I'm sure you’ve heard the saying the early bird catches the worm. If you’re an full-time or part -time entrepreneur this is probably tattoo’d somewhere on your body. February 7th marked my 2 year anniversary, leaving my full-time job to pursue my entrepreneur endeavors. With the occasional ups and downs, various part-time positions (including a waitress & visual merchandiser), I still don’t regret leaving. While I seem to have more flexibility, I still need to create a schedule and routine (ahhh!) to stay focused and on track. If you’re struggling to find some sort of balance or looking for new ways to stay focused, here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Set Office Hours.
When you’re a full-time entrepreneur or moonlighting on your side hustle, you’re always on the go and looking to expand your audience. But what can happen is you can lose crucial time focusing on projects when you’re constantly on the phone, checking for emails or worst falling victim to your IG or Snapchat. Or maybe that’s just me. I am the most productive first thing in the morning or early afternoon. So, I set aside 2 blocks 8am - 11amand 2pm - 5pm. During these blocks, I schedule phone calls with current & new clients, followup with emails and research for future projects. I find I’m able to knock out most of my to-do’s during these hours. And if my plate is rather light, I don’t try to find extra work to do. I’ll just stop working to preserve any energy I have for other obligations that may pop up through-out the day. This helps with preventing burnout that so many of us experience.
A fellow sister entrepreneur lives by this rule of prepping for the week ahead on Sunday. It is a practice I just recently adopted and I now I totally get it. For starters, there are no such thing as Moody Mondays. Because I’ve gotten my shit together the day before! This includes writing out my to-do list, assigning deadlines for assignments, and drafting up emails to send on Monday morning. It helps my Mondays and the rest of the week flow easily.
Early to Rise
I spoke to rising early in my first tip. Months after I left my full-time job, I was still waking up at 6am, naturally. Now my natural wake up call is 7am. Not really a big difference, but it makes all the difference in the world to an entrepreneur. Waking up early allows me to truly assess what I’m going to accomplish for the day. More importantly, I’m not rushing to get ready for a meeting and I have time for a healthy and fulfilling breakfast.
Set Realistic Expectations
Yes we have the same 24 hours as Beyonce. Make those hours count, but you’re not going to go from small business to Moguldum in a week. If we had that recipe, they’d more entrepreneurs. Celebrate the small gains, take time to reflect and relax. You’ll be better for it.