Entrepreneurs are busy people. Chances are, they got to be successful because of how much they work. However, that kind of busy is different than the random, chaotic busy we can all feel from time to time when we just have too much on our plate or are running around from meeting to meeting. A successful busy is a structured busy -- and that means scheduling your time well so you are making the most of every minute.
Here are five ways that successful entrepreneurs schedule their day in order to maximize productivity and accomplish as much as possible.
1. They stick to a morning routine.
A routine is crucial, and it’s best if it begins the moment you wake up. The most successful people have a consistent morning routine and rarely stray from it. Richard Branson is a huge advocate of his morning schedule, and look at how much he gets done in a day. Your morning hours are precious and starting off in the right way sets the tone for the whole day. Whether it’s exercising, meditating, writing, reading, cooking or taking a walk, get up a little earlier and make sure you consistently do the same activities every single day.
2. They do the most pressing work first, rather than procrastinate.
It can be tempting to take care of all the little trivial things on your to-do list before moving on to the big stuff. But successful people tend to tackle the hardest or the most pressing things first. That way you can be sure that you are facing them when your mind is fresh and you haven’t worn yourself out with other tasks. Make a list prioritizing everything you need to do that day, and start with the most important things on your list.
3. They keep their schedules packed but not too packed.
Successful people know that burnout is a real thing. They make the most of their days by scheduling a lot into each day but never overextending themselves -- at least they try not to. Rushing around from place to place or having to quickly switch gears between tasks or appointments can make you flustered or hinder your productivity. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in one day and don’t overcommit to too many things.
4. They give themselves time to regroup and refocus when they’re feeling stressed.
Stress is a killer when it comes to productivity. While small amounts of stress can make you feel more alert and focused, too much stress can cause health risks and can make you lose control over your ability to concentrate and work well. Successful people know that when the pressure is on, it’s a good time to regroup and regain control over the work they are doing. Taking yourself physically out of a situation by taking a walk or exercising can be a helpful way to regain focus. Or sometimes just switching to a different task can help you regroup and gain new perspective on the stressful situation.
5. They reflect on their day and accomplishments.
Successful people know how helpful it is to look back on the day and reflect on all they have accomplished. This offers a sense of pride and gratitude and serves as a reward for a job well done. It helps to create positive associations with hard work and motivates you to stay on the same path and schedule in the months to come. This quiet reflection is important for helping you stay on task and improving your productivity because you get to remind yourself of what you are doing with your time.