time management for entrepreneurs

Before I began writing this post on creating a work routine for entrepreneurs and creatives, I originally planned on sharing what I specifically do for my daily work routine. But as I was writing, I started feeling like what I was doing wasn’t actually helping you establish your own routine. As much as I love telling you what I do for motivation and productivity, I felt like ONLY listing the things I do and what times I do them doesn’t necessarily help someone whose life looks completely different from mine. So, I decided to switch it up! Instead of listing my weekly work schedule, I’ll tell you how I created it and what I think you should do to create a routine that works for you!

Before you get started:

The key to creating a routine is knowing what you’ll be able to keep up with. A lot of discouragement can come from creating unrealistic goals and then not accomplishing them. So instead of looking at what someone else does every day, look at what your life currently looks like, the doable adjustments you can make to create more productivity and then tell yourself you have what it takes to keep it up. Also, make sure you’re willing to give yourself a little bit of grace. Implementing a new schedule can take time before it starts to feel natural, so give yourself time to adjust. With that being said, here are a few steps I’ve taken in order to create my daily work routine:

 

Step One: Create a consistent morning routine

It sounds simple, but this is a really crucial step in creating a schedule you can stick with. If you’re an entrepreneur, side-hustler or anything in-between — consistency is the number one piece of advice I can give when it comes to creating a schedule and it all starts with your morning routine.

There are a few things to take into consideration when creating a morning routine. Generally, you should be waking up at a consistent time so you can avoid feeling rushed and like there isn’t enough time to get everything finished the rest of the day. Deciding what time your day needs to begin is necessary in order to complete all the tasks for running your business AND create time for balancing it with your personal life. How should you go about selecting that time? Start by factoring in the things you need to get done every morning, how much time you need to dedicate to each task and when you would like to begin your workday. There are a few ways this could potentially look:

 

If you’re the type of person that meditates in the morning, your schedule could be:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 5:45 am – eat breakfast
  • 6:00 am – meditate
  • 6:30 am – set daily goals
  • 7:00 am – workout
  • 9:00 am – start work related tasks

 

Or, maybe the morning includes helping your kids get ready for school and your schedule would look more like this:

  • 5:00 am – wake up
  • 5:15 am – eat breakfast
  • 5:30 am – set daily goals
  • 6:00 am – take morning walk
  • 6:30 am – help kids get ready
  • 7:00 am – take kids to school
  • 7:30 am – workout
  • 8:30 am – start work related tasks

 

Are you a dog person? I am, too! So maybe your schedule would be:

  • 6:00 am – wake up
  • 6:15 am – give dogs food
  • 6:20 am – eat breakfast
  • 6:35 am – take dogs for walk
  • 7:00 am – set daily goals
  • 7:30 am – workout
  • 8:30 am – start work related tasks

 

Regardless of the lifestyle you have, deciding which things are going to be included every morning and the amount of time you spend on each of them is necessary to begin the day on a productive note. Having that consistent morning routine will help provide you with enough time to accomplish all your morning tasks before the workday begins.

time management for entrepreneurs

Step Two: Include goal setting at the start of the week and every morning

It doesn’t matter how busy your schedule is — goal setting is essential for success. Going with the flow every day usually leads to doing a compilation of tasks that aren’t actually necessary. Stating vague things like, “I’ll start working on things at 9:00am,” creates an open space where you don’t have the direction necessary to accomplish your tasks as efficiently as possible.

Instead of trying to accomplish tasks without direction, take time before your week beings to list broad goals for each work day like:

8/4/19 – 8/10/19 :

  • Sunday: Weekly planning
  • Monday: Content creation
  • Tuesday: Consultations & Networking
  • Wednesday: Edit sessions & send out galleries 
  • Thursday: Day off
  • Friday: Day off
  • Saturday: Photograph Wedding (8 hours)

 

And then schedule time every morning to list out daily goals that look more concrete like this:

Monday: Content creation

  • 9:00 am – respond to emails
  • 9:30 am – reply to social media comments & DM’s
  • 10:00 am – write social media posts for the week
  • 11:00 am – create weekly blog post 
  • 1:00 pm – write email newsletter

etc.

Deciding which days are for broader tasks will help give your week a clear direction. Then, creating specific goals each morning will establish a consistent work schedule and ensure the productivity you need for your business.

 

Step Three: Schedule time for necessities

When I first became a hustling entrepreneur, I often neglected my health in favor of my business. This led to a series of days where it would be late in the evening and I’d realize I hadn’t eaten at all that day. I also didn’t invest time into working out or having a healthy amount of movement. So even though I was hustling, the lifestyle I created was having substantial consequences on my mental & physical health.

When I recognized those consequences, I knew I needed to make big changes. Instead of mindlessly “hustling”, I decided to treat the necessities I needed for my mental and physical health like they -were- business tasks. Every morning, I would schedule in exact times in the day I would eat, work out and take breaks. When I implemented these changes, I was healthier, more positive and a lot more productive than I was before.

