12 Productivity Hacks From a Start-Up Founder

If there's anyone who knows how to amp up productivity, it'll be start-up founders who work 24/7 when they are trying to get their brand-new company off the ground. Matt DeCelles, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, recently gave a couple of really useful productivity tips on Quora. They may very well change the way you work!

  1. Use a Post-It Wisely "Use a post-it note to record the 3 most important things I can do on that particular day. The post-it note is beneficial because it has a size constraint."
  2. List Your Tasks on a Whiteboard "Use a whiteboard to list all of the tasks that are mine to accomplish. After . . . delegating out tasks, I put mine on a white board. Usually this is 10-15 tasks."
  3. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize "Prioritize the most important task you need to get done (often the one you are putting off). It is critical to set objectives before working. A great book on this topic is Eat That Frog."
  4. Like a Boss "Delegate (LIKE A BOSS). When you enjoy what you do you will find yourself being much more productive. If you really suck at doing something, chances are there is someone out there that can probably do it for less than $5 per hr. Check out Fiverr.com, Elance.com, ODesk.com etc."
  5. Silence Is Golden "Set iPhone in Do Not Disturb Mode. New feature in iOS 6 that turns off vibrate and all sounds."
  6. Control Yourself "Remove temptations with Self Control. Self Control is a tool that blocks websites you have listed as distracting for a set period of time. Once you set it, there is no way to shut it off until the time expires . . . which makes you feel like an addict going through withdrawals. As you notice distractions, be sure to add them to your blacklist."
  7. Time It "Use Rescue Time to track your productivity. Install Rescue Time on your computer and it measures how much time you spend doing particular activities. You then designate whether those activities are productive or not. It also emails you with a productivity summary for the week. This will show how much time you spend on Facebook or Youtube per week. "Use Toggl to track individual task time. Start a task and start the timer. It's shocking to look back on your day and see that it took 10 minutes to send an email etc."
  8. Give Yourself a Break “Take a break when you are not being productive anymore. For me I have a really short attention span, and I notice a significant fall off in productivity after about an hour or so of work. Take a break. Go for a walk, do something else, etc . . . then get back to work!"
  9. VIP "Use VIP Inbox on iOS 6. Set up your VIPs (be very selective) and only check those emails. Batch the rest."
  10. Bunch Up Your Emails "Batch Your Email (When people are unlikely to respond right away). Email is one of the biggest time wasters. Stay away unless it is absolutely critical to your previously set objectives. Remember that the more emails you send throughout the day, the more you receive. It's a vicious cycle. "I batch emails at night or early in the morning when people are less likely to respond right away. It is amazing how fast you can blow through a few hundred emails when you are not replying to instant responses and can move on to other tasks."
  11. Obviously a Smartphone Email "Add 'sent from my iPhone' to all email accounts signatures. This way people don't get upset with you for keeping your emails brief and getting right to the point."
  12. Listen to Music "Not all music is the same when it comes to being productive. Try out different genres of music and see what works for you. *For me I like music with very few lyrics and has a repetitive beat that gets me almost in a productive trance. aka Deadmau5 and house music."

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