1. Differentiate Between Days to Produce and Days to Create
I pre-schedule which days (and time blocks in those days) will be for money making activities (literally those activities that are directly linked to income generation such as being on stage and speaking, in a room with my clients, closing sales, etc) versus those where I'm creating content, generating new business ideas, networking, developing marketing materials, etc. This allows me to focus on both working in it and working on it.
2. Keep a Digital Voice Recorder With Me at All Times (with a spare battery!)
Ideas seem to pop up all of the time - and I used to be a "write it down" guy who ended up with a pocket full of scrap papers and post it notes. Now I just talk the idea through and record it. At the end of the week I transfer the audio files to my pc, listen to them (using a media app that lets me play them at 2x speed) and transcribe my notes to a google document.
3. Planned Days Off - No Business Allowed
Being an entrepreneur takes energy. So "charging your batteries" is critical. Do things you love outside of working (even if you LOVE to work). Personally I take the day off and go fly fishing 1-2 days per month. It does wonders for clearing my head, relaxing me, and getting me prepped and ready for the week to come!
These rituals and habits are things you will benefit from starting to do TODAY. You'll not only be more productive, you'll find greater joy in what you do (and have less stress). For more tips - let's talk.
Rising at sunrise and committing to writing for a minimum of 30 minutes. Stream of consciousness writing brings up a variety of new ideas and helps solidify goals be it for the day ahead, month or long term. Having a short and long term personal goal list (on hand and easily referred to) is inspiring and keeps you focussed on the big picture.
For me it is to get up early every day and start working on really important things, not just spending time doing some admin stuff (which is, to be honest, a way of relaxing while postponing difficult things).
Secondly, it is to finish all issues that I start. The worst for me is switching permanently among several issues and not finishing any of them. The reward of having something finished is very motivating for me.
On a little bit of a different note, I'd add that getting a good night's sleep and making room in my day to work out for an hour or so dramatically increases my productivity. Not necessarily my total hours - but my highly productive hours.
Assuming that you're in a position where your results are generally limited by your own abilities, if you can work things so that you have 3-4 1 hour blocks in which you do nothing but focussed production you'll likely find yourself far ahead of the pack. At that point, feel free to give yourself those other "working" hours back rather than using them to twiddle your thumbs on a keyboard.
Planning and scheduling my day the night before - you cant jump in the car for a road trip without an idea of where you want to be that night
Eating good food - You are what you eat, if you eat crap you will feel like crap, you think like crap and you look like crap. (shameless plug: snack on AMRAP Refuel Bars - check on amazon.com)
Light AM workout - Just something to move the blood and start the brain.
Read - I'm super dyslexic and cant read, but listen to 50 audio books per year (at 5AM to 6AM while foam rolling)
Solution focused - If i think of a problem, within 60 seconds i switch my thinking from problem based to solution base "what am i going to do to fix this?"
Evaluate my day - each night I ask my self the following questions, and keep a short log (take 3 minutes):
What three things did I do well today?
One thing I need to do to improve tomorrow?
How will I make the needed improvement?
Rate 1-10, priority one (family) process goal completion
Rate 1-10, priority two (business) process goal completion
Rate 1-10, priority three (personal) process goal completion
Rate 1-10, am I solution focused (think solution within 60 seconds of problem).
Rate 1-10, was I accountable today (discipline / integrity ).
Rate 1-10, 100-sec mental workout every AM and PM (gratitude, visualize, what I am going to do in the next 24 hours to make it happen)
Work strategic plan? Yes/no
Weekly Goals - Set them on Monday, Review them Wednesday, Rate yourself on Friday
I can keep going ... but need to get to work! Good luck and check my goodread page, read any book I give a 5-star as those I plan to read again in the future.