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7 life hacks for entrepreneurs

1. Make a Deadline List Instead of a To Do List
Most likely, you have a to-do list – in a notebook or organizer, in notes on your phone, or just in your head. Does it happen that some tasks have been moving from list to list for several months, but hands never reach their completion? They hang dead weight, hinting at your unproductiveness and laziness. Getting rid of such tasks, as well as reducing the to-do list, is easier than it seems.

Assign a deadline for each task from the list. This is the easiest way to turn your to-do list into a schedule and a clear plan of what to do and when.

For example, if you are writing a quotation for a large client, include the date you will submit it. By this date, you not only have to make a commercial proposal, but also take into account the time for which the designer / assistant / freelancer will draw it up. Accordingly, the task will have several more deadlines:

1 – when you give the sketches to the designer,
2 – when the designer sends the finished version,
3 – when you send edits to the designer,
4 – get the final version of the commercial proposal and send it to the client.
Now, instead of one blurry task from the list, you have a developed plan with clear deadlines that you will follow.

If you work in a team, it is important that each team member sees the tasks and deadlines of their colleagues. Task tracker services such as Trello, PlanFix help to do this. In extreme cases, the team task tracker can also be assembled in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets.

The main advantage of setting deadlines for all work (and not only) cases is the reduction of stress levels. You will begin to control what is happening and plan your day based on deadlines, since you will already have a clear schedule. It remains only to adhere to it and adjust according to the situation.

2. Pump up critical thinking
Many entrepreneurs sin by making the first decision that comes to mind. In the rush and bustle, they do not take the time to assess the problem from all sides. But the first solution is not always the best one. The skill of critical thinking will allow you to protect yourself from mistakes.

There are several ways to sharpen your mind to critically evaluate your decisions and not “flog a fever.”

First, question any of your assumptions and decisions. Especially when the stakes are high. If you come up with a new development strategy, ask yourself: “Why is this strategy the best in this case? Are there any market studies on this and what do they claim?

Second, turn on the logic. Assess how obvious the arguments in favor of a particular conclusion are, in order to make an informed decision based on them? Are the pros supported by real numbers or statistics?

Finally, try to find a fresh or non-standard way to solve the problem. As tempting as it may be to rely only on your inner circle when looking for answers to business questions, you will never get a fresh look at a problem if everyone around you thinks the same way as you. Get out of the bubble and ask different people to question your decision.

3. Stop Reminding Your Mistakes
How often do you think about your failures or mistakes in business? If you dwell on negative experiences, the level of anxiety and worry increases, and you lose the ability to make volitional decisions. There are several ways to deal with intrusive unpleasant memories.

Remember what makes you doubt yourself or your decisions? Perhaps, when communicating with certain people or while working on some project or task, you suddenly feel insecure about yourself and your abilities? Watch yourself when (and most importantly, why) you start to rethink the same mistake or failure.

If you notice that you are already again remembering the very wrong decision, thanks to which you lost money / client / got into a difficult situation, think about it from a different angle. Instead of saying “I’m incompetent” to yourself, say “I feel incompetent.” Thus, you move away from the statement to the formulation of the feeling. And feelings and reality often have nothing in common.

Finally, no one has canceled the easiest way – to get distracted. If your thoughts keep revolving around a failure from the past, go for a walk, meditate, or start filling out your income statement—do simple things that are pleasant (or not so) so that your brain can focus on something else.

4. Listen more than talk
If you have employees, you most likely talk a lot – explain, convince, set tasks, instruct, give instructions, chastise. There are a lot of reasons for the leader to express his thoughts.

On the one hand, it is important to convey to employees, partners, colleagues what you want from them. But at the same time, constantly speaking out, you may not notice how you begin to dominate every conversation, leaving no interlocutors (usually subordinates) a chance to be heard.

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