Do you ever get to the end of a day and feel frustrated that so many to-do items are still on your plate? Then you talk to a leadership peer who got twice as much done as you did in that day? Why is that? It’s time to learn what they’re doing differently so you, too, can start crossing important items off your list and feel accomplished at the end of the day (instead of being so stressed). If you want to be more efficient then read on for seven tips of ultra-productive small business leaders.

  1.  Turn Off Social Media Notifications.

    Seriously. If you have your phone set up to notify you every time someone comments on your Facebook or Instagram post, tags you in something, or sends you a message, you’re going to spend your day reacting to those notifications instead of the items that truly move the needle for your business. After all, Winston Churchill said it best: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

    The same holds true if you have Facebook or twitter tabs open on your laptop. When your eyes glance up and see activity there, such as showing how many notifications you have, it causes a Pavlov’s dog-like reaction and makes you want to click on that tab to see what’s you’re missing. Just close the tab (and don’t re-open it until either during lunch or the end of the day).

  2.  Make a List and Check it Twice.

    Okay, so even when it’s not Christmas time, lists are so important. Try going old school with a daily planner to prioritize and keep track of everything you have to do that day or use the automated task creation feature of your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Either way, your paper or electronic list serves as a reminder to you all day about what’s important and what’s not (talking about the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” with a coworker). Plus, checking things off of a list gives you an instant sense of accomplishment and motivates you to tackle the next important item on your list.

  3.  Start Checking Email Just Twice a Day.

    This may sound odd — and if you’re used to replying to an email the minute it comes in, it’s going to take some getting used to — but it really does work. When you’re not being bombarded and sidetracked by emails every few minutes, you’ll be able to focus on what needs to be done at that moment instead of dealing with interruptions. Pro Tip: Have an automatic reply set up that tells people exactly when you’ll be checking email each day so they’ll know when they could expect to hear back from you.

  1.  Re-think Meetings.

    When you have a lot to do, is your time better spent sitting in a meeting that could easily be knocked out via email or working on the task at hand? I think we can all agree on the latter. Decide if that meeting you want to set really needs to happen or if a quick team standup or office chat will get everything settled. You’ll save yourself and your busy employees valuable time to work toward goals and will avoid meeting fatigue.

  1.  Delegate.

    Do you know about the 80/20 rule? It says that 20% of what you do produces 80% of the results. So if you want to be a more productive leader, focus on the work that’s going to give you the best end results and delegate the rest to your smart, efficient team. That is what you hired them for, so utilize them.

  1.  Invest in Technology.

    It’s 2016 and time to get rid of the sticky notes. There is a plethora of productivity tools designed to help you get the most out of your day. From organizational tools such as Evernote to social media tools like Buffer. Using technology to build a more efficient process is key to getting time back in your day and stuff done.

  1.  Start Early.

    The old adage goes, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” It’s also true that rising early gets you into the office earlier than most others, which means you have uninterrupted time to get things done. First thing in the morning is seen as the best time to focus on your most important tasks, so grab your coffee, get into work and get going.

Follow these 7 habits of highly productive small business leaders and you’ll soon be that person others look to- wondering how you get everything done in a day.