBA part-time, achieving a distinction, and then accomplished my PhD in corporate entrepreneurship, completing my research on top of my full-on day job. So, I think I have learned a thing or two about time, energy and personal productivity!

What can you do with your extra time

20 productivity hacks you can start right now!

Are you looking for tips and tricks to save time and be more productive in your business? In addition to the tools and techniques that I will share with you when you sign up for my free Productivity for Entrepreneurs e-course, here are 20 super quick wins that you can do right now. These productivity hacks are a mix of science-backed ones, personal favourites, free or low costs apps and a couple of fun and quirky items thrown in for good measure. Combining a number of quick wins consistently stacks up to a significant amount of time and energy saved each week.

If you’d like even more hacks, check out my article Personal Productivity Hacks for Busy Business People, too!

*And just a quick note before we start, I have no commercial or affiliate links with any of the apps or products I mention. They are just ones that I’ve tried and found helpful.*

Hack 1. Skip the news

Most news is negative and negativity impacts your levels of happiness which then reduces levels of productivity. A happy person really is more productive. As such, constantly focusing on the news cycle is going to hinder levels of productivity, beyond the basic issue of a distraction. Dip in just enough to keep up to speed with the stuff you need to know about, but instead of focusing on the news use your time on other tasks that will benefit you and your business and avoid the insanity of the 24/7 news cycle.

Waiting for the bus

Hack 2. Toggl

Distractions such as time sheets and invoicing will eat up your workday. To combat this, it helps to track your time usage as you go. With the Toggl app that’s easy, and the app is free. You can define the categories for different types of work, like helping clients. Through the day, stop and start the Toggl time to gain hard data on how you’re spending your time. You will be able to explore this data in different charts and reports to find out exactly what you’re doing and when, and spot opportunities for improvement. The Toggl app is a great tool to consider for your teams, as well as for your own individual use.

Hack 3. Let the light shine in

Darkness isn’t actually your only friend and neither is artificial light, particularly when it comes to productivity. One North-Western study discovered daytime exposure to natural light helps workers get nearly a whole extra hour of sleep a night! It even boosted their quality of life scores. Workers operating in places without windows suffered the most leading to sluggish outputs through the day. Are you operating in an area with limited natural light? A great hack would be investing in a lamp that replicates this type of environment.

Hack 4. Calm

Can relaxation and meditation really boost productivity?  Some studies certainly indicate that they can. You can find out with the Calm app. It provides 25 minute calming clips as well as lengthier courses. A few of the meditations are free to use and will give you a taster of what you can expect. If you want to access more clips, you’ll need to pay a cost which is roughly the same as subscribing to Netflix. I haven’t seen a study yet that Netflix binges improve productivity, so I reckon you’ll get more benefits from this app. 

Hack 5. The magic of music

According to one report, 38% of workers are not allowed to listen to music in the office. That could be lower than you expected. Interestingly, the same study has suggested that 79% of employees could improve productivity by trying some tunes at work. This is based on the ‘reasonable listening model’ which suggests music will boost performance, but only to a certain point. As an extra piece of info, researchers also found that pop/chart/folk/indie were the most popular types of music in the office. 

take some time for headspace

Hack 6. ASMR and Noisli

While music might be great for work performance other noises definitely aren’t. ASMR (which stands for  “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”) videos have blown up on social media recently. ASMR describes a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that can come over someone when they watch certain videos or hear certain sounds, such as towels being folded, magazine pages being flipped through or whispering voices. But ASMR doesn’t seem to work for everyone…

Noise recording

For some, these sounds will make their teeth grind and cause them to lose focus on work tasks. Not to worry, Noisli provides the solution! With this app, common annoying office noises can be covered with something far more pleasant like the murmur of a quiet coffee shop.

Hack 7. Team tracking

The latest research suggests tracking employees might be the best way to kill it with productivity levels. While some of you, like me, will be understandably sceptical and perhaps a little nervous about this, a study at Dartmouth college suggests tracking all behaviour could bring tremendous health and wellbeing, as well as productivity benefits for employees.

That data tracked includes everything from how often people check their phone to how many times they leave the building. According to the researchers, accumulating this data would allow employers to pinpoint their best and their worst employees. A brave new world indeed!

busy workspace hotdesking office space

There are also studies happening such as the US government-funded “mPerf” research being carried out collaboratively by six universities. The purpose of the mPerf work is to develop wearable and other technologies that can persistently and unobtrusively measure and predict work performance. 

Personally, I prefer to work on a trust basis with people, and don’t intend to track anyone in this way. But I thought I’d share these studies in the interests of giving a different perspective on how tech innovation is influencing thinking about how human performance at work is being measured.

Hack 8. Going green

It’s no secret that a little greenery around the office can improve the air, but what about productivity. One study suggests that adding a few plants around the place will boost productivity by 15%

take some time away from devices

Hack 9. The perfect presentation is overrated

Are you a total perfectionist? It’s natural to want everything to be exactly right, particularly when you’re putting together a presentation. Unfortunately, this does mean a lot of time is wasted in the planning stages. It’s also possible that the devil isn’t really in the details. Client surveys suggest that instead, engagement actually increases with a few imperfections and a presentation that showcases more authenticity and personality. 

