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5 Mindfulness Tricks for Entrepreneurs to Reach Maximum Productivity

by Mandy Pao

You’ve faced the sleepless nights, the constant stress, the feeling of staring at your screen until everything becomes fuzzy. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Entrepreneurship is a challenging journey that demands a lot of hard work, dedication, and focus. While entrepreneurs often work long hours and juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, the key to success lies in being mindful and present in the moment. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of one's thoughts, emotions, and surroundings without judgment. By cultivating mindfulness, entrepreneurs can become more productive, efficient, and focused, while reducing stress and anxiety.

In this article, we will discuss 5 mindfulness tricks that entrepreneurs can use to reach maximum productivity and achieve success in their businesses.

1. Practice Daily Meditation

The research is there - you can’t deny it anymore! Meditation is a powerful mindfulness technique that can help entrepreneurs calm their minds, improve focus, and reduce stress. The benefits are truly endless and can help everyone but they are specifically great for the overworked entrepreneur.  By setting aside just 10-15 minutes each day to meditate, you can reduce your stress, increase your productivity, creativity, and decision-making skills. Meditation can also help entrepreneurs gain clarity and perspective, enabling them to make better choices for their businesses.

For me, this practice has been transformational - no longer am I running around like a headless chicken, but instead I start each day with a sense of calm. I am also a big believer in intentions and so each day I am able to visualize (and accomplish!) my goals. This morning session is also a great self check in. Where are my energy levels at? How did I sleep? Do I have specific tensions or stresses coming up today? I can accordingly adjust my calendar for the day, maximizing my productivity while also scheduling in rest. 

2. Sleep sufficiently and deeply

Did you know that lack of sleep can seriously affect your cognitive ability? When you're sleep deprived, it's hard to think clearly and make important decisions. That's why it's essential for entrepreneurs to get enough rest. 

It’s easy to fall into the “sleep is for the weak'' mindset. I would know - I spent years in the glamorous but exhausting PR industry. But if you push yourself to the brink every day with endless cups of coffee and all-nighters, you will fall sick and put your health at risk. 

Here's what you can do instead: Have magnesium one hour before bed, it helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, reduces nighttime awakenings, and increases levels of naturally circulating melatonin. I also recommend using an eye mask during sleep to keep out light and help regulate your circadian rhythm. Finally, be sure to listen to your body. If you’re tired, rest! 

3. Set-aside “thinking time”

Let me ask you something: have you ever felt like a prisoner to your calendar and to-do list? It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget to make time for yourself. This is a practice I’ve incorporated in my life - every Friday is “me” time. 

I use this opportunity to let my mind run free and flex my creative muscles - it’s like a workout for my brain. Just like how your muscles need time to rest and recover, your brain needs some space to explore and come up with new ideas.

I have a hunch that some of your greatest accomplishments and breakthrough moments happened when you had the freedom to let your creativity flow. It's like those light bulb moments when everything just clicks! So don't forget to give yourself some breathing room and let your brain explore the valleys of its creativity. Who knows what amazing ideas you'll come up with!

4. Try an anti to-do list 

Now, I love a to-do list, it is my lifeline at times but at the end of a long day, it can be overwhelming and disheartening, especially if I haven't accomplished much. If a project took longer than I expected or emergency work came up - instead of crossing things out, I end up having to add more. 

So, I tried Marc Andreessen’s, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, solution: keeping an "anti to-do list". Whenever you complete something productive, write it down on this list to track your achievements. This technique can boost motivation and help you feel more productive.

I have found numerous benefits, especially helping in improving focus and feelings of accomplishment. Unlike a traditional to-do list, the anti to-do list shows progress and growth throughout the day. The satisfaction of seeing your list grow as you complete tasks can be surprisingly powerful. Similarly, knowing that you have a reward waiting for you at the end of each task can help you stay focused. 

I also find it super helpful to analyze the list to gain insight into my work patterns. Comparing my to-do list with the anti to-do list helps me see what times are better for certain tasks, whether I have a preference for certain to-dos and whether my actions align with my goals. This has actually helped me identify where I can be more efficient and make small changes that add up to significant time savings over time.

5. Practice Gratitude

It can seem a bit wishy-washy but practicing gratitude is a very powerful mindfulness technique. Technically, it is the state of mind that involves appreciating the good things in life, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. It has been proven to help entrepreneurs cultivate a positive mindset, reduce stress, and increase happiness. Plus, gratitude helps cultivate a mindset of resilience and perseverance that will help them stay motivated and focused on their goals. It can also help build strong relationships. When we are grateful for the people in our lives, we create a sense of connection and appreciation that can strengthen our relationships. This is especially important for entrepreneurs, as we need strong relationships with their customers, employees, and partners to succeed.

On a personal note, I have also found gratitude helpful in keeping me grounded. When I am grateful for the things I have, I can avoid falling into the trap of always wanting more. This has helped me avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

In conclusion, mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help entrepreneurs increase productivity, reduce stress, and achieve success in their businesses. By practicing daily meditation, staying present in the moment,

Read more about mindful living and entrepreneurship with these articles: 

Trend Forecasting: How Entrepreneurs Can Improve their Wellbeing and Mental Health in 2023

How Psychedelics Can Unlock Your Mind’s Vast Creativity

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