Getting a new business off the ground can be both one of the most rewarding and one of the most overwhelming things a person can do. There’s no other feeling in the world like taking control, making something from nothing, and bringing an idea from your own mind into the world and giving it life. There’s also nothing quite like the feeling of having absolutely zero personal time, being constantly on the run and hustling to keep up, and thinking that the fate of everything in your life hangs by a thread that will break if you make just one wrong decision.

With so much going on, and every decision feeling like it could be the most important one you’ll ever make, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and suddenly find yourself feeling disoriented and disorganized. As your business grows and daily operations become more complicated, maintaining your maximum productivity can be a difficult task all in itself.

Below are some tips to help you make the most of your time, get your productivity back on track and get you at least a little bit closer to the sanity you know you once possessed.

Map Out Projects

If you have large projects that will take several days or weeks to complete, map them out on a calendar to stay on top of them. Break the project down into the smallest pieces possible and then schedule each piece on your calendar just as if you were scheduling a meeting with someone.

By mapping out when you plan to take care of each piece of the puzzle, you accomplish two things. First, you’ll work with the project in smaller bits, keeping it from becoming an overwhelming task with a huge looming deadline. And second, you’ll know from the beginning that you have sufficient time to do everything you need to do, eliminating a lot of anxiety and stress from the process.

Find The Best Time For You

Everyone has their own internal schedule. Some people are most productive in the early morning. Others do things better in the afternoon or evening. Pay attention to your own schedule and figure out when you have your most productive hours.

Once you’ve found your happy time, schedule your most challenging tasks during those hours to make them easier to complete. Leave less important or less time consuming tasks for the off hours to give yourself a bit of break when your energy levels are lower.

Maximize Your Time

As you’re scheduling new tasks, look at things you’ve already got scheduled and see if you can fit similar things together. For example, if you’re going to be out of most of the day on Tuesday running to meetings, perhaps you can take advantage of the time on the road to take care of some errands that need to be run rather than spending more time out of the office on Wednesday to get them done.

Set Aside Time Each Day To Plan The Next

The simple act of planning will help you keep things under control and eliminate stress. If you take a few minutes each day to plan out the next day, you’ll never wake up feeling like you’ve been surprised by a deadline or wondering how you’re going to get everything done.

Don’t Forget To Take Breaks

It might seem counterproductive, but taking breaks is an important part of maintaining your mental and physical stamina throughout the day. If you’re working while you stuff your lunch in your mouth and putting off everything other than bathroom urges, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

In addition to a reasonable amount of time to eat a real lunch, you should also take two or three breaks of 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day to let yourself recharge a little bit. Play a game on your computer. Go for a walk outside. Work on your shadow puppet skills. Do whatever helps you relax for a few minutes.

The point is just to let your mind unwind for a few moments and think about something other than work. You’ll feel ten times better when you sit down to get back to the grind.

What do you think?

How about you? Do you make use of any of the suggestions above? Do you have any tips, tricks or mental hacks that you use to help keep things from getting out of hand or boost your own productivity?