Efficiency and speed is an entrepreneur's best weapon.
The landscape is constantly changing and with this, competition, alternatives, and options are all growing rapidly.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is the quote where Elon Musk says:
"Stop being patient and start asking yourself, how do I accomplish my 10 years plan in 6 months? You will probably fail but you will be lot further ahead of the person who simply accepted it was going to take 10 years."
There are always ways to work faster and get more done.
As entrepreneurs, it's important that we learn how to work fast and get things done.
Being able to work fast opens up the floodgates to be able to do more than you ever thought in a day.
However, most of the advice we receive is all long-term advice, things that will work next month, next quarter, next year.
What we're about to talk about now are all things that can be set in motion today.
Things that will lead to staggering results almost instantly.
This is how to get more done in a day - instantly.
Be mentally (and physically) prepared
It's a fact that the most effective way to stay focused and do more work is by being in good mental and physical shape.
How hard you work or how fast you work is directly tied to things like how much sleep you get and how much exercise you do.
Sleeping is crucial - I used to sleep for 4-5 hours when I was doing nothing other than gaming.
Today, I must get 8 hours of sleep at the least to be able to wake up.
A lot of people, me especially, cannot operate or even wake up with less than 8 hours of sleep.
It's scientifically proven that humans need, on average, 7-8 hours of sleep to function properly.
Waking up with enough sleep gives you enough energy and brainpower to work throughout your day.
There are lots of people who use discipline as a tactic to work longer.
The truth is that they may even achieve this successfully.
However, working longer does not mean working or getting more done.
Working longer can mean sitting down and staring at your computer for half the time you're 'working.'
Aside from the massive energy boost, your mood is immediately lifted too when you get enough sleep.
Personally, if I don't get enough sleep, I feel like the grinch.
On the other hand, when I sleep in for too long, I feel like the whole world's fate is in my hands.
The guilt is unbearable and so it forces me out of my bed.
After waking up, exercise is a crucial part of your day that can help you be more focused and get more done.
When you exercise, your body releases more endorphins which helps you work better, and feel more energised.
Most of the other strategies we're going to discuss today will only lead to fractional improvements in your work if your exercise, or most importantly, your sleep is flawed.
When you have enough sleep and, better yet, enough exercise, you'll be able to do much more work in your day.
Have a to-do list
Now that we've gotten the 'must-haves' out of the way, the next most important thing to have set in stone is what you're going to work on.
Imagine waking up early, doing exercise, and then finally getting ready to do work only to realise you don't know what you're going to do.
This is where the simple to-do list comes in.
You don't need anything fancy, you don't need to do anything complicated.
Simply having a to-do list where you jot down what you're supposed to get done the following day is a very powerful way to get more done in a day.
When you don't know what you're about to focus on, you're essentially going to be spending all your time sitting down and thinking about what you're supposed to be doing for the day.
There has been lots of times where I finish everything I need to do in my day, but I feel like I should still be doing work and so I sit at my laptop doing 'busywork.'
This is work that is not very important, however, doing it makes it look and feel like some progress is being made.
In reality, there is no progress being made - I'm just doing work so I feel better about myself.
This is why it's important to have clear goals of what you want to achieve in your days.
There are two ways to do this.
Firstly, you can take a notepad and a pen out and make a to-do list the day before, right before you're going to bed.
This will guarantee that everything you do the day following will be focused on getting that to-do list finished.
Secondly, you can write down your goals for the day during your morning routine.
I've written an article about powerful morning routines and so I'm not going to fully expand on that today.
However, this is a great way to get into your workday - by first planning what you're going to do then executing on it.
This is a very simple way to get more done in a day, and it really does work instantly.
If you don't already use a to-do list or go into your workdays knowing what you're going to do, give it a try.
I guarantee you that you'll be able to do more work immediately.
This might sound like a scary thing to do.
In fact, I recently started reading my new book, 'The E-Myth Revisited,' and the idea of hiring people is becoming more of a nightmare as the book unfolds.
However, this is not as bad or as expensive as it sounds.
If you work a regular 9-5, you can probably even delegate your tasks to someone else.
If you're at 0 - $0, 0 business, 0 whatever, then you can get someone you know to help you out with your day-to-day tasks.
You can ask a sibling to monitor emails, you can ask your friends to keep your social media in check.
Anything that is not urgent, yet takes up a large part of your day can and should be delegated.
Delegation is the first step that catapults you into the CEO seat of your business.
CEOs don't sit around and read emails all day, CEOs don't sit around and answer Instagram messages or comments all day.
It's not because they're 'too cool' for that - it's because the business will not move forward if this is what their time is spent doing.
A CEO's time is best spent doing things that move the ball forward.
Hiring the right talent, marketing, putting processes or systems in place, and so much more.
The first things you can start to delegate are your emails and inbox.
A few days ago I looked up how long people spend on emails per day because I needed to know for one of my articles.
To my surprise, the number was almost 6 hours per day split almost evenly between work and personal emails.
Imagine spending almost 6 hours of your time, in an 8 hour work day just going through emails.
You'll never have enough time to get real work done.
The best part is that you can hire people for as little as $2 per hour to manage your emails.
Although it does get more expensive, it's a good start.
Owning my marketing agency, I had a virtual assistant that we paid around $5-$6 per hour which helped us do outreach.
It was amazing yet worrying at the same time.
As soon as the virtual assistant took over, I realised that I pretty much had nothing to do myself.
This goes to show how much time is taken up by these repetitive, monotonous tasks.
To find an assistant, simply put up a job posting on Upwork and watch the applications come through - it's a job with a large supply.
Automation and delegation are slightly similar - they both serve the same purpose but one is done by real people (delegation) whilst automation involves machines and technology.
