You’ve got the killer idea. You’ve developed a beautiful business and action plan. You know exactly what to do. Now it’s just a question of… how fast will you get there!?
Great app and tech ideas are pretty common to come by. I hear of them all the time. But to take that lovely idea and turn it into business success takes execution – and to execute, you need great productivity. The faster and more efficiently you follow through on your plans, the quicker you can find out what works and what doesn’t. And speed and fast feedback are critical to your motivation too!
So whether you’re the hipster, hacker or hustler, here are 5 killer tips for super-charging your productivity…
1. Determine your frog
You may have a great big list of things to do, people to contact, skills to learn, research to dig up. But no matter how big your things to do list is, there is always one action on there – usually the hardest or most boring one – that will do the most to take you towards your goal of business success. It might be calling up prospects, or working out that tricky problem in the code, or writing that sales letter. Ask yourself with all honesty, which of these tasks will take me further forward? Brian Tracy calls this your ‘frog’. And first thing in the morning, you’re gonna eat that frog!
2. Set a timer first thing
You’ve woken up, fresh and full of beans. You’ve done your morning ritual (more on that in a moment). You’re ready to go! How you use the next two hours of every day is critical to your tech start up success.
There have been many studies into our natural rhythms and cycles of human concentration and the ultimate period has been found to be about 2 hours, with a break in the middle. So here’s the key: set a timer for 50 minutes. And then work on eating that frog – that most important task, and only that task – for 50 minutes. Ignore all distractions. Don’t answer the phone, no Facebook, no Twitter, no nothing. For that 50 minutes you work only on that frog.
Then when the timer beeps, set it for 10 minutes and take a 10-minute break. During that period – NO WORK. Only Facebook, friends and cups of tea. When the timer beeps again, put it back on for another 50 minutes of truly focused work on your most valuable task. And then after that you can break, and work like normal for the rest of the day. This little habit and ritual for the first two hours will get amazing things done for you. You’ll see.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast, and exercise
When asked what the key to his success was, Richard Branson answered: ‘Exercise.’ Sounds crazy? Think about it. Your tech start up depends on your mind, your energy and your focus. Nothing enhances all three more than a truly healthy breakfast and some exercise in the morning. NOTHING. So start strong, stoke that morning fire, and exercise before you begin work. You’ll love it once it’s a habit!
4. Measure your time
We’ve all heard that quote ‘what gets measured gets managed,’ right? Well, just because it’s oft-said doesn’t mean it’s not true. Not only through the first two hours of your day, but throughout your entire day, begin to be aware of what you’re spending time on. The best way is by using an app like Harvest to measure your time on each task. Simply using this will make you more productive, even before you look at the results (and prepare to be shocked when you first do – I was!).
5. Start using tools
Generally begin thinking about how productive you are, in each process you do daily or weekly. And if you notice something, there’s almost always an app out there to help you refine it and do it faster. Here’s a great list of tools to begin with: 61 productivity tools. Start researching and slipping these tools into your daily work patterns and routines. Over time, you will become a lean mean productivity machine, and your tech startup will fly into those App Store bestselling ranks!