High school entrepreneurs like you probably don’t worry about boredom or an excess of free time. Free time? What’s that? At the Kantner Foundation, we respect and honor young entrepreneurs. And we know that students like you are high achievers with a lot on their plates. School. Homework. Volunteering. Sports. Clubs. Family. Friends. College applications. Scholarship applications. And, for student entrepreneurs, starting and running a successful business.
This is why you need as many productivity hacks and tips as possible. When you maximize efficiency, you give yourself more free time. And more free time means a calmer, happier, more rested you!
While we can’t possibly list every single helpful life hack here, we can give you the top five. Some might not apply to you or your circumstances. That’s fine. Take whatever advice you think can help.
PRODUCTIVITY HACK #1: LEARN HOW TO SAY “NO”
We know how important it is for young entrepreneurs to have as many gold stars on their college applications as possible. But no one wins when you spread yourself too thin. Teach yourself that it’s ok to say no once in a while. You don’t always have to be the go-to superstar that everyone depends on. Some reasons why you might have trouble saying no include:
- You don’t want to disappoint someone you like or admire
- You don’t think anyone else can do the job “right”
- You want so-called “brownie points” for being dependable
- You think this task will look good to colleges
However, doing too much will only burn you out. In turn, that will make you unable to fulfill your commitments in a timely manner and to the best of your ability. And then people feel let down. Get yourself into the habit of stepping back and letting others know you aren’t available for them 24/7. Not even the most successful entrepreneurs in the world take on everything that’s asked of them.
PRODUCTIVITY HACK #2: LEARN TO PRIORITIZE
This is something you probably already have experience doing. As a high-achieving student, you likely already know how to set goals and meet deadlines. When an essay is due on a certain date, it’s due, and that’s it. Your team’s game is happening on a certain day and time whether you’re ready or not.
Now try to expand that ability to the rest of your life. What are the tasks you need to accomplish each day? Here’s a quick way to determine the things you need to do first:
- Is there an upcoming deadline?
- Can this be done quickly and easily?
- Is there a more efficient way to do a longer activity, I.e., sending a text instead of writing an email?
- Will this affect your health, grades, or someone close to you if you don’t address it right away?
PRODUCTIVITY HACK #3: TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK
Don’t panic, we’re not telling you to get off social media entirely! The truth is social media is a wonderful tool for young entrepreneurs. But use it wisely, or it can become a massive time suck. When you’re scrolling through TikTok for so long that you get bored, it’s time to consider taking a break.
Some phones have do-not-disturb features built-in, like iPhone’s focus feature in settings. Most phones have airplane mode that turns off WiFi and cellular data. You can go to your notification settings and turn them all off. And, of course, you can always just turn your phone off for a while.
But if you want to take it to the next level, these apps for Android and this one for iPhone can help you make the most of your necessary social media downtime. During that downtime, you can practice self-care, write up a business plan, or spend quality time with your family.
PRODUCTIVITY HACK #4: REWARD YOURSELF
Not all tasks are going to be fun or enjoyable. Let’s face it: some things in life are downright unpleasant. And yet, we all need to do them. Chores and homework aren’t going to do themselves. Even running your business will have aspects you aren’t in love with doing. When that happens, the word of the day becomes procrastination. And procrastination is the enemy of productivity.
We could tell you that the satisfaction of a job well done is its own reward, but we know that’s not enough. When it comes to your chores, you probably get an allowance from your parents. For homework, it’s good grades that will help you get into the college of your dreams. But what about your business? How can young entrepreneurs find satisfaction from conquering the more challenging, tedious, or unpleasant tasks of starting a business?
Create a rewards system for yourself. It can be as small and simple as a piece of chocolate for setting up your business’s social media accounts or as big as buying new earbuds when you make your first profit. Whatever motivates you, use it to get things done.
PRODUCTIVITY HACK #5: STAY HEALTHY
A car can’t run on zero fuel. Your phone will die without a battery recharge. And young entrepreneurs can’t crush their to-do lists without good sleep, healthy foods, and physical activity.
Good sleep is necessary to recharge both your brain and your body. Your sleep hygiene should include:
- Going to bed at the same time each night
- Having a short but relaxing bedtime ritual, like meditating or reading a non-school book
- Sleeping in a dark, quiet, cool room
- Not using the snooze button in the mornings
A healthy diet doesn’t mean dieting. It means choosing healthier options when and where you can. Food should be fun, enjoyable, and help your body perform well. Don’t worry about calories or fat. Instead, focus on eating foods you like that help you feel good.
Similarly, physical activity doesn’t always mean exercise. You don’t need to join every sports team at your school to stay in shape! Any amount of physical activity can help you perform at your peak, and almost anything that involves moving your body counts as physical activity. A short walk. Going up and down the stairs at school. Dancing in your bedroom. All you really need to do is move around. This gets oxygen into your blood and helps pump up your energy and your creativity!
Entrepreneurs know how to make the most of every minute of their day. That means working smarter, not harder. Entrepreneurs also know how to take care of themselves. With good habits and some pre-planning, you can become a powerful and efficient entrepreneurial machine!
Find out more about the Kantner Foundation, including our college scholarships for young entrepreneurs in Florida, by clicking here. We look forward to your application!