Any great presentation is about serving the audience, rather than how good the presenter appears to be. Know your stuff, for sure, and do your homework in advance. And practise! But don’t forget that the interaction, rapport and energy you create have a disproportionately positive effect that mean people will remember you and your presentation for all the right reasons.

Hack 10. Stop dwelling on the past

One CRM Learning article suggests that 80% of conversations related to work are based on the problems of the past. 15% are about the present situation and a minuscule 5% are focused on the future.

The main goals for entrepreneurs who want to improve productivity are employee performance and business growth.

You can’t do this if you’re constantly focused on what’s behind you. Take the lessons from past performance, but don’t get stuck there. Aim for future horizons to create and maintain forward momentum for your team.

Take notes by hand rather than electronically to take a break from screens


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Hack 11. Stop sleeping on cold emails

You might think that drafting and sending cold emails aren’t a productive way to spend your time. In reality, a great email (that is also GDPR compliant, of course!) could ensure you win the support of an influencer. To get this right, you need to hit the bullseye with the content. Demonstrate knowledge of the client and show you care. You may be surprised at the results.

Why not commit to emailing 5 new people you’d really to connect with?

Emailing with a coffee

Hack 12. Monday.com

With the Monday.com app, you can completely customise your workflow and quickly see where the focus is throughout the business day. A great feature of this app is that multiple workers can use it at the same time. So, you can create a custom dashboard and keep everyone on the same page. It’s a fantastic choice if you’re trying to trash time wastage in your business model. 

I love the visual project management gantt chart format, too.

use calendar efficiently

Hack 13. Watching YouTube

Maybe I spoke too soon in hack 4 when I said watching Netflix doesn’t help productivity levels? A study from the University of Melbourne suggests procrastination by watching videos could significantly improve performance. This is because we need to zone out for a bit to get back our concentration.

The study found that those who spend time on websites like YouTube for a reasonable amount of time are nine percent more productive than those who don’t.

Instructional videos are particularly effective but funny videos help too. Employees will probably have a hard time selling this one to their bosses, but it could be useful for a solopreneur. 

On that note, have you seen my Idea Time Youtube channel?

Check out Idea Time Studio on Youtube

Hack 14. Don’t forget to follow up

Nothing will hit financial productivity harder than problems with unpaid payments from clients. To help with cashflow issues, make sure that you are sending customers gentle reminders. These days, reminders can be automated. This is going to be crucial as a recent report has revealed UK SMEs could be owed a total £67bn in unpaid invoices

Alternative solutions

Hack 15. Zapier

Precious time can be spent during the business day switching between different apps. A lot of businesses are completely tech-focused and using multiple apps is unavoidable. With Zapier, you can avoid the time it takes to switch by adding all the apps on one system. The app is free to use and can allow you to create workflows across a variety of different platforms. 

Hack 16. Focus on the first few hours

If you’re in a great mood at the start of the day, one study suggests that this is going to send productivity levels through the roof. So, if you are having a positive morning, you should take advantage of this and power through your work in the early hours. The same study also suggested evidence that a great mood leads to employees accomplishing more of their business goals. 

Hack 17. Shapr

I was unsure whether to include this one as I’ve not really used it, but thought I would for fun…

Have you ever wondered what Tinder would be like if it was business orientated? The Shapr app provides the answer to that question. You can swipe left or right on a variety of different professional profiles. When you hit a match, instead of arranging a date, you can schedule a business meeting. The app is gaining in popularity but right now people in highly populated areas will benefit from it the most. 

Hack 18. Stop compulsively checking your inbox

According to a Loughborough University study, the average person checks their inbox every five minutes! The same research suggests it takes 64 seconds to get back on task. That time is going to add up so a great hack would be making sure you check your emails a set number of times each day. You can still make sure you stay on top of contacts and respond on time by creating a schedule to follow. 

Make notes in diary

Hack 19. Use Doodle to make meetings happen

It’s can be difficult to get people from different businesses to agree on a mutually time for a meeting that works for everyone. You can waste a lot of time attempting to juggle everyone’s schedule and going backwards and forwards with emails and calendar invitations. With Doodle, you can create a meeting plan and then invite people to tick the dates and times that work for them. The best part is that you can see the best options for everyone’s availability.

Hack 20. Take an afternoon nap

Yes, you read that right. According to research, an afternoon nap will boost productivity by 34%! As well as this, alertness will increase by 50%. Napping also supports your health and improves levels of confidence in the office. However, napping doesn’t mean sleeping half the day away. The sweet spot is a nap of between ten and twenty minutes. This would explain those reports that Google has added sleeper options into their offices in Silicon Valley

Afternoon naps are great!

Using these apps and hacks you will be able to ensure that you and your company are firing on all cylinders with productivity levels pushed to the max! 

And don’t forget, My FREE e-course, Productivity for Entrepreneurs, will really help you with your productivity.

Sign up for your free course playbook here…


YES PLEASE, I’D LIKE MY E-COURSE NOW!

Each session includes tips and techniques that could transform how you use your time, and release more creative head space, if you put them into practice regularly. Come and join me!

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