The daily grind can be a real challenge. It can be difficult to stay motivated at work and focused on the right things, particularly when financial times are hard, or deadlines are compressed, and the pull of social media can be so strong.

Taking a step back and reorienting yourself regularly can help increase your personal productivity. You can resolve today to become more productive tomorrow using a few simple steps.

Put Yourself in the Environment

The most important thing to do is get started, and to get started, you have to be present. We all recognize that there are days that we just don’t feel like working. Even so, particularly for small business owners, it is important to not just show up, but to really be present. Get your morning routine down so you can show up in the office alert, ready and activated.

If you are part of a virtual company, check in with your team when you sign on in the morning, and let everyone know you are present and available if they need you.

Put Yourself in the Right Frame of Mind

Once you are there, set the right tone. Just as many people have routines to wake up in the morning or to go to bed at night, you can put yourself in the right frame of mind by creating, and following, a pre-work routine.

For some people, it starts with a cup of coffee. For others, it may take music, meditation, or day-planning. But establishing daily triggers can help you get in the mood to work even on days when you may not feel like it.

Check out the free trainings at to create a morning routine that gets you started off right.

Start with the Important Stuff

Too often, we allow others to drive our choice of task, which drives down our productivity. We answer phone calls and respond to emails or visits when we first arrive, without regard to achieving our most important tasks of the day.

As a result, we waste what should be our most productive time of the day and we worry about how we will accomplish what really needs to be done. Start right out-of-the-box by being proactive with the most important items you need to complete. When those are finished, move on to reactive work. You’ll see an instant boost in productivity by implementing this one simple suggestion.

And use time-blocking to make your calendar your best friend. Schedule EVERYTHING that needs to get done on your calendar in time blocks that are realistic for the size of the projects you need to complete. And, schedule in time to check email and return phone calls and play on social media too.

Take Breaks

Entrepreneurs are among the hardest workers in American society. It can be easy to work long stretches of time when you know there is a direct impact on your pocketbook or wallet. But our brains do not function at optimal productivity without breaks. Entrepreneur suggests that mental fatigue is best fought by a break every 90 minutes, or absolutely no longer than three hours of “continuous time on-task.”

As a small business owner, you have to work hard to compete in today’s economy and stay focused on the right things. We can help. Whether it is advising you about starting your business, successfully managing your employees, or ensuring business contracts meet your goals, make us a partner to ensure your company’s ultimate success.

This article is a service of Pantea I. Fozouni, Family Business Lawyer®. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you structure your operations for success. One of our primary services is a LIFT Start-Up Session™, in which we guide you through the right choice of business entity, location of business entity, start up agreements, intellectual property protection, employment structuring, insurance, financial and tax systems you need to start your next business and succeed right out of the gate. Call us today to schedule a time to talk about your business.