Cate’s Productivity Tools and Tricks for Entrepreneurs

Cate’s Productivity Tools and Tricks for Entrepreneurs

My Favorite Productivity Tools
As an entrepreneur you need to be self-motivated or you will never get anything done because
there is no boss hovering over your shoulder and giving you deadlines to meet. Lots of
people ask me how I’m able to run my two businesses while traveling world and having lots of amazing
adventures and it comes down to finding a system that works for me and keeps me motivated
and on task. What works is going to be different for each
person. Just as while I wake up at 5:30am every day and get the vast majority of my
work done before lunch and have my afternoons free while others may be total night owls
and do their best work after 10pm; there may be a tool that is a god-send for me that someone
else finds totally useless. If you’re looking to improve your productivity, you’re more
than likely going to have to experiment with a few things to find what works, but here
are the productivity tools and tricks I use that literally changed my life: First of all, I organize my life through gmail.
I have 6 separate email accounts that are all active but I have them all come to one
gmail inbox so that I can keep track of everything in one place and I use a gmail lab called
multiple inboxes that helps me sort my emails in a way that works great for me. To get it,
go to settings in your gmail account, click labs at the top of the screen, find the lab
called multiple inboxes by vivi, and enable it. Then go to the multiple inboxes tab along
the top and you can set up how you want multiple inboxes to sort and to look. Personally, I
have 3 special inboxes that I stack above the regular inbox. At the top I have it show
me all unread emails, then the second inbox is all drafts – emails I’m in the process
of writing but haven’t finished, the third inbox is all starred emails, and then the
regular inbox shows below that. I have a whole system of marking unread and starring to help
me know what needs to be done for each email. It may not work for you, but just have all
unread messages show at the top was a game-changer for me. Sticking with email, I also use an add-on
called boomerang that lets you set reminders for follow-up to emails and schedule emails
to be sent later on. This is ideal for me because I travel so much. With boomerang I
can write a bunch of emails the night before a long flight, for example, but schedule them
to go out at pre-set times throughout my travel day. It also allows me to set an alert on
emails I am sending out to remind to follow up if nobody responds within a pre-set timeframe
and to have emails be removed from my inbox temporarily but then show back up as unread
emails after a certain period of time. This combined with my multiple inboxes system that
I described above is how I run my entire life – business and professional. Finally on the email front, I have joined
the “don’t check email all day long” cult and am happily drinking that kool-aid. I don’t
check my email before noon and then I only check it at a few intervals throughout the
afternoon and evening, I don’t have it constantly open. This one little life hack has done absolute
wonders for my productivity. The final tool I use that has been life-changing
is a pomodoro timer. Pomodoro is productivity technique that combines short bursts of focused
productivity with frequent scheduled breaks. Knowing you only have so much time to work
and then you will have to take a required break makes you focus and increases your productivity
greatly, as do all of the mini breaks throughout the day. My timer is 25 minutes of focused
work followed by 5 minutes of break time. I use a desktop app called pomodairo to keep
the time and track my to do list. Now, this break time can be anything you choose – going
for a walk, surfing Facebook, whatever. I use the 5 minute break to do micro workouts
– stuff like squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, yoga stretches, etc. This keeps
my metabolism elevated and gives me energy throughout the day without me taking time
out for a real workout where I would sweat and then have to shower before getting back
to work. If you know me, you know I absolutely despise the gym but this trick has kept me
at just over 100lbs despite eating like a linebacker and it’s roughly quadrupled my
productivity on the days when I stick to it. Again, every person needs to find their own
productivity hacks and tools but I hope that this list of what works for me is helpful
to at least some of you. If it was, please like it and share it with any of your friends
or colleagues who could also use some help getting ish done more productively. Please leave a comment and let me know which
of these tricks you’re going to try, then, once you do, please let me know in the comments
how they work for you. Also, if you have other productivity hacks or tools that you use,
I would love to hear about them so leave a note with those too! If you have a question about planning, launching,
or growing your new business, make sure to head over to and visit the Q&A
with Cate tab to submit your question. And, while you’re there, check out the New Venture
Mentor blog and sign up for my newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on any info that
could help you reach your business goals.


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