8 Tips for Highly Productive Entrepreneurs

8 Tips for Highly Productive Entrepreneurs

8 Tips for Highly Productive Entrepreneurs

Being productive isn't about working harder, it's about working smarter. Tons of entrepreneurs waste time procrastinating, checking emails, liking a whole bunch of stuff on Facebook, and working on low-priority projects. The key to supercharging your productivity isn't about working longer hours, it's about recognizing the habits that slow you down and removing them. Here are 8 tips that will boost your productivity: 

1. Seek Forgiveness - Not Permission

In a world of approval addiction, it's better to act now and ask for forgiveness later, than to always be seeking permission. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions.”

2. Be Positive 

While you're working towards being more productive, it's easy to become put-off and negative. Don't say, “I'm an idiot, why didn't I get anything done today?” Instead, maintain an optimistic mindset, which will help you to find better solutions to your hang-ups, and get more done.

3. Write it Down

There are many psychological benefits to writing things down, like improving comprehension, memory and even physical health. That’s why we created the 10x Journal for Entrepreneurs: A productivity tools that helps you achieve your goals by encouraging you to write them down everyday. 

4. It's Okay to Outsource 

Outsourcing has become a dirty word these days, but there's nothing wrong with outsourcing repetitive and easy to learn computer/clerical tasks, website research/development, telephone duties, basic writing, and (sometimes) customer service. Just be careful as it's easy to get carried away. If you're spending a lot of time tidying up after poor results, it's probably time to bring things back in-house. 

5. Take Advantage of Your Biological Peak

They say the early bird gets the worm, but don't forger the afternoon hawk gets the prairie dog; the evening fish gets the fly, and the night owl gets the rodent. Not everybody is their most productive in the morning. Work on your hardest tasks when your energy is at its individual peak. If that happens to be 2am then it's 2am - working on your own terms is one of the perks of being an entrepreneur. 

6. Force Yourself to Take Breaks

People often postpone eating healthy or exercising under the guise of being too busy. The truth is, if you don't lead the body on a salubrious break, it will scavenge its own time, in the form of over-checking e-mails or playing on reddit.

7. Perfectionism is Overrated

It's common for people who have been working on a project for an extended period of time to take a victory lap once it's complete. In other words, they partake in minutes or hours of glorified time wasting in the form of triple (and quadruple) checking their work. Recognize when a project is finished so you can avoid unnecessary scrutinizing, and move onto the next task. Perfectionism is overrated. 

8. Naps Are for the Old and Productive

Whoever said naps were for old people, was absolutely right. For some people, it takes 70-plus years to realize their body needs to recovery in the mid-day, and surfing the Net doesn't exactly have recuperative power. Power naps (< 30 minutes) improve mood, promote job satisfaction, and will increase your productivity towards the tail end of each day.

This is a Guest Post by Eric Leech.


  • Shawn Graham
    Shawn Graham
    February 13 2012, 02:46PM

    Great tips. Taking a break also can help to give you a fresh perspective which can be hugely helpful when you find yourself spinning your wheels. Don’t be afraid to go for a walk, watch some TV, or listen to some music—doing so might give you just the creative inspiration you were looking for.

  • @Shopify Mark Hayes
    Mark Hayes
    February 15 2012, 04:11PM

    Hey Shawn,

    Agreed – these are awesome tips! I completely agree that it’s important to take some time off to recharge the batteries. Here at the Shopify office we have a few creative outlets, including an arcade / videogame room that lets us get away from things and inject some playful competition into our day. It’s amazing what a little Street Fighter can do to the creative juices! :-)

  • Bharat Sharma
    Bharat Sharma
    February 15 2012, 10:10PM

    Good tips given. These can be followed for a healthy living and these tips are for those people who are lacking at some instances in their life. Rather these tips are for all because in today’s life everyone is busy and doing different sort of things but they lack in doing them perfectly so these can surely help.

  • Willfergus
    February 21 2012, 11:08AM

    Simple but very helpful tips I think. The importance are always in the small details.

    Camasino Team

  • bill duncan
    bill duncan
    May 06 2012, 11:06PM

    Mark, I can tell by some of your tips that you have never worked for yourself, I hope you do someday and can rewrite this BS

  • @Shopify Mark Hayes
    Mark Hayes
    May 11 2012, 04:47PM

    Bill: I have indeed, I was a freelance journalist for 4 years. Anyway, the article was actually written by Eric Leech, you’ll see at the bottom it’s a guest post. I’m curious which tips you don’t like and why?

    Bharat & Willfergus: Thanks! :-)

  • Johnny
    September 28 2012, 08:52AM

    Hey, nice reminders! I dont even spend time to read posts like this. But i should, so I can get a reset and think about the way I work.


  • Ryan Critchett
    Ryan Critchett
    October 10 2012, 05:09PM

    Love it. Naps rock. And I totally agree that some entrepreneurs cut themselves at the knees by focusing on inconsequential crap.

  • Jake
    April 22 2013, 07:18PM

    Im an artist and these tips are great across the board. Thanks Mark

  • Kenny
    April 11 2016, 09:21PM

    Last one is the breaker !

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