Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.
This week’s question comes from Robert M., who asks:
I get questions like this one a lot, and I’d like to preface my answer with a very important point:
Working smart is very important, but the goal of it should not be to not have to work hard. You will have to work hard to succeed.
With that said, working smart can help ensure that you’re not spending time on the wrong things, so that you can focus your hard work on the things that will actually move you forward.
I have three tips:
- Pick a tool—literally almost any tool—and use it religiously. Here’s what we use. Really though, it doesn’t matter nearly as much what you use, as long as you pick something and use it consistently. It makes an insane workload much easier to tackle.
- Turn off your email, social media, phone and any other distractions that keep you from putting 100% of your attention on the work at hand.
- My favorite productivity strategy is forcing myself to turn off from work, and having that off time in my calendar. Being able to step out of the office and stop thinking about work is massively important for staying productive when I AM working, and knowing that that “no work” deadline is looming makes me work even harder. Otherwise I burn out, fast.
Finally, I recommend that you don’t obsess over productivity, because while you’re doing that, your competitors are working hard on their product and on making their customers happy. You’re going to have some long days, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about that if you want to succeed. Work hard and work smart.
I’d love to know: what are your productivity tips? Share them in the comments!