If you currently relate to having an unhealthy lifestyle, take a moment every morning to schedule time that’s dedicated to your health. It’s entirely possible for you to be a hard hustling entrepreneur and not have to sacrifice key components that are necessary for you to have a healthy mind & body. Here’s an example of how that can look:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 6:00 am – meditate
  • 6:30 am – set daily goals
  • 7:00 am – workout
  • 8:00 am – prepare + eat breakfast 
  • 9:00 am – respond to emails
  • 9:30 am – reply to social media comments & DM’s
  • 10:00 am – write social media posts for the week
  • 10:30 am – take a 30 min. walk
  • 11:00 am – create weekly blog post & email newsletter content
  • 12:00 pm – prepare + eat lunch 

etc.

time management for entrepreneurs

Step four: Take into account daily changes

It’s entirely possible there will be certain obstacles that’ll make it so your schedule won’t be exactly the same every day. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a consistent routine, it’s just important for you to take into account the changes you’ll have to make each day of the week. This could include a weekly schedule that looks like:

Monday:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 5:45 am – eat breakfast
  • 6:00 am – meditate
  • 6:30 am – set daily goals
  • 7:00 am – workout
  • 9:00 am – reply to social media comments & DM’s
  • 9:30 am – write social media posts for the week
  • 10:30 am – take a 30 min. walk
  • 11:00 am – create weekly blog post 
  • 12:00 pm – eat lunch

etc. 

Tuesday:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 5:45 am – eat breakfast
  • 6:30 am – yoga class
  • 7:45 am – set daily goals
  • 8:00 am – take phone call w/ client
  • 8:30 am – take 30 min. walk
  • 9:00 am – get ready for client consultation
  • 9:30 am – leave for consultation
  • 10:30 am – client consultation
  • 12:00 pm – lunch

etc. 

In this example, you would still be waking up and beginning your workday at the same times, but the tasks change depending on the day. Acknowledging your day-to-day schedule may change will help you create a work routine that is consistent based on what you want to accomplish each day of the week.

 

Step five: Putting it all together

After following the previous steps, you should be able to create a weekly work routine that accomplishes everything you need to get done. Once you put all of these together, the structure for your work week will resemble a schedule like this:

Monday:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 5:45 am – prepare & eat breakfast
  • 6:30 am – set daily goals
  • 7:00 am – workout
  • 9:00 am – reply to social media comments & DM’s
  • 9:30 am – write social media posts for the week
  • 10:30 am – take a 30 min. walk
  • 11:00 am – create weekly blog post 
  • 12:00 pm – eat lunch
  • 1:00 pm – create email newsletter content
  • 2:00 pm – take 30 min. walk (or alternative exercise)
  • 2:30 pm – create pins for Pinterest
  • 3:30 pm – go on Instagram Live
  • 4:30 pm – post to Instagram
  • 4:35 pm – engage with other Instagram accounts
  • 5:00 pm – end of workday

 

Tuesday:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 5:45 am – prepare & eat breakfast
  • 6:30 am – go to yoga class
  • 7:45 am – set daily goals
  • 8:00 am – reply to social media comments & DM’s
  • 8:30 am – take 30 min. walk (or alternative exercise)
  • 9:00 am – get ready for client consultation
  • 9:30 am – leave for consultation
  • 10:30 am – client consultation
  • 12:00 pm – lunch
  • 1:00 pm – second client consultation
  • 2:00 pm – drive to venue tour
  • 3:00 pm – venue tour
  • 4:00 pm – respond to emails
  • 5:00 pm – end of workday

 

Wednesday:

  • 5:30 am – wake up
  • 5:45 am – prepare & eat breakfast
  • 6:30 am – set daily goals
  • 7:00 am – workout
  • 9:00 am – reply to social media comments & DM’s
  • 9:30 am – respond to emails
  • 10:30 am – edit client’s wedding
  • 11:30 am – take 30 minute walk (or alternative exercise)
  • 12:00 pm – prepare & eat lunch
  • 1:00 pm – continue editing 
  • 3:30 pm – send client gallery
  • 4:00 pm – take 30 minute walk (or alternative exercise)
  • 4:30 pm – create & send client timelines
  • 5:00 pm – end of workday 

 

ect.

Of course, your tasks and days will more than likely look differently, but implementing this type of structure will help you create the schedule you need in order to be a self sufficient entrepreneur with a set work routine.

Overall

The initial idea of creating a schedule when you work from home can seem overwhelming. It’s one more thing you have to do and it can be challenging to stick with. But instead of looking at it from a discouraged point of view, think of it as something that will provide you with freedom, productivity and growth in your life & business. Creating an entrepreneurial work routine that aligns with your lifestyle is completely possible and once you do, you’ll start getting everything on your to-do list done without feeling like you’re sacrificing important parts of your life.

It’s possible to get everything done in one day — The best way you can is by scheduling time to do it all.

 

 

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