How To Plan Your Day As An Entrepreneur
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Entrepreneurship demands long working hours. Sometimes agonizingly long – to the point where you’d have to shut your inner working clock to actually reboot and play along the work schedule for the next day.
Think weekends. Think late evenings/ and nights. The list can go on.
So how do you put some method to this madness when you are so stretched with time and never-ending deadlines that are lurking around just to get your attention?
Here you go.
1. Stick to a Morning Ritual
Top performers (including entrepreneurs) all have mostly one thing in common: they use their morning time very constructively. 5am-8am time bracket can work magically for you – be it starting your day with refreshing yoga, or going for a 30-minute brisk walk, or sipping your black coffee, breezing through New York Times or new social media updates. You are most focused and revved up in the morning.
2. Eat that Frog
Brian Tracy says it aptly in his book– Eat That Frog. Get to the heart of the most important tasks and knock them off first thing in your schedule. Let’s face it: you have limited energy, so use it wisely to get tête-à-tête with what defines your work for a given day. In the words of Greg McKeown, be an essentialist: practice working on the core responsibilities of your business, and the rest you can delegate.
Going through every little detail in your mind (maybe the e-mail you are supposed to send to your new big customer or wishing your ex-boss a happy working anniversary to have completed 10 years in a company – it can get as granular as you have thought), you need a deeper reflection on what matters the most to you – in business and life. So take some time to sink in with your status-quo and alter things that are best aligned with your purpose.
We consulted a few entrepreneurs to get their perspective when planning their work day, and here’s what we gleaned.
Sahil Gupta, Business Head, Faridagupta Retail said, “Entrepreneurs are often expected and they strive to be omniscient in very little time. I think one of the ways to work towards this is to be disciplined with a daily routine and constantly grow multifold — personally and professionally. When it comes to health, it’s very important to keep the body fit and functional, which is why I start my day with a 60-75-minute workout. Your career is only as long as your body can go!”
Sahil added, “The travel time to office is usually spent catching up on the latest news and industry happenings. Work days usually start with early morning meetings with all team heads to make sure the house is in order. Efficient delegation is the key to opening up time for ideation."
“Apart from this, it’s all about making small decisions and discussing issues on a daily basis with the team, keeping the company’s long-term vision in sight. After work, it’s good to spend some time with family and catch up with them/friends (occasionally) over dinner. Night time is usually spent strumming the guitar (pursuing a hobby) and reading myself to sleep, which includes business material and more news. And repeat!” Sahil concluded.
Nishat Mukaddam, Founder of WedLista Technologies, said penning down her thoughts for the day – for herself and her team helped her stay focused. “I prioritize my checklist and quickly have a team meeting, which is an everyday ritual. I get to know if we all are on the same page and the team is not missing out on important details. And we set deadlines! This is again an important part to measure the efforts,” maintained Nishat.
Keeping her meetings towards the second half of the day helps her align her work and delegate the rest. She is a great facilitator than just a business contact by virtue of her highly collaborative work approach.
Sajeel Khanna, SVP, BluEnt - a Computer aided design services provider to the AEC [Architecture, Engineering & Construction] industry and also operating in the digital technology realm (web + mobile + cloud solutions) – said, “A large part of planning an entrepreneur’s day/ routine hinges on age (which is not just your chronological age but also how matured your business/ industry is) and role (whether you are a working mother/ parent or a millennial). You need to align your lifestyle goals with your work goals — only then you can intelligently plan your day as an entrepreneur.”
“Besides, some amount of yoga paired with some high-intensity workouts sets an energizing tone for the day,” Sajeel affirmed. Sajeel also loves to plan the day in advance — which helps him tick off his to-do list with ease.
So, while every entrepreneur will have a different plan of work for the day, keeping the fundamentals of having a ritual, focusing on your core business essentials, and doing a self-check on your progress will never change.
So play with your basic strengths and win as an entrepreneur!