There are many entrepreneurs out there who pride themselves on working twelve hour days, but this pride might be misguided: it’s not the length of your day that counts, but how productive you work within those hours. It’s better to put in a four-hour workday during which you work for four hours, rather than a twelve-hour idea in which your output could be condensed into three hours. So focus on improving your productivity. Below, we take a look at some reasons why you really might not be as productive as you might think.
You Don’t Know Your Best Work Time
Conventional wisdom dictates that you should rise at 6:30 or so, prepare yourself for the day, and then get down to work at around 8:30-9 am. But what passes as common wisdom might not be correct for you, if you’re certifiably not a morning person? Now, you can train yourself to become a morning person, but it takes effort, and if you’re not feeling all that motivated, it might be a better option to enjoy your mornings and then work in the afternoons and evenings. Try to figure out when you’re at your most brilliant best, and work at those times.
You Lack the Right Tools
Even if you figured out that the hours between 3pm and 7pm is your golden period, you’d struggle to work as hard as you possibly can if you don’t have the right tools to help you. So make sure you’ve got the right set up. That means making sure your technology is up to speed, and also that you’ve integrated things like Microsoft Office 365 for businesses. Both of those things will help you make more efficiently than if you were relying on any old machine to get your work done.
You Don’t Know Your Strengths
Before you become an entrepreneur, it’s good practice to figure out what you’re good at, and what you suck at. Now, it’s possible that you could do everything associated with your business, but could you do so to the standard required, and without taking far too long? If you know that, say, marketing isn’t your strong point, then outsource the work to a third party. They’ll do the task better than you could have, and it’ll free up your time so you can focus on your strengths.
There’s No Deadline
Even the most motivated self-starter in the world isn’t going to work as hard as they would if they had a deadline. They can be artificial, of course – as in, you can set them for yourself. In any case, it’s sometimes good practice to say “this has to be finished today” – it’ll help focus your mind to one task at a time.
You Push Yourself Too Hard
Working too hard limits productivity? What? It’s true. Humans aren’t supposed to push themselves to the limit. Your mental processing will slow down if you’re not getting enough sleep or rest. Take a break – you won’t lose any progress!
*This is a contributed post