Business Productivity Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 7 Tips

How To Be More Productive in Business

Are you experiencing a sense of overwhelm in your business life?Business - 7 Light Bulb Tips

  • How are you going to meet that sales quota for the quarter?
  • How are you going to get more customers to come into the door?
  • How are you going to meet that deadline?
  • How are you going to get it all done?

You are not alone.  We all experience these feelings.  It may be that any business owner these days who doesn’t feel a sense of overwhelm may not have a pulse.

Seriously, technology is everywhere allowing us to do more and more, yet it also serves as a contributor to these pressure-cooker feelings and lower business productivity.

Interested in knowing how you can grab control over your business day and be far more productive?

Who isn’t?

Great.  I’ve got 7 tips to help you do just that.

7 Light Bulb Tips

These tips on higher business productivity come from a fantastic interview of Dr. Ned Hallowell on Marie TV.  He studies these things for a living and shared some wonderful tips you can use to get control over you day and accomplish more.

For me these were like ‘light bulb’ moments or sudden sparks of inspiration.  They give me hope I can be far more productive and they may for you as well.

Dr.  Hallowell is the real deal.

  • A child and adult psychiatrist
  • A NY Times bestselling author and world-renowned speaker and leading authority in the field of ADHD
  • A graduate of Harvard College and Tulane Medical School
  • Founder of The Hallowell Centers in Sudbury, Massachusetts and New York City
  • Author of 18 books covering a variety of psychological topics including dealing with worry and managing excessive busyness.

Let’s get to his tips for the busy business owner or business person who wants to be more productive.

Light Bulb Tip #1:  The Power of Three

What’s that?

It is where you begin every business day with just three goals on your To Do list.  Just three.  Not four or four and a half.  Just three.

Why three?

  • It forces you to prioritize what you want to accomplish
  • It gets you focused
  • You increase your chances of actually getting something done at the end of the day

Just hearing him say that I could narrow my focus to three things made me feel 20 pounds lighter.  How about you?

Dr. Hallowell takes the Power of Three beyond the day and suggests you extend it to your week, your month, your year and your life.

Light Bulb Tip #2:  Stop Screen Sucking

According to Dr. Hallowell, our computer, laptops, smart phones are extremely addictive.  Studies show that watching these electronic screens stimulate the same brain circuitry that triggers dopamine in the brain, which leads to addiction.

That’s a pretty powerful tug and a serious drain on your productivity.

He suggests you designate one hour in the A.M. and perhaps in the P.M. to check your email, do whatever electronic correspondence you need to do and then…


Yes, he wants you to…


If turning off your laptop, your cell phone or tablet gives you pause, ask:

Which is more important: frittering away precious hours online producing nothing or finishing your three tasks for the day? 

Light Bulb Tip #3:  Schedule some NNT

NNT stands for non-negotiable time.  These are the times you give yourself to be totally focused on what you have to do for the day without interruption.

According to Dr. Hallowell, it is estimated that 20 minutes out of every hour is wasted because of interruptions.  Plus it takes additional time for you to regain your focus after being interrupted.

So establish some NNTs.  If possible, pick the same time slots everyday so it becomes more of an ingrained habit for you, your co-workers or your family if you work at home.

Will they think you’re silly? Who cares what they think if you are more productive?

Light Bulb Tip #4:  Change your Default Response

We frequently agree to participate when asked to join in a program, to volunteer our time, to serve.

This is a big mistake.  Often these activities take time away from what it is that you really want to accomplish.

So, instead of an automatic “Yes”, change your default response to “Let me think about it”.

If you feel this activity will rob you of time on more important business matters, simply tell them you “don’t have the time required to devote to their important project”.

Light Bulb Tip #5:  Don’t worry alone

I thought this tip was so insightful because this is what many in business and business owners do all of the time.  They worry about everything.

Worrying alone can become toxic and a serious drain on our productivity, according to Hallowell.

He suggests a simple three step process to erase your worries and move you into a problem solving mode.

1.  Connect with someone who can help you address your specific worry.  Worried about cash flow?  Talk to your accountant.  Worried about staff?  Talk to a personnel professional.

2.  Get the facts.  If you don’t have the facts, your imagination will take over and make it feel worse than it really is.

3.  Make a plan.  Armed with the facts, you can create a plan of attack.  Plus you’ll feel more empowered.

Worries erased.

Business - Cultivate the Lilies the marketing bit Light Bulb Tip #6:  Cultivate Lilies – Get Rid of Leeches

Part of a business owner’s DNA is to have a lot of ideas or projects.  It can be difficult to determine what is a lily and what is a leech, but it is important to do so.

Hallowell suggests you focus on those ideas, projects, people that deliver the most fulfillment, the most pleasure, the most reward and weed out those that will leech away your time.

Just like a real bed of lilies, you’ll need to make certain you don’t have to many or few will bloom.

Light Bulb Tip #7 – Give a High Five

I added this tip because I know how difficult it can be for any of us to change old habits and patterns.  It can feel like breaking down a brick wall with your head.

So, when you DO spend a day – just one day – accomplishing  the Power of Three, turning off those addictive screens, respecting your NNT, changing your default response, turning worries into plans and cultivating your lilies, you want to reinforce those good acts.

Go ahead.  Give yourself a big High Five!

Similar to reshaping your body, you have to build these mental muscles so they become part of your everyday business life.  You do that through consistency.

As a business owner or as someone who works in business, these tips will give you control and mastery over your day…perhaps your life.

Your Turn

Tell me which of these light bulb tips turned on a light for you?

Which tip are you going to try tomorrow?

What other productivity tips do you have to add to the conversation?

Do you know of a business owner or an executive who is overwhelmed?  Then share this post.  They’ll thank you for it.

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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