For an entrepreneur, 24 hours in a day is just not enough.
That is because there is always more things that can be done in a day.
This often leads to burnout and a general loss in motivation.
A 2005 study conducted by the International Game Developers’ Association showed that people working more than 8 hours a day tend to become extremely unproductive and tired. In cases of people in the work floor, the study also found that adding additional hours to work only increased the rate of accidents and other catastrophic events.
That is exactly why you should work not more than 8 hours in a day – even if you are a bootstrapped entrepreneur doing the job of three people. How do you ensure your productivity stays the highest so that you can get things done on time with a drop in the number of hours put in? Here are some online tools that help me massively.
This is one of the best tools to help you cut down on repetitive typing tasks. Consider this: an average entrepreneur who does online outreach needs to type her name, website address or phone number multiple times a day in several emails they send. Even if it takes 5 seconds for you to type your name, repeating it several times a day could easily amount to a few minutes at least. Phrase Express is a free tool that lets you create shortcuts for all these texts. So the next time you need to type your name, just press Alt-Shift-N and your name shall appear. Phrase Express also helps you complete repetitive sen-tences. So if you need help with explaining what your company does in several emails, you can easily reduce the time you waste on them by using this tool.
As an entrepreneur, it is extremely important to stay in touch with the latest growth strategies and tips from other business owners. That is one reason why websites like TechCrunch and VentureBeat have become so popular. However, it is a mas-sive waste of time to spend countless hours a week browsing through other websites when you could be working on your own business. The Entrepreneurship Daily is a newsletter service that succinctly captures the popular articles that are trend-ing among fellow entrepreneurs and shares it over an email. A service as this can easily save you at least an hour every day.
Imagine this scenario – You have written to a famous blogger about your product who has promised to look into it. A lot of times, the conversation ends here. An email to a prospect only goes thus far. How do you reach out to them through other channels? An internet search might help but it takes several minutes to look at all the information clutter before you can get the information you want. Rapportive saves you time exactly here. It’s a simple Chrome extension that does the data digging for you and displays all the relevant information about the contact right on your Gmail account. If you are someone who does a lot of outreach, this extension is definitely a God-send.
Do you maintain a daily spreadsheet where you update the daily orders? Do you handle marketing where you email all your new Twitter followers a welcome message? Then all these tasks can be automated using this really cool tool at IFTTT – this is a service that integrates the APIs from multiple services to build amazing ‘If This, Then That’ recipes. To elaborate on one of the scenarios mentioned earlier, you can use this IFTTT recipe to automatically populate a Google spreadsheet every time you receive an email with specific keywords like “order number” or “receipt number”. The best thing about this tool is that you can imagine one such scenario and build a recipe yourself.
Are you addicted to reddit? Or do you spend too much time reading the political gossip on Fox News? With LeechBlock, you can ensure none of these distractions affect you during your work hours. LeechBlock is a Firefox add on where you may specify your work hours and the websites that you need to be protected from. The extension makes sure you do not have access to these sites during your work time. While it does not directly impact your productivity, it ensures it does not drop due to other distractions.
What tools do you use to increase productivity? Tell us in the comments.
|Written on 2/18/2014 by Anand Srinivasan. Anand Srinivasan is a digital media consultant from Bangalore, India. He runs an email newsletter service for entrepreneurs called Entrepreneurship Daily. You may write to him at [email protected]|
Photo Credit: Michael Scott