Entrepreneur's Guide to Have A Great Day at Work

January 17, 2018

We live in a world overflowing with distractions.  email (ding), phone (ring ring), text (ding), facebook (ding)... and on and on..

All of this stuff is designed to increase communication and efficiency in business, but we just don’t know how to wield this kind of power yet (we’re mere mortals!).  Instead we find ourselves stuck in a reactive state where we run on “reply”.  Replying will not lead to growth and leaves us feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day.

Time is our most valuable asset.  So how many minutes in a day do we have?  1440.  This sounds like a lot, but let’s look at your average 8 hour work day.  8 hours is only 480 minutes.  Of those 480, how many do you spend checking your email?

Most entrepreneur’s are in the constant reactive state.  They leave email open all day and check it every 30 minutes or so.  Let’s say you check your email a conservative 5 times a day, and each time you spend 5 minutes.  That’s 25 minutes gone.  455 left.

Lunch takes another 30.  425 left. TICK, TICK, TICK.

Bathroom breaks?  Let’s say another 20. 405 minutes left.

Now we all MUST take time to chat with our co-workers, answer questions, and call and friends/family.  Let’s put that time at 50 minutes.  355 left.

What about Facebook, wasn’t there a message you needed to reply to for your plans tonight?  Oops, there goes 35 minutes sucked into Facebook.  320.

So let’s say everything else goes smoothly.  You’ve got 320 minutes of real work.  That’s just 5 hours and 20 minutes.  

Now 5 hours and 20 minutes doesn’t sound so bad, right?  But consider that all of the previous time-sucks are randomly divided throughout the day.  You are likely interrupted every 15 minutes of your workday unless you have it well mapped out.

Every time you check your phone, email, facebook, or a co-worker walks up you’re thrown off task and productivity goes out the window.

We spoke with (business coaching) expert David Secondo about his thoughts on the best entrepreneur’s approach to have a great day at work.  

Here’s a bit about David and why his advice is as good as business gold!

David helps entrepreneurs get more done in 2 days than they normally do in 2 weeks so they can 3X-10X their business by working less. A Certified Integral Coach, and founder of Lead Your Way, LLC, specializing in helping CEOs of service-based businesses that create positive change in the world.

Do you believe in planning the night before or morning of?

“Either one is good, night before or morning of.  I choose morning of and identify the single most important thing that I want to accomplish, and block out a large chunk of time to accomplish that thing.  Sometimes it can be a 4 hour block.  Other times, if I’m looking at my week and I want to accomplish the most important thing, I might block out a full day to get that done.  Then the other 4 hours of the day could be focused on more managerial tasks.”

What’s the most common issue entrepreneurs struggle with on a daily basis?

“Identifying what to focus their time and energy on, and getting distracted by non-essentials.  What I commonly see happening is people choosing something they want to work on, and then they get a notification in their phone, get an an email, pop-up, etc..  They choose to put their time and energy towards that interruption instead of focusing on what they already identified as most important.  Or maybe they don’t identify what’s most important to begin with.  They take every opportunity that they get.  They have the shiny object syndrome “oh, I can’t say no to this,” so they don’t say no to any opportunities and before long they’re overwhelmed.”

What are a few basic tips that we can incorporate in our day to make it run smoother?

“The most important thing is to say “no” as much as possible. Say no to things that aren’t aligned to your big picture, your vision, your purpose, where you really want to go.”
What morning routine do you recommend and why?

“I recommend meditation, visualization and exercise.  Richard Branson says exercise gives him 3 more hours of productivity each day and I believe that’s true.  Meditation clears the mind and helps you see clearly what you want to focus on.  Visualizing helps you to see what you’re going to be doing ahead of time so that when you do that it’s a lot more seamless.”

What’s your perfect work day look like?

“My perfect day is working 5 hours and getting one important thing done that’s going to move me forward exponentially.  Followed by managerial tasks for 1-2 hours that are going to make sure my clients are very happy.”

Any tips for removing daily distractions to accomplish more each day?

“Turn off notifications.  Don’t let yourself have instant messenger, email, or text pop ups. Especially when you’re in a 4-hour block of time where you’ve decided you’re going to work on one thing. You might even turn off your phone completely.”

Any resources you recommend to help entrepreneurs craft a better work day?

“My webinar! And the 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss, or Essentialism by Greg McKeown.”

Most people struggle with growing pains and have more work than they can handle which keeps them working only on reactive tasks and not growth.  Any thoughts or steps they can take to help reduce workload?

“I would identify the tasks that are the highest return on investment.  There are going to be tasks within your business that only you can do, that you should get paid the most for, usually it’s what you love doing the most so it’s the easiest to do.  That might be something that’s a $200-300 per hour task.  Those other tasks that you can pay somebody else to do for $10-30 per hour should be delegated or even eliminated, they might not even be necessary.

So how do we have a great day at work?  And most importantly, productive and efficient?

First off, really think about distractions.  If you work for yourself, every time you get distracted is time you could be working, or you could even go home earlier that day.  Would you rather focus on things you should be doing after work for 5 minutes during the day, or leave 5 minutes earlier and not feel bad about the distraction?

The perfect work day starts with a great night’s sleep.  This ensures your brain is running at optimal efficiency.  

Then, get a little exercise in the morning to start those neurons firing.  And not just in a gym either, get outside and breath in some real air!

When you get to work you should already have a plan for the day and go after the hardest task first.  The task you most want to avoid because it’s not fun or pulls you from your comfort zone.  During this time, and any time you work all day, KEEP YOUR EMAIL OFF and don’t go near Facebook.  Once this first task is done you’ll already feel accomplished for the day.

Get up and walk around.  Every time you finish a task or are losing focus, movement will bring you back.  

THEN, check your email.  Plan on having 30 minutes or an hour to look through email and reply to anything you can then and there.  Now close it again.  It’s time for lunch.

Talk to your friends and even take a longer lunch than normal to fully reset.  Breaks are key to calming and refocusing our minds.

After lunch plan on working on things that are a little less intensive.  Maybe even some of the more redundant work you don’t like to do.  It’s tough getting back into it.  Do this for 45 minutes or so and then get up and walk around.

The movement will help wake you back up but you’ll likely be feeling the midday lull.  That period of time where our stomachs are full and comfortable and our minds feel tired. Walking will help curb this.

Part of the reason we feel the midday lull is because our bodies are working hard to process lunch and our minds are strained from all the work and focus we’ve done so far.  Take an energy supplement to rehydrate and get your brain the vitamins it needs to get back to work. We recommend PepPod.  It’s going to bring you back up to speed in a healthier way than coffee and without over-caffeinating you.  Plus it will keep you working longer into the afternoon without the crash that’s so common with most energy products.

Now hone in on another power session accomplishing a task with limited distractions.  Still NO EMAIL.  You’ll feel great after this is all done!

Walk around for 5 minutes and chat with some co-workers now, it’s refresh time.

Check your email again since it’s almost the end of the day.  Try to answer anything you can right away and send any messages you thought of while you were working earlier.

Spend the last 10-15 minutes planning out the next day.  Hero days don’t occur without a plan, and sticking to a strong plan with 6 main tasks or less each day will keep you moving forward.  It will help you exit that reactive state of mind!

Having a great day at work all starts with focusing on what’s most important to you.  The ONE thing that will make you feel accomplished and means the most to your business.  Working on small tasks that don’t accomplish this goal will never help.  Focus on what moves the needle, eliminate distractions, and you’ll have a great day at work filled with productivity.  You’ll even be able to leave earlier because you’ll have accomplished so much more in far less time!

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