8 Productivity and Efficiency Tips You Can Start Using Right Now

In our first ebook, we covered occasional productivity tips as we worked through the first basic steps in working with a virtual team. We might have just have a few more up our sleeves. 

1. Start every week with a productivity review

Find 10 things you did last week that just frigging ruled. Write them down. Tell yourself:

  • Your achievement
  • Why it mattered
  • What the end game is
  • Your next step

Seem silly? It’s how some of the top performers we work with motivate themselves and remind themselves that what they did this week was meaningful and useful. This matters when no one else is giving you an annual review, a gold star, or a raise. It also helps us remember that thing we were supposed to do that we forgot to write down or tell anyone. Sound familiar?

2. After you’ve done your productivity review, look ahead

Specifically, write down:

  • Your Top 3 - no more than 3 - wins for the week ahead. The stuff that will make you feel accomplished.
  • What you’re doing this week to maintain your quarterly/annual goals (even if it’s nothing, remind yourself what the goals are)
  • The top 10 to 20 sources of revenue for the month ahead
  • How you’ll be spending your time: working on your business, working in your business, or giving yourself a rest (a real rest)

Completing tasks 1 & 2 will help you murder the week ahead.

3. Work within your optimal productive hours

There are way too many articles out there arguing that waking up at 5 in the morning is the only way to be successful. This is incredibly - powerfully - not true. If you're a night owl like Krysten is, you win when you wake up at 9am (or even later!) because you were up late last night, being creative while everyone else was asleep. If you’re a morning person (like I am), you win when you get to bed before 10 and are up around 5 or 6 am, working immediately when you jump out of bed. Create a system that works for you and your industry. You're the boss, after all. Book your important in-person meetings and calls for when your brain is firing on all circuits, whenever possible.

4. Set 3 “must do” tasks for each day

It may not seem like enough, but trust us - it is. If you get those three things done today, you win. If you get more done, you’re a goddamn superstar and it’s high fives all around. Leave room for high fives. You need them.

5. Take breaks. This is not a joke.

Entrepreneurs are famous for burning out because they work 60+ hours a week without a break. Studies have proven that we are more creative and more productive when we rest and take regular breaks. When we exercise, get up from our desks, and move around. When we eat healthy, sleep well, see our friends, and spend time with our families.

6. At the end of every day, clean up your workspace, and write a list of your attainable tasks for tomorrow.

Remember that most people overestimate their task ability, which can make you feel like you did nothing, you’re a failure, and you should go grovel to your old boss for your job back. You’re looking for attainable - the point above which anything more is just gravy.

7. Create some "work day" rituals if you’re a work-at-home person like us

For example, keep a pair of “work shoes” - put them on when you start work, take them off during breaks and at the end of the day. Don’t ask us why, it just works.

8. Find your jam

Music has charms to soothe the savage breast
— William Congreave, The Mourning Bride

Yes, music matters. It makes your brain happy, it makes your heart happy, and it helps you avoid burning those bridges you so carefully built. Some of our business owners like death metal - hey, we’re not judging - others prefer classical, and still others like music in languages that they don’t speak. The point is to find something that stimulates your brain without distracting it. Need some inspiration? Check out the music and apps our slayers use to get into the zone.


This article is an excerpt from our ebook, The Art of Delegation: Growing Your Business with a Virtual Assistant