1. Delegate everything you possibly can. As a leader your time is scarce. If you have an employee that you pay at a rate less than half of what you value your time, and they can do the job 50% as fast as you, you should probably let them do it instead of doing it yourself.
2. Automate everything you can that gets done often. It’s easy to waste tons of time doing daily, low level tasks. Tools (mechanical, digital, office & shop) exist to automate much of this work, so buy them and use them.
3. Figure out your peak productivity hours, and do the hardest work then. Some people think more efficiently in the morning, others get a productivity boost at 10pm. Know yourself and use your times of greatest productivity to buckle down on the most energy consuming work.
4. Work with timers, and limit distractions. Give yourself timed worked blocks (for example, one hour) where no email or other distractions are allowed. As soon as the timer goes off, you’ve earned yourself a short break. Many people find that this yields an immediate productivity benefit.
5. Take that first step on those things you’ve been putting off. When work feels too odious we can put it off for days or weeks. Give yourself permission to just do the first 5 minutes of that work, and stop after the first step. That makes getting going much more bearable, and more often than not you’ll find that after 5 minutes you’re in the zone and are fine with doing more.
6. Get everything out of your head and into a list. There are far too many things to remember, so get them out onto a list instead, and have a regular time each day or each week to review those lists. Otherwise you’re bound to forget important details, which will hurt your effectiveness.
As an added bonus, I leave you with this simple concept: