As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s easy to feel like the world's weight is on your shoulders. You’re constantly juggling different responsibilities and trying to stay on top of your ever-growing to-do list. As a result, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive throughout the day—especially when you’re surrounded by distractions.
But no one said you couldn't do it without some help. Fortunately, there are several great products out there to help you improve your focus, organization, and productivity.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, we'll explore a handful of the best solutions to help you regain control of your days.
Boost focus and concentration
One of the most important factors for any entrepreneur to be successful is their ability to stay focused and concentrate on the task at hand. And when there’s no shortage of distractions in today's world, combined with the fact that there always seems to be a new challenge that needs to be dealt with at any given moment, this can have a serious impact on your ability to get things done.
This is why it’s so important to invest in yourself and your work environment to help you stay focused and increase productivity as much as possible.
Nothing screams low productivity more than fatigue and a foggy mind. Caffeine can only do so much, but sometimes, it just isn't enough. To stay alert and efficient throughout the day, consider taking a few natural supplements designed to improve mental focus.
Thanks to the booming wellness industry, there is a huge market full of different options to suit a wide variety of needs, and plenty of options mean that you're bound to find something that works for you. But to help you get started, some of the best-rated supplements currently available include:
- Elm & Rye Nootropics: Elm & Rye Nootropics contain a proprietary blend of ingredients that boost cognitive function and concentration. The ingredients include Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Hibiscus syriacus, Magnesium Citrate, Hawthorn Berry Extract, and more. Whether you’re trying to finish a long project or need a pick-me-up in the morning, these supplements will give you the mental clarity you need to focus on the task ahead.
- Energy & Focus mints and gums: Neuro mints and gums are formulated with B vitamins, L-theanine, and caffeine to give you the mental endurance you need to focus on your goals. These ingredients will help you stay alert and take on the next project without feeling burned out. The mints and gums are gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, and available in different flavors.
- Penguin CBD oil and gummies: CBD has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue, all of which can interfere with productivity. In this light, adding Penguin CBD oil and gummies to your daily routine makes sense. These products are made from the best Oregon-grown hemp and won't get you high.
The workplace can be a busy and distracting environment, making it difficult to concentrate on your work. The chatter of employees, the clatter of keyboards, and the constant flow of notifications can be distracting when trying to focus on a task. Not forgetting the noise from nearby roads and construction sites, which can be more distracting.
If environmental noise distracts you all day, focusing even on the most crucial tasks becomes difficult. Fortunately, sound-canceling headphones such as the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 can come to the rescue. The technology in these headphones detects incoming sounds and creates opposing sound waves that cancel out the external noises.
They block out all external noise so you can focus on your work and avoid distractions from the outside world. Wearing headphones also allows you to create a private space for yourself, as they signal to others that you don’t want to be disturbed.
Some noise-canceling headphones even have built-in background soundtracks designed to increase your concentration. If the silence is too loud, you can choose from a variety of soothing music or white noise to keep you focused on your work.
Research shows that listening to music with lyrics is distracting as it interferes with the processing of information in your brain. If you're listening to your favorite song or a song you are familiar with, you feel the urge to sing along instead of focusing on your work.
However, when the music has no lyrics, you can concentrate better since there's nothing to sing along to or dissect. Video game soundtracks, electronic lo-fi music, and binaural beats are all great options for background music as they effectively improve focus.
Technology has made it easier to stay organized and productive, thanks to the various productivity tools available. From task managers to time-tracking applications, plenty of options exist to help you organize your busy schedule and make the most of your working hours.
Here are a few tools you should consider:
This productivity app uses artificial intelligence to optimize your day by creating a perfect daily schedule out of your to-do list. Motion claims that using this app can save you 30.3 days every year. When you input your tasks, projects, and meetings in Motion, the app will prioritize them based on deadlines and even reschedule your undone work.
Motion tracks all your priorities, which minimizes the risk of forgetting important tasks. With the app, you can forget about creating long to-do lists and spending all your energy prioritizing and organizing these tasks yourself.
Calendar apps are some of the best tools to help you stay organized and productive. The most popular calendar apps include Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Apple Calendar. These apps have easy-to-use interfaces that allow you to add daily tasks and events.
You can also sync these calendars with devices like smartwatches, allowing you to stay on top of your tasks and schedules. Since the calendar app can map out your days and weeks, you can plan a more efficient and productive workday.
Lack of time is one of the most common complaints among all small business owners and entrepreneurs, but you shouldn't feel overwhelmed or disheartened. An increased workload is a healthy sign of success for a growing business, and it doesn't have to mean exhaustion or burnout for you with the right tools at your disposal.
In Tony Morgan's words, “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires."
With this in mind, it's essential to know how you spend your time so that you're not spending all of it putting out fires. And RescueTime is the perfect tool for this.
RescueTime is a productivity tracking tool that helps you understand how you spend your time. The app tracks the websites and apps you use throughout the day, so you can get an idea of how productive (or unproductive) you really are.
RescueTime reports how much time you spend on different tasks and gives you suggestions for improving your productivity. With RescueTime, you can set goals to focus better, identify distractions that take away from productive hours, and block websites or apps when necessary.
Email Hunter app
Salespeople spend about 17% of their everyday time researching and prospecting leads. But what if there was a way to make this process more efficient? Email finder tools are the perfect solution for busy entrepreneurs who need to find contact information for potential customers quickly.
These tools work by scraping the web, searching online directories, and other sources of contact information. Then, they compile all this data into easy-to-use databases that can be exported as spreadsheets or imported into CRM systems.
One such tool is Email Hunter, which makes finding professional emails and connecting with your most valuable audience a breeze. This tool allows you to search email addresses by domain name, individual name, and company name. Its Chrome extension lets you easily find emails on any website you desire.
A coffee warmer
Picture this: you squeeze some time out of a busy day and make yourself a hot cup of coffee. You start work and enjoy your first sip; it’s hot and rejuvenating. But then, a client calls or one of your employees needs help, and you’re pulled away from your cup.
When you return, the temperature has dropped, and your coffee is no longer hot enough to enjoy. This can be annoying at best, and borderline heart-breaking at worst if you're a fellow lover of hot beverages.
A coffee warmer can come in handy to solve this problem. It keeps your coffee, tea, or other beverage warm for as long as needed. Not only does it make your time at your work desk more comfortable, but it also reduces the need for you to leave your workspace and waste another few minutes of your day making another cup. (However, make sure you compensate for this at some point and always aim to follow the doctor-recommended guidelines to take a short break and stretch your body once every two hours while sitting at a desk.)
Examples of these time-saving devices include the Ember mug, a temperature-controlled mug that keeps your beverage hot for up to 1.5 hours and automatically shuts off when it’s time to refill. Or the Cauldryn Fyre Mobile which comes with a lithium-battery-powered temperature control to keep your mug at the perfect temperature when you’re in the office or on the go.
A snack drawer
Let’s be honest, who can honestly say they do their best work when they have no energy and can’t concentrate?
Research shows that the ability to regulate behavior is strongly linked to glucose, or blood sugar, in our bodies. In addition to regulating energy levels, blood glucose is a major energy provider for self-control behaviors such as controlling attention, regulating emotions, coping with stress, and resisting impulsivity. Relatively large amounts of blood glucose are needed to perform these actions well, so when levels are low, failures are more likely to occur. Hello, afternoon procrastination!
If you often find yourself in a mid-day slump with zero motivation to stay focused on work, simply restoring glucose levels with a snack is usually enough to get yourself back on track.
But even the time it takes for a short walk to the kitchen can add up over time, not to mention derail your focus. Set up a designated space to keep food by your desk, so you do not have to constantly take time away from your tasks because you are hungry.
Some of the best snack options to fill up your drawer include:
- Dark blue and purple fruits: Produce that appears dark blue or purple contains anthocyanins, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have linked anthocyanins to reduced rates of cognitive decline in older adults, and they have even been named “neuroprotective agents for brain diseases”.
- Nuts and seeds: Amongst the many benefits associated with nuts and seeds, regularly consuming nuts has been found to strengthen the brainwave frequencies linked to cognition, learning, memory, and other brain functions.
- Healthy cheeses: Despite its reputation for being overly fatty and high in sodium (in other words, a poor health choice), experts agree that feta, goat cheese, mozzarella, and Swiss cheese are the best choices to incorporate into a healthy diet. Swiss cheese, in particular, contains naturally occurring antioxidants that can maintain healthy brain function and even potentially defend against Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to the milk it's made from.
A virtual assistant
When you have built your own business from scratch, it's easy to feel like you can or should take care of everything yourself.
An example is when you lose yourself in menial tasks that add little to no value to your business. You spend little time on important tasks that can take your business to the next level. You'll hurt your business earnings and your well-being due to burnout.
This is why you should consider offloading time-wasting tasks to a virtual assistant for small businesses. VAs are experts at helping entrepreneurs and small businesses with their day-to-day task management. They can help you with most regular tasks such as managing emails, scheduling meetings, follow-ups with clients, data entry, social media, content marketing, and more.
You can say goodbye to common distractions from small tasks that prevent you from focusing on the bigger picture. Outsourcing to a virtual assistant also helps you to stay organized and efficient, allowing you to get much more done in less time.
If you're debating between hiring VAs and full-time employees, remember that virtual assistants can be up to 90% more cost-effective. This is because they don’t require benefits, vacation pay, office space, and other costs associated with an in-house team. Plus, they offer scalability, as you can increase or decrease your virtual team size at any time to suit you.
What’s the bottom line?
The ability to consistently produce quality work, as well as manage your time effectively, can often mean the difference between success and failure. Incorporating the right tools into your routine is a great starting point to help you achieve this.
If you’re ready to increase productivity in your small business and focus on your most important tasks, Time etc is here for you. We will pair you with an experienced virtual assistant to handle all the tasks dragging you down.
Talk to us today, and let us help you regain control of your time. You can also try a virtual assistant for free today to get a feel of how it works.