receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure


12 Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Sure, a cold shower and a cup of coffee will wake you up. But what do busy entrepreneurs find works best for productivity once they are out of bed? To find out, we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) their favorite tips and tricks.

1. Wake Up Early (Tweet This)

I wake up early in the morning when the day is clear of distractions. I focus on completing my top three things for the day. I categorize and determine what the top-three list consists of by asking, "If this is all I could get done today, what would it be?" Then, I get them done. - Matt Shoup,

2. Plan Your Day (Tweet This)

Take 15 minutes to plan your day the night before. Write a to-do list. I can't tell you how much time I save when I get to my desk and know exactly what I need to work on. - Evrim Oralkan, Travertine Mart

3. Have Company Headphones (Tweet This)

Buy your employees company headphones to serve as their "office door." When the office door is closed (i.e., their headphones are on), you are not allowed to interrupt them. You must use email or chat them. It's a visually obvious signal to all that you are focused and busy, but it doesn't require the separation of real walls. - Brennan White, Watchtower

4. Bundle Tasks Together (Tweet This)

Instead of jumping from one task to another, bundle similar tasks together. For example, schedule all calls for specific days or times, do all admin tasks together, etc. You'll save the time and mental energy it takes to switch, and each task is done faster and more efficiently. - Leah Neaderthal, Start Somewhere

5. Find Your Golden Hours (Tweet This)

Some people are more creative in the morning. Others are more creative late at night. Stop worrying about managing your hours of input, and start thinking about how to better manage your energy, so you're taking on your most challenging tasks during your own personal "golden hours." - Allie Siarto, Fare Oak

6. Find a Mentor (Tweet This)

Scout out a mentor, a senior leader, colleague or any other respected professional who lives near you and takes the train to work around the same time. Ask if the person would be amenable to sharing one commute per week to talk shop on the train. By the way, a new mentor will probably be more willing to give you her time if it's not going to take a chunk out of her work day. - Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

7. Use Cloud Notes (Tweet This)

There is nothing easier than creating a list of priorities, but if lists are not available to view and edit from any device at any time, then what is the point? Keep your lists together in one place by using a cloud-based note-taking program. When something needs to be done or you have a great idea you want to explore, put it on the list. You will never ask yourself what's next. - Elliot Fabri, EcoCraft Homes

8. Listen to Your Body's Natural Rhythm (Tweet This)

We all have high-and low-energy times in our days. For example, many people can barely keep their eyes open an hour after lunch. Instead of trying to fight it and getting little accomplished, take a nap, hang out with your family or exercise. You're not doing yourself or your business any favors by working when you're tired. - Dustin Lee, Playbook

9. Hit 'Reply' (Tweet This)

If there's an email I know I need to respond to, but don't have to immediately, I hit "reply" right then. Now, it's open and waiting for me, and it reminds me every time I look at my email that I need to do it. If I don't hit "reply," it can get buried and lost. - Andrew Howlett, Rain

10. Work From Home (Tweet This)

I've started working from home one day each week. It's a great opportunity to disengage from the day-to-day tasks at the office and spend time thinking strategically about big-picture opportunities without the regular interruptions that come from working in an office with a larger team. It's made a huge difference in my productivity. - Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

11. Make a To-Do List (Tweet This)

Productivity is more about effectiveness than efficiency. You can get a million things done, but if you haven't done things that will grow your business, then you haven't accomplished anything. Every morning my team and I have an email chain where we pick the three most important things we each have to do that day. It's a simple practice that pays enormous dividends. - Emerson Spartz, Spartz

12. Don't Eat Breakfast (Tweet This)

I follow a modified and bulletproof coffee/intermittent fasting routine in the morning, which means I hold off on a big meal until later in the day. I have a scoop or two of coconut butter with my coffee, which helps stave off hunger and provides good brain fuel. That way, I can be fully creative in the morning without my stomach zapping all that energy for digestion as a big meal will often do. - Jenny Blake, Jenny Blake

(Image via

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber Member
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.