Starting a new venture is exciting and often a liberating time in a business person’s life, but it can also be very stressful and overwhelming. In order to mitigate the stress and balance your life as much as possible, it is critical that you are as productive as possible during your work time. Use the following tips to help improve productivity. Using these methods should help improve your efficiency, work-life balance, and stave off burnout.
- The Pomodoro Technique: This simple productivity technique is a favorite of students studying long hours. To start using the Pomodoro Technique, simply write down your tasks for the day. Next, begin one task and work only on that task, without any breaks for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break. Next, work on that task, or if you completed it move on to your next task, for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes have passed in which you focus solely on your task at hand, take another 5 minute break.
Repeat this 25-minute intense focus on a single task one more time. After you have completed 3 25-minute cycles, give yourself an extended break – such as 30 minutes. Every time you complete a task on your list, check it off and move on to the next task, even if you are in the middle of one of the 25-minute rounds. Of course, if you find that you cannot focus for 25 minutes or need breaks that are longer than 5 minutes, you should modify your schedule to how it fits you best.
- Working with your natural cycle: “Know thyself”- This ancient Greek aphorism is as applicable to business today as it was to philosophers in ancient Greece. It is important to know what time of day you are able to focus best and then to schedule your time so that you can work at that time.
Although you may have to be in the office from 9 to 5, if another time of day or night is when you can focus best, try to at least shift your schedule toward that time as much as possible. However, you should balance that with the power of a good night’s rest. If you find that you focus best at midnight, but that you wake up exhausted the next morning, consider working in the evenings, but not all night long.
Likewise, if you work best in a noisy environment or in a very quiet environment, try to put yourself in your ideal situation as much as possible. Playing to your strengths with regard to time and location is a great way to maximize your working productivity. Keep in mind that maintaining a healthy level of fitness will help you regulate your natural cycles.
- “Power”/ Strategic breaks: Taking breaks to just relax or reflect can serve as an important way to both collect yourself when you feel overwhelmed and can also provide a great opportunity to make tweaks in your business in order to improve it.
A weekly coffee meet up with friends or an early morning breakfast chat with the other members of your team helps create cohesion, provides a setting outside of work to make sure everyone is on the same page, and can help you to clear your mind from all the hustle and bustle that goes on inside of the office.
- Reward systems: As a highly-motivated business person, it can be easy to reach one level of success or achieve a goal and then simply go on to the next one without taking time to appreciate your success. Although it’s always good to focus on improving your work-product, business and efficiency, it is also very important to celebrate your victories.
Using a reward system not only provides something to look forward to as a motivating factor when work gets tough or you are not enjoying it as much as you’d like, but also helps you track how your work has improved over time. For example, by allowing yourself to make reasonable purchases such as clothing, sports tickets or jewelry to celebrate when you achieve a goal, you will both motivate yourself to stay focused on your goals and remind you of all of your success as you enjoy your rewards.
Please note – the lawyers at Fourscore Business Law are experienced in business matters of many kinds, which give us the opportunity to be involved in tax discussions on a regular basis. However, we are not CPAs or “tax” lawyers. We have many great contacts and refer our clients to them when needed. Please do not take the summary set forth in this article as tax or business planning advice!
Based in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, Fourscore Business Law serves entrepreneurs and businesses in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wilmington, Charlotte and throughout the Southeast. We also represent venture capital funds and other investors who invest in companies located in New York, Silicon Valley and everywhere between. The idea of delivering maximum impact in a simple and succinct manner is what we’re calling the Fourscore Principle. And that is what Fourscore Business Law is based on. Our clients operate in a broad range of industries including tech, IoT, consumer products, B2B services and more. Questions? Shoot us an email or give us a call at (919) 307-5356. Your first call is on us.