Taking the path as an entrepreneur is not easy. In fact, it’s very difficult. So why do it? Well, if you truly have the mind set of an entrepreneur you probably already have that answer. The rewards from constructing a start-up far outweigh holding a “9 to 5” – whether you are successful or fall flat on your face. Speaking of working “9 to 5,” some Entrepreneurs are forced to keep their day job while working diligently to get their own business off the ground. Personally, I continue to work my “day job” and put everything else I have into two start-ups that I have founded.
Well if I had the choice, I’d only be working on my start-ups – but until I can generate enough revenue to support myself, I have to keep the day job. Why am I telling you all of this? Starting a business is hard enough. Starting a business (or two) and working 40+ hours somewhere else is even harder. But let’s face it, sometimes it’s just not avoidable, so make the best of it. If you fall into the “9 to 5/Entrepreneur” category, then read on – maybe you’ll take away some useful tips on time management, stress prevention, and maintaining your sanity.
Time Management, Stress Prevention, and Keeping Your Sanity
So how do you manage working full-time and giving your all to your start-up? Easy. Stay focused and use your time effectively. Yes, effectively. Let’s run through some thoughts illustrating how you can manage both effectively.
1. Sleeping in is no longer an option – this includes weekends. Wake up early enough in the morning to prepare for your “normal” work day, but make sure to leave at least 15 minutes of spare time so that you can check and respond to any critical emails relating to your start-up. If time allows, get something else done here. On weekends, plan to get up somewhat early and get moving on whatever you’re working on. The majority of weekends can be used as full work days for your start-up.
2. Did you really just go to Taco Bell for lunch and sit there for an hour? Instead, how about writing a blog post, make a few phone calls, write emails, tweet some quality info, etc. There’s so much more you can do with your lunch than sit around. Eat while you work! If you must go out to lunch, make it worth while. Schedule a meeting with a potential partner/client/etc. for your start-up.
3. When you get home, this may be time for a break (remember, we want to keep our sanity). Do something active: walk, run, bike, or something that gets you moving. This will not only relieve stress, but help prevent it. Trust me, I’ve avoided this to get “more” work done and it doesn’t work. You’ll experience a negative outcome instead. Take an hour to unwind, relax, and get pumped to continue moving forward throughout the evening.
4. Spend the last few hours of your evening really hammering at your start-up. Whether it’s working on your website, creating some kind of marketing materials, networking, or whatever you need to do – do it now. You should have the energy after that 2 mile run you just did.
5. Lastly – sleep! Although I’m guilty of never getting enough sleep, I’ve read up on it enough to know that you still need a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep. My rule of thumb: I try to be in bed by 12 a.m.
To sum things up… Have some type of plan for the day – meaning, set some goals that you wish to accomplish before you hit the bed. Concentrate, stay motivated, and don’t give up. You’ll soon be able to toss that day job.
Leave your thoughts on effectively managing yourself as a full-force entrepreneur. Everyone has something different that they do – we can all benefit from ideas that work. How do you manage your day?
Guest author: Antonio Calabrese Founder of Mouseek.com & UofSS.com