These days, productivity hacks for entrepreneurs seem to come in all forms and sizes. Some preach a daily morning rinse in cold water to shake up your core; others advocate chunking up your day into more productive segments. The more radical ones insist on certain lifestyles and “shaking up“ one’s personality.

Most productivity hacks for entrepreneurs read like a list of rituals, and those who do not practice them will never reach peak performance.

Everyone moves according to their own pace, and everyone has their own productivity issues. Instead of handing you another lengthy list of tips, this article is all about getting you to observe, optimize, maintain and grow your way to becoming the most productive version of yourself.  

OOMG: A better way for entrepreneurs to hack their productivity

Step 1: Observe why your productivity is not at its peak  

As an entrepreneur, asking why is the first step towards hacking your productivity.

Figuring out productivity hacks for your entrepreneurial self starts not by clicking on random listicles, but by observing oneself.  

Simon Sinek is a keen advocate of always starting with “why”, and so are we. Start by asking yourself, why do I feel unproductive? Is it because you’re unclear of your goals, lack internal motivation, or feeling stuck in a rut because of your regular routine?

Another question to ask is, why am I doing all this? A true productivity hack helps move an entrepreneur closer to a desired end goal. This clearly isn’t the same as helping someone get more value for less time, which is what most “productivity hack” lists are premised on.

Step 2:  Optimise by starting with the simpler steps first.

Productivity hacks should not radically alter your status quo. Piecemeal change is more sustainable.

When you’ve figured out where you’re heading, it’s time to adopt some productivity hacks. Contrary to a lot of popular advice today, You can become more productive by taking small, consistent steps rather than making one big leap right off the bat.

Start with the low-hanging fruit first. Install a plug-in to block off distracting sites, unplug your TV, use noise-cancelling headphones and avoid the snooze button or obsessively checking emails. A Decluttering your workspace will take you probably just a little over 10 minutes, and even less so for prioritizing certain meetings over others.  These little steps help keep your private and work life separate too - for more on this, take a look at our quick guide.

Don’t follow our list of examples blindly though - the productivity hacks you adopt here should be based on your earlier observations of yourself.

Step 3:  Maintain with power habits and staying healthy

Without forming habits, productivity hacks fizzle out really quickly.

Productivity hacking is only one foot through the door. To really get that productive streak up and rising, productivity hacks for entrepreneurs need to be followed up with good habits to sustain the benefits.

Observe yourself again. Which issues did you address with some success and which ones continue to persist? Take the ones you’re relative successful with, and start making them habitual. Set a morning routine for keeping fit, stick to a certain time for checking emails, always schedule certain tasks for certain times of the day, and make it a point to clear your mind once a week.

Good habits prevent you from slipping back to square one, and sticking to them well is a very rewarding form of self-affirmation.  

Step 4: Grow with self-reflection

Are your productivity hacks taking you closer to your entrepreneurial goals?

If you were thinking that the next step is squeezing even more time dividends from your power habits, think again.

Remember, productivity is not the same as efficiency. You’re efficient if you squeeze more value out of your time, but you’re only productive if what you’re doing moves you closer to an end goal you have in mind.  

Think about your progress. How have you moved closer to your goals? If they have, consider ramping up those power habits to help drive you to your goal faster. If not, go back to the drawing board and try something else.

Ultimately, hacking productivity at every step depends on staying focused.

Figuring yourself out.  Adopt productivity hacks you're most compatible with.  Build them into habits. Evaluate your progress. All of it takes focus.  

Any prescription will surely fail without focus, and distractions should be completely avoided if possible. No distraction kills productivity more than mobile notifications -  the average American checks their phone nearly 80 times a day, and distracted employees cost more than 70% of US companies nearly 2 hours of work productivity in 2016!

Phones are still an indispensable part of our lives, and the best way to stop your phone from distracting you is to simply get a second phone number. A second phone number allows you to manually filter calls and only pick those that are important, and adds another layer of control over what notifications come through. Get Phoner now and start hacking your productivity the OOMG way!