It’s no secret that productivity and routine go together like shoes and shoelaces, with the latter being the final component needed to tie everything together and keep things running smooth. The mind adapts to challenges better when it knows what to expect and is accustomed to adhering to a predetermined schedule. Conversely, when you’re subject to uncertainty on a daily basis, it becomes difficult to achieve goals and stay on track.
As an entrepreneurial startup owner, you don’t have the luxury of being lackadaisical about time management. Contrary to popular misconception, successful entrepreneurs running a startup can’t really “make their own schedule,” “work their own hours,” “be their own boss” or enjoy any of the other fantastical perks alleged by people who desire to get rich quick. Instead, bringing a startup from seed to success requires a very disciplined and structured approach.
To help you develop such an approach, we’ve compiled the following list of eleven straightforward routines that every startup owner should incorporate into their daily schedule.
1. Reading Newsletters
Entrepreneurs should always try to stay informed about the latest trends in their industry. One of the best ways to do that is by subscribing to a few quality newsletters. However, if you’re not organized about how and when you digest this content, it could throw a wrench into your routine, so be sure to set aside a designated time to read and sift through it. One of the more popular investment newsletters is the Money Map Report. You can find reviews on newsletters by typing the name of the publication followed by the word “review” (i.e. – Money Map Report review).
2. Checking Top Blogs
There are millions of blogs online, more than you could ever possibly read, but luckily following just a few can provide plenty of ongoing edification. When you see a blog you like, bookmark it and visit it once a day to skim over the headlines.
3. Pre-Work Exercise
Light aerobic exercise before work helps you think faster and with more clarity. Don’t wear yourself out with a 5-mile jog, but definitely try to get things flowing by being active before you sit down at your desk or head off to the office. Many entrepreneurs have shared that they kickstart their day with a morning workout routine to feel more alert.
4. Brainstorming Sessions
It can be easy to become complacent in your existing business plans and agendas. Forcing yourself to brainstorm new ideas on a daily basis activates your innovation and keeps you in a creative mindset. Most people only brainstorm out of necessity – when they need to solve a problem – but doing it habitually can take your brainstorming skills to a new level.
5. Self-Improvement Efforts
Being a better business owner starts with being a better person. Even if you’re so busy that you can only squeeze in a 5-minute motivational video each day, do something to improve yourself physically, mentally, or emotionally. It could be listening to inspirational audiobooks on the way home, practicing your speaking skills, committing to study time, or just reading a self-improvement blog before bed.
6. Building a Social Media Presence (in Moderation)
Make it a habit to periodically check your social media accounts throughout the day, but don’t waste too much time on it either. Designate a time for responding to messages, sending out retweets, browsing your newsfeed, etc. You may also want to set a limit on how many times you post content to each social network per day, not only to preserve your time but also to avoid coming off as a ranting spammer.
7. Meditation and Visualization
Amidst all of the new habits you’ll be adopting, it can be difficult to find time for relaxation. Thus, it’s wise to set aside at least 10-20 minutes of your day to unwind and just exist in your own mind for a little while. Meditation and introspect can help you be more creative during work hours. Likewise, visualizing plans and ideal outcomes will help remind you why you’re working so hard to begin with.
8. Reviewing and Adjusting Schedules
Consistency is great, but that doesn’t mean you should force yourself to stick to the same exact schedule for months or years on end. Keep an open mind and regularly look for ways to optimize your schedule further at the end of each week. Schedule changes can take a little while to adjust to but they’re definitely worthwhile if they’re helping you squeeze more productivity out of your day.
9. Soaking up Scenery
Visual surroundings play a role in your mindset, outlook, and overall creativity. If you’re locked up in a cubicle or home office most of the time and never get to enjoy the outside world, your mood and productivity could suffer as a result. Be sure to set aside a time to see something scenic at least once per day when possible.
10. Write at Least One Blog Post
If you’re a startup owner who doesn’t have any experience writing, you might be wondering why you should spend your time on such a tedious task when you can just pay someone else to do it. That’s certainly a valid thought process, but don’t overlook the value of being able to persuade, inform, and project a positive image through your own writing. Plus, having a regularly updated blog can generate a side income from ad revenue, so try to write at least one short blog post every day.
11. Hold Daily Recaps
Finally, the last thing you should do before settling in for the night is hold a recap to remind yourself of the accomplishments, ideas, and adjustments made that day. This recap will help you process your progress and intentions overnight, so it’ll be easier to pick up where you left off the next day.
Entrepreneurship Is a Lifestyle
If you add up all of the suggestions above, it seems like becoming a successful entrepreneur could require you to completely revamp your entire lifestyle. Indeed, the process of launching and managing a busy startup usually isn’t something that can be lazily worked on part-time, unless you’re okay with subpar results. If you want to build a valuable company that investors and clients will gravitate towards, you’ll need to contribute a commendable effort and lead by example.