Automation, in many cases, is a lot better than delegation.
Automation was created to save you time and money too.
For example, with Hawk Prospecting, my current B2B SaaS business, I'm going to be launching an email marketing campaign to find users.
I have two options.
I could either email everyone myself - this will start as 20 people per day but will grow to 80 people per day when the follow-up sequences start coming in.
This manual approach will most likely take at least 4 hours out of my day.
4 hours per day is equal to 120 hours per month.
My second option is to use technology to automate this task.
All I have to do is monitor it here and there or keep feeding it leads.
Finding the leads is another thing - I can use my SaaS product 'Hawk Prospecting' to do this myself or also pay a freelancer to do it too.
With the second option, it's costing me not 120 hours per month, but around £40 per month for the software.
When you put it this way, it sounds like a bargain.
Only a fool would choose to spend 120 hours a month sending emails manually.
Doing this essentially means you value your time at around 30 pence an hour.
Therefore, is it more valuable to save 120 hours per month, or £40 per month?
Now think about this.
With these 120 hours, you could do something that makes you £40 per hour.
So instead of saving £40, you're now using that £40 to buy yourself 120 hours where you can effectively start earning £4800 per month extra.
Automate where possible - it's the smartest and cheapest way to save you a bunch of time so you can get more done in a day.
Rid all distractions
This may sound cliche, especially coming from an internet entrepreneur who spends all his time on a computer and owns an online business.
Although we just talked about how technology can be your biggest ally, saving you hundreds of hours per month, it can also be your biggest enemy when leveraged incorrectly.
See, all it takes is a small slip up and you'll end up wasting so much more time than you would have liked.
Imagine you need to create some content and post it on social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
You go on Instagram, as an example, to post the piece of content and an hour later, you realise that you have not yet posted the piece of content.
So where has all this time just suddenly gone?
You probably unknowingly wasted it scrolling through social media.
Another example: I often check my inbox because there's a specific email I'm looking for.
As soon as I enter the inbox, I see a bunch of other emails just begging for my attention.
After 10-20 minutes, I leave the inbox and realise that I hadn't even fulfilled what I went in there to do in the first place.
I went in there looking for an email but left having done everything other than what it is I went in there for.
This is one of the easiest ways to waste your time and get no work done.
When we flip this statement, it's also one of the easiest ways to save time and get more done in a day.
All you need to do is find out where your time is wasted - emails, social media, etc, and eliminate that thing.
Again, there has been technology created that helps you fight technology.
Sort of like a lame version of transformers, you can download apps that block you from accessing other apps or platforms for a certain amount of time.
However, the simplest way to avoid this is usually by just hiding the problem. If the phone is the issue, leave it upstairs when you're downstairs working, or vice versa.
This simple trick will save you tons of time instantly and you'll be able to get so much more work done.
Writing this, I just noticed that my phone is in my pocket and so I haven't even bothered to reach for it as of yet.
That is how powerful this trick is.
Learn to stay focused
One of my recent articles talks about the mastery of laser focus and how to stay hyper-focused whilst working.
These two articles can go hand in hand because focus leads to efficiency, which is essentially getting more work done in the same amount of time.
Being able to stay focused is the best way to get more work done - everything we've spoken about so far aids you with staying focused.
Exercise is a simple way to stay more focused.
Having a to-do list is a good way to stay more focused.
Hiding all distractions is a great way to stay focused.
If you're like me, then you're easily distracted.
To stop this from happening, you essentially need every measure possible to avoid this from happening.
This is where my secret weapon comes in.
There is a sweet combination between two simple tasks that give me zealous focus.
I find that the best way to focus (for me) is by first having a shower, then going down to work with music, usually jazz, playing quietly.
This combination puts me in a tranquil, focused state that is hard to break out of.
I'm going to let you read the article on laser focus to learn more about this.
Finally, you're going to want to challenge yourself.
If I'm going to be the honest writer I set out to be when I first started this blog, I've got to tell you that I'm bored.
I'm bored of doing what I'm doing.
Setting out on my entrepreneurial journey almost two years ago now, I was ecstatic to get rocking.
I started with dropshipping.
It failed with heart-wrenching misery that is hard to explain.
I then went into forex.
This was quickly discontinued because I realised that the reality of the situation is that I'm not going to be able to 'flip' £100 into millions.
I worked for a while because I started losing hope.
I was then taken by the idea of running my own marketing agency and thought I had finally found my calling.
This was, again, a journey that led down an extremely dark path.
I moved into the tech startup world where I tried to build Condensr.
A few months in, and the reality of my situation set in and I realised this was not going to work.
Finally, I have built and launched a business that has worked somewhat well so far - Hawk Prospecting.
But I'm bored - I'm bored of starting and failing.
I'm bored of forcing myself out of bed every day to do the same tasks as yesterday.
Entrepreneurship is boring - I like SaaS and so I'm hanging on, but working on my marketing agency, for example, was like gasping for my last breath of air.
So how do you combat all of this?
How have I managed to keep going after all this failure and agony?
I have a clear vision, an indestructible image of what awaits right on the other side of all of this.
One of my favorite lessons from 'Atomic Habits,' was that in order to keep going, you need to make sure that you stay motivated to do what you're doing.
James Clear, the author, mentioned that in order to stay motivated, you need to challenge yourself.
When you do something that is approximately 4% out of your comfort zone, you'd be challenging yourself just enough to stay motivated in the process.
4% is an attainable challenge and so every time you crush it, you build up a bit more motivation for the next challenge.
Crush those goals.
That is how you get more done.
Did you enjoy this article?
Let me know in the comments below!
Please share this article with friends and your network.
Till next time,