For Ryan Bishti, staying productive is more than just a goal. It’s critical to the success of his business ventures. As the founder of London’s premier hospitality innovator, Cream Group, Bishti’s plate is always full. To stay on top of the global hospitality scene and take care of his current business ventures, he employs productivity measures to succeed every day.
“You have to focus,” Bishti explains. “When you have employees who need paying, businesses that need managing, and everything that goes into that, staying productive is the difference between success and failure.”
There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. “Productivity gets you results. Being busy just gets you more stress.” says Bishti. So how does he ensure results and stay productive?
- Establishing Goals (and Reaching Them)
Every business owner knows the importance of setting goals; they play an integral role in developing a business plan. However, many entrepreneurs get wrapped up in their long-term goals without putting together a plan to achieve them. That’s where short-term goals and goal review come in.
“You need to break your long-term goals into a series of pit stops or steps to get you there. If you don’t have short-term goals, your long-term goal starts looking impossible,” explains Bishti. He recommends establishing a goal system broken down by weeks, months, and years. Simply taking an hour each month to reflect on your business needs, both long-term and in the next month or two, can reduce the stress that pursuing a five year goal can put on a business owner.
Bishti recommends keeping the short- and long-term goals in a spreadsheet or planner and marking them off when you complete them. A visual representation of growth and success can give business owners the boost they need during an intense month of work.
- Setting Daily Intentions
At times, business owners and entrepreneurs feel they come second to the business. As a result, it’s not uncommon for them to feel overwhelmed or lost in the sea of business. But to Ryan Bishti, finding time to connect with personal intentions increases his focus and productivity.
“You are the mind and energy behind your business. If you’re not treating yourself with respect and positivity, your business will reflect that,” says Bishti. With that in mind, he sets a daily intention to connect with throughout the day. “Sometimes it’s just, ‘I am enough.’ Other times, it’s more targeted to situations at work. I’ve set intentions like, ‘Today, I intend to complete one goal.’ It’s not an order or a demand, just a recognition of what I am focusing on today.”
- Following a Routine
You need to have an established routine when you’re juggling as many hats and businesses as Ryan Bishti. “Without a routine, things fall through the cracks,” he explains. “My routine keeps me centered on work when it’s work time and focused on family and myself when it’s not.”
Without a routine, business owners run the risk of overworking themselves. They might let work bleed into their personal life, increasing stress and reducing their work-life balance. Ryan recommends developing a basic daily routine that builds in time for essential parts of your day. “I start my morning with breakfast and a workout every day. When I’m not at the office, I strive to dedicate my focus to family. Sure, emergencies come up, and I end up working longer days, but sticking to the routine as much as possible keeps me grounded and well rounded.”
- Utilizing Calendar Block-Outs
Along with a reliable routine, Bishti employs “focus time” at work to get specific tasks done. “I call them calendar block-outs,” he says. “They’re my dedicated time to crunch numbers, crush a goal, or just get on top of specific business needs. I don’t take nonessential calls or schedule meetings during that time — it’s sacred.”
Managing a daily calendar can also help business owners communicate clearly with their employees. Marking your meetings or block-outs on a shared calendar can keep staff updated on where you are and when you’re available. The practice can keep communication flowing smoothly with your team.
Business owners hear it all the time — delegate tasks to your supporting staff. But sharing responsibility for a business you’ve built from the ground up isn’t always easy. “Look, I wanted to do everything myself once, too,” Bishti says. “But you’re only one person! The key is to have the right team behind you.”
Bishti believes “the right team” should include trustworthy experts who reduce a business owner’s stress and help the business thrive. For example, consider delegating accounting to an accountant, office tasks to an office manager, etc. As Bishti puts it, “Delegating gives you more time to focus on the bigger picture and reduces your stress levels.”
- Prioritizing Personal Well-Being
Ryan’s most important tip is also the one business owners most often struggle with: taking care of themselves. “You are a reflection of your business,” he says. “So you need to take care of yourself to see the business thrive.”
But what does that even mean? It depends on the person, but Bishti recommends a few general suggestions: Get enough sleep, eat your veggies, make time for family, and invest in yourself. For Ryan Bishti, clocking eight hours of sleep and taking “brain breaks” from the computer help keep him relaxed and on top of stress. “Find something not work-related that gives you a sense of calm and do it. Remember, investing in yourself is an investment in your business.”