This is probably an understatement, but entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people around. A day in the life of an entrepreneur is chock-full of business decisions, research and networking. Because there’s so much to do and so little time to do so, entrepreneurs can easily get off track and become distracted with nonessentials.
Chat or listen to some successful people, though, and you’ll notice that they have several daily routines or habits that have steered them to success. Here are five things that productive entrepreneurs do every day:
1. Establish a routine. If an entrepreneur doesn’t set and stick to a daily schedule, how can he or she accomplish anything? It’s a challenge for the average person to juggle his or her personal and professional lives. Without a routine, an entrepreneur won’t be complete any work.
No one can really provide a routine for you. Set up one yourself based on what’s going on in your personal life and your work habits. If you have a family and happen to be an early riser, then you probably want to start early in the morning before anyone in your household rises. If you’re more productive at night, then set up a routine based on being a night owl.
Establishing a routine can also help you prioritize your tasks. That’s what Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square, did for months while building both companies. He actually worked eight hours a day at each company, meaning that he put in 16-hour workdays. How? He followed adaily routine that looked like this, according to the Buffer app blog:
“Monday: Managing and running the company
Wednesday: Marketing and communications, growth
Thursday: Developers and partnerships
Friday: Company culture and recruiting”
By setting up themed days, Dorsey could focus on one task at time so that he could actually complete a task, according to Buffer’s blog, which also noted that entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, ofThe 4-Hour Workweek fame, favors keeping a more open schedule. The basic idea is that by having a plan, even if only for a day or week in advance, you’re not wasting valuable time.
2. Exercise and meditate. The importance of exercise has been well established so I won’t bore you with the details and figures. But some really successful people make exercising a priority. The CEOs of Apple, Xerox, Pepsi, Christies and Starwood Hotels all start their days by getting their hearts pumping, according to Business Insider.
But what if you’re not the type of person who likes to rise early or has the time to work out the first thing in the morning? Work in a routine at some other time of day.
Even if you don’t lift weights at home or in the office or go for a morning run, at least do yoga or meditate.
Any sort of activity to relieve stress and clear your mind will provide a much needed release. And it will be a great way to give you time by yourself and help you prepare for tackling the next project.
3. Check in on your progress. As an entrepreneