We live in a world where the main advice is to become an efficiency machine, but getting useful productivity tips for creative entrepreneurs seems to be lost in the sea of content. You may have tried this approach only to get less done and feeling like you’re on the verge of burnout.
While some people thrive on the “sleep when you’re dead” style of productivity, most don’t—at least not in the long run. Fortunately, many creative entrepreneurs discovered that they can actually achieve more by doing less and taking better care of themselves.
Curious about how you can implement a similar strategy?
One way to do this is to practice mindfulness or meditation. While sitting still in silence might not seem like a great tool for productivity, there’s a reason so many successful creative entrepreneurs swear by it. There are many types of meditation you can experiment with, from guided meditation to transcendental meditation, but they all share similar goals: improving focus, reducing stress, and promoting a higher level of awareness.
It’s not hard to see how these benefits could boost your productivity in a healthy way. When you’re less stressed and more aware of your behavior, distractions are minimized and productivity is maximized while still maintaining your well-being.
If you’re not into meditating or that feels a little woo for you, any practice you do to calm yourself before working is also great. Breathing exercises, journaling, or simply planning your day on paper.
You want to associate your workspace as a calm place and by starting off this way, it can make a big difference.
Entrepreneurship is about wearing many hats, but that doesn’t mean you should wear them all at the same time. In fact, studies show that trying to “do it all” isn’t just mentally and physically draining, but it actually hinders productivity.
A healthier and more effective alternative to multi-tasking is batch working (a.k.a batching), which entails grouping similar tasks together and only focusing on those tasks for a chunk of time. For example, you could dedicate one day (or at least 3-4 hour blocks) to content writing tasks, such as blog writing and creating social media captions, while another day could be dedicated to meetings and catching up with communications.
Do you find yourself pushing through work without any breaks? If so, it’s time to rethink your approach. While it might seem counterintuitive, following a cycle of exertion and rest leads to greater productivity and well-being. Rather than pushing through with the aid of coffee, sugar, or stimulants, work in 90 minute periods followed by breaks.
These breaks will allow you to clear your mind, reset, and release the tension you’re carrying. When you return to work after your breaks, you’ll find you have a renewed sense of motivation and an increased ability to make decisions. Whether your break is ten minutes or an hour, the key is to give yourself permission to have them consistently throughout your day. Taking breaks with unstructured thought will not only benefit your work performance, but the health of your mind and body.
Creative entrepreneurs often think of their business as their child—so much so that it can be hard to let go of any amount of control. The reality is that not every task associated with your business needs your hands-on attention. If you have the means, hire people that you can pass certain tasks to.
For example, you could hire a virtual assistant to upload new content to your website or a content writer to create weekly blogs posts. Taking some duties off of your plate will serve to reduce your stress and free up some of your time so that you can focus on tasks that do require your special touch.
A budget friendly way to get around this is to use technology. There are plenty of apps and software out there that will cut your time in half. Whether those are social media scheduling posts, copywriting AI (not perfect but it helps get the ball rolling when you have an empty page), CRMs, and the ultimate automation tool- Zapier, to connect everything together.
Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (now Meta), wears the same clothes to work every day? To be clear, it’s not the same exact clothes, but rather several copies of the same clothes (phew!). Why would a multi-billionaire choose to wear the same grey shirt every day?
His motivation for doing so is to reduce decision fatigue—the accumulation of stress and anxiety as you make decisions throughout the day. This psychological theory suggests that by eliminating some decisions from your daily schedule, such as choosing what to wear, you’ll have more energy for making other important business-related decisions and flexing your creativity.
Now, we’re not suggesting you wear the same thing every day like Mark, but take some time to think about small decisions that you can set to autopilot every day. You just might be surprised how much time and energy this frees up to focus on other things.
Improving your productivity is not only about getting more done, but also about supporting your health and wellness so that you can show up in life as the best version of yourself. After all, what is the point of success if you completely burn yourself out in the process?
It’s time to take your foot off the gas pedal and try a different approach. One that’s slower, kinder, and more mindful. While it might seem counterintuitive and feel a little scary at first, you’ll quickly realize how significantly the small changes in this article can improve your professional and personal life.
I hope this has been helpful overview of productivity tips for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners!
Want to determine your ideal productivity style as a service-based creative entrepreneur? Take this quiz now to find out!