7 Productivity Hacks from Successful Founders to Slap You Out of Procrastination

Easy changes you can make to boost your productivity

7 Essential Productivity Hacks from Successful Founders

In addition to being so hard to crack, entrepreneurship is a lonely island.

We won’t hold it against you if you sometimes slip down the Reddit hole collecting TILs and DAEs about random topics. The occasional Netflix binges are fine too if you keep your word that it will just be an hour—a promise you’ve already broken when you played hours of Fortnite earlier today.

But to move the needle in your business, you have to be aware of how much procrastination you’re doing. While you waste away mindless in front of your TV screen, other founders are making smarter choices with the way they approach their work or their business.

These people operate successful seven to eight-figure businesses. We’re certain that they are not exempt from the procrastination bug, and yet their days are still productive. They get things done.

We know you want that, too. Which is exactly what we set out to help you with on today’s post. Consider this article our well-meant slap to the face, from our iron palms to your chubby cheeks.

By the end of this article, we hope you’ll feel fired up to get your work back on track.

Straight from the mouths of some of the most successful founders of multi-million dollar businesses, here are some of the best productivity hacks you can start using in your daily life.

🌃 1.) Start the night before

To seize the day, you need to strategize. Ideally, you should have started yesterday.

This one simple change can do wonders to your productivity, as it already has for many entrepreneurs. It puts your mind in a certain spot where it’s forced to think about how to tackle your tasks the next day.

“The best time to get a jump on the day is the night before. Positivity, preparation, and rest will get you in the right frame of mind and enable you to start the day running,” tells Michael Hyatt.

Michael recommends to list down three things (big or small) you have accomplished today. This makes you feel good and ready to do more the next day, for which you’ll identify three must-do activities. List just three major things so as to not lose focus.

☝️ 2.) Avoid multitasking

Focusing on one too many things can hamper your productivity. And two, according to Tom Ziglar is already too many.

As published in a Forbes article, Ziglar shares: “Invest the first part of your day working on your number one priority that will help build your business.”

The most logical response to multiple tasks is to do them all at once, but that is not how the human brain works. Our brains can only process one major task at a time.

The folks at Asian Efficiency argues, therefore, that there is no such thing as “multitasking”. There is only “switch-tasking” .

You see, that’s what we often end up doing. We switch to and fro one task to another, losing precious focus in the process. Not good for productivity or work efficiency.

🙅‍♂️ 3.) Say “no” more often

There’s power in saying “no”. By being strategically picky with your commitments, you get to:

  • Choose what to work on
  • Decide who to work with
  • Break free from arbitrary little tasks
  • Remain focused on your work/goals

…and then some.

Basecamp CEO Jason Fried puts it perfectly: “Having fewer things to do is the best way to get things done. I’m very careful with my time and attention–it’s my most precious resource. If you don’t have that, you can’t do what you want to do. And if you can’t do what you want to do, what’s the point?”

🤝 4.) Have a meeting-free day

If you’re in the services business (or any business for that matter), you’ll find that meetings take up a lot of time. Like a lot.

What’s worse, some of the meetings we go to every day aren’t even justified. You know, those meetings that could have easily been an email blast? They exist. And a lot of managers and directors fall trap to setting such unnecessary meetings.

In reply, Dustin Moskovitz, one of the most seasoned founders in the industry, imposed what he calls “No Meeting Wednesdays” for Asana.

He explains: “The high-level goal of NMW is to ensure that everyone gets a large block of time each week to do focused, heads-down work.

“Makers suffer greatly from interruptions in their flow time. Managers are generally used to having a schedule-driven day, so it’s easy for them to throw a disruption into somebody else’s calendar. Makers also do this to each other.”

⏪ 5.) Reverse-engineer your tasks

“Start with the end in mind.”

We don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but that adage has been repeated over and over for good reason. Melanie Perkins, one of the main driving forces at her multi-million company Canva, shares the same mindset.

She notes: “With every task that I do, I always have a strong focus on the long term vision of the task or project. Looking at every task in the context of the bigger picture provides motivation to see the task through.”

To reverse-engineer your tasks, you have to picture a clear, specific goal. Say it’s a goal of certain organic traffic, ask yourself:

  • How long should my articles be in order to rank? How many of them do I have to produce?
  • How many backlinks do I need to build to compete with currently ranking pages?
  • How extensive should my link outreach be?

When you have answers to these questions, you are interestingly shifting your focus to the process rather than the goal itself, which makes you more productive.

💪 6.) Make health a priority

We think entrepreneurship is a way of life. If you’re losing quality in terms of lifestyle, we’d say you’re doing it wrong.

And here’s the thing: building a business is hard. You need to put in work.

But think about it. You can’t possibly produce your best stuff if you’re not taking care of your health. That goes across the board: the mental, the emotional, and the physical.

Josh Luber, CEO of StockX, shares the value of resigning to naps throughout the workday. “I find that one of the best ways to maintain productivity is to incorporate power naps into your day.”

Working out, too, can be strategically used as a reprieve from the work you do in your business.

For Postmates founder Bastian Lehmann, pumping iron is a way of compartmentalizing energy and attention. He offers: “I go to the gym every morning. Channeling my energy into sports leaves just the right amount of energy and passion for work.”

👩‍💻 7.) Delegate smaller tasks

One of the greatest advice we’ve heard out of any founder’s mouth is outsourcing tasks you hate doing to people who enjoy doing it and who can probably do it well.

Nathan Chan said it best: “[Delegate] as much as possible. The more I can delegate, the more I can free up my time to do the most impactful work to drive the business forward.”

We can just imagine how much of this has helped him build a whole empire with his and his team’s work on Foundr Magazine.

Get your work back on track

We hope you enjoyed our list of essential and actionable productivity hacks and habits straight from the mouths of successful founders and entrepreneurs.

It doesn’t stop here, though. It’s time that you apply these new learnings to your own business and work.

If this post has helped you in any way at all, we’d love it if you can share your story in the comments below.