If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re used to having an overflowing inbox and a totally crammed calendar, full of appointments and meetings. It’s bad enough when you’ve been at work all week and have been processing your inbox religiously. It’s much worse after you’ve dared to take a week off and are coming back into it and have to hit the ground running.
As an entrepreneur, high productivity is not an option. Here’s some advice on how to get back into the swing of things after a short break.
Strip Away Productivity Blockers
Steve Voudouris’ Turn 5 has experienced significant growth in the past year. As the founder of the company, Voudouris says that one of the things he believes is most useful for growing a company is minimizing distractions and stripping away productivity blockers. Think back for a moment about all the things that wasted your time before you went on your break. For most business people., it’s unproductive meetings. According to a study, a whopping 59 percent of people say that meetings are fruitless, usually because they don’t stay on topic and deliver a resolution. Instead, everybody tries to bring their pet peeves to the meetings, and they drag on for hours.
In 2017, therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that your meetings have set topics. The more rigorously you enforce this rule, the less likely it is that people will bring up unrelated stuff that doesn’t move the meeting forward. Every meeting should have clear goals and outcomes, and only the relevant people should be invited.
Another trick you can try is to schedule 22-minute meetings. This strategy is a favorite of Nicole Steinbok who says that it makes staff super conscious of start and end times. (It’s also a heck of a lot shorter than the average meeting).
A final major bugbear is emails. According to Forbes, the average worker spends around 28 percent of their week sorting through their inbox. That’s a lot of time and wages that could be spent doing something else. Experts recommend that you sort your emails into categories and power through them in a big productivity blast.
Audit Your Own Leadership
Top entrepreneurs are constantly asking themselves questions about how they could do better. They examine their strengths and weaknesses and practice self-awareness religiously. Not only does this make you a better business leader, but it also helps you to be more empathetic, something that is positively correlated with how much money companies actually make.
So what is a leadership audit? For most entrepreneurs, it just means sitting down with a pen and paper and writing down the things that need to be improved. For some business leaders, it can be something as simple as improving their public speaking. For others, it’s more complicated and about working on how they interact with other members of staff in their firm.
When you’ve written the list, it’s a good idea to get feedback from people in your company who you can trust to give an honest response. It’s also worth showing it to a mentor to see whether they agree with your own self-analysis. After all, you don’t want to work hard to improve something that’s good enough already.