Entrepreneurs usually keep a densely packed schedule that fits as much work as possible into their waking hours. There’s always something else to be done and more you’d like to achieve, so how do you keep your day running efficiently without being overrun by the demands on your time?
There are some tricks I’ve learned over my entrepreneurial journey that have served me well in running my day successfully. Not every day will stick to the routine, but if you commit to practicing these steps daily, you’ll get better at keeping them over time.
Here are seven steps I’ve learned for effectively running your day as an entrepreneur.
1. Start your day the night before.
The night before is really when your new day begins. I’ve found over the years that by approaching bedtime with a routine I can effectively start the next morning with all systems go. Begin by ensuring you know what’s on the calendar for the following day. Go over appointments, calls and any other important deadlines in the day so you have an awareness of what’s on the agenda.
Next, get anything you need in the morning set aside and ready at night. Bag packed, if you bring lunch -- then lunch made and ready to grab, gym bag all set up to go, etc. Make sure whatever you need in the morning is as easy as grab and go.
Finally, set yourself up for sleep success. Make sure you turn off all electronics that could beep, buzz or light up during the night and disrupt your sleep.
2. Move first thing.
Getting out of bed and making your body move gets the blood flowing and the brain synapses connecting again. If you aren’t in the habit of moving first thing when you get up, this may feel a little strange at first but trust me, it works. Even if you aren't a morning person, grab your gym bag and hit the gym or put on your shoes and walk your dog for 30 minutes. Fresh air and movement start your body and your brain off on the right foot for the day. You’ll have more energy and a clearer head when you’re done.
3. Tame your brain.
Meditation or mindfulness practice is an essential workout for your head. It only takes 10 to 20 minutes in the morning to adopt a practice that can really help you effectively manage your day, and your life. Meditation is proven in study after study to help you deal better with stress and improve the fluidity of your mind, meaning you have a more adaptable brain.
Work your head out every morning with some kind of mind strengthening exercise. Try the Headspace app for a free introduction to what mindfulness and meditation can do for you.
4. Get help with staying organized.
If you aren’t an organized or punctual person, get the help you need to become one. This can be with an organization app like Trello, WorkFlowy or Evernote, or by hiring someone part time to assist you with task, time and calendar management. If you want an efficient day then you need to be organized.
5. Remember to eat.
Your body and your brain need fuel. Don’t forget that food is an important part of the day’s routine. This sounds simple but so many times entrepreneurs run themselves into the ground, skipping meals and forgetting to eat, only to grab the quickest (and often unhealthiest) thing they can eat on the go. Don’t fall victim to this trap. Snack frequently and remember to eat the right kind of healthy, nourishing food you need to stay energized all day.
If you struggle, there are snack prep delivery options like Nature Box or home delivery healthy meal prep options like Blue Apron where literally everything you need for dinner is delivered to your door.
6. Batch your time.
Time batching is an efficient way to get the uninterrupted productivity time you need. Ensure that there’s at least one hour, preferably two, of batched time for you to problem solve, think, brainstorm and otherwise handle the work you need to do without being disturbed. It’s a highly efficient way to get a lot done in small bursts of productivity.
7. Disconnect from work.
Last but not least, when you leave work in the evening, try to disconnect from work. This may be less important when you’re still young and single, but it becomes a crucial lifestyle practice when you have a partner or a family. Your time outside of work greatly contributes to your time at work, so give your significant other and family the focus and attention they need and leave the office work at the office.