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Scheduling your day as an entrepreneur can be challenging, there is always something to be done. A Gallup study found that 39% of entrepreneurs work over 60 hours per week.
By scheduling your day and working on your time management, you can become more productive and dramatically improve your work-life balance. In this article we cover the following topics:
- Themed days
- Time blocks
- Regular breaks
- Prioritise sleep
- Disconnect from technology
Plan your week with themed days
Did you know that switching between tasks can kill up to 80% of your productive time during your day? A helpful way of organising your days is to create themes for your days. When every day has a theme, you spend less time switching between tasks and spending more time focusing and being productive.
An example of a themed week might look like this:
- Sunday: Planning your week and reviewing the previous week
- Monday: Client meetings
- Tuesday and Wednesday: Client work
- Thursday: Marketing and content creation for your business
- Friday: Administration and accounting
- Saturday: Day off or networking event
Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”. Which in basic terms means, however long you set for a task, it will take you that long. So, for example, a particular job might only take you an hour, but because you’ve decided to dedicate two hours to it, then it will take you that extra hour to complete it.
For this reason, it’s essential to set a start and end time for every task. This way, you will be more focused on what you need to do and become less distracted by other tasks.
It’s essential to prioritise your tasks, too. Get the things that require most effort and brainpower done first when you have more energy to be productive. Organise your day so you take care of the easier tasks toward the end (unless they need done right away) when your energy might be lower.
Routines can help you schedule your days and improve productivity. The most important routines to build are your morning and evening routines.
- Morning routines: Many entrepreneurs like to get up early to avoid distractions that generally happen throughout the day. It can be a great source of quiet time to focus and get important tasks done. You could also build a mindful morning routine to reduce stress levels and to get you in the right mindset for the day.
- Evening routines: are crucial for entrepreneurs to switch off from work, improve sleep, and enjoy a healthy work-life balance. One great way to switch off is to do a brain dump of all the tasks you need to complete the following day and prioritise them. You could also create a to-do list that evening, so you know exactly what you want to focus on in the morning. You could also incorporate some time before bed to reduce screen time as notifications and social media release dopamine, making it more difficult to sleep.
The great thing about being an entrepreneur is the flexibility it can offer you. However, it’s essential to use this flexibility wisely and build morning and evening routines that will make your working day more productive and improve your work-life balance.
Learn more about reducing stress when working from home in our article: Dealing with stress, anxiety and isolation when you work from home.
Research shows that regular small breaks from work can make you more productive. By breaking up your working day into small intervals, you’re giving your mind a rest which will help you focus on essential tasks. There are several ways you could choose to take a break during the day that will help you to relax:
- Get some exercise, even if it’s a quick 10 minute walk.
- Talk to someone in person or over the phone
- Read a book instead of scrolling through social media
- Take a few deep breaths or meditate
Sleep is one of the most important things for everyone but especially for entrepreneurs. The benefits of a good night’s sleep include:
- Increases creativity
- Increases productivity
- Improves overall health and wellbeing
When you go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, it makes it easier for your body to adjust to your routine and makes it easier to wake up, fall asleep and get better, deeper sleep. All of these factors will contribute to a more relaxed and refreshed you the following day.
Switch off from technology
Switching off after work can be difficult for entrepreneurs, as there’s always more work to do. Still, it’s essential to take some time to disconnect from technology because of the adverse effects today’s technology has on our brains and bodies, including:
- Sleep deprivation
- Strained eyes
- Muscle pain from typing or texting
- Increased stress and anxiety
- More distractions and less productivity
For these reasons, try scheduling time off from your technology. Here’s how you can do it:
- Put your smartphone on silent and leave it in a different room outside of your bedroom at night.
- Plan a time in nature where the temptation to check your phone is lower, e.g., hiking, walks in nature, the beach etc.
- Make time for friends and family where you agree not to use any technology, for example, during family dinner.
Make time for networking and events
Networking is one of the most critical skills for a successful entrepreneur. It can have a massive impact on your business. A recent study showed that for 78% of startups, networking was vital for success. Networking allows you to meet more people in your industry, increase brand awareness and potentially improve your lead generation (how many potential clients you attract).
There are many different ways to prioritise your networking, whether you want to focus on it for a tiny bit every day or once a week for a few hours. Here are some ways that you can network:
- Attend/host live events in person or online
- Connect with people on Linkedin that you have a genuine interest in talking with
- Create content and post it on social media where others can interact with it.
Save time and money with Countingup
There’s so much to being self-employed and running a business, like keeping pace with your competition, budgeting, planning, advertising and customer service. So don’t let routine elements like bookkeeping and accounting cause you stress.
You can use the Countingup app to swiftly take care of your financial admin and spend more time building your business. Countingup is the business current account with free built-in accounting software that automates bookkeeping and simplifies tax returns.
With all your financial information in one place, you can take advantage of real-time profit and loss insights, automated invoicing tools and expense reminders. With Countingup, you can make sure your accounts are always up to date and accurate, and save time and stress on tedious bookkeeping admin
Find out more about Countingup here and sign up for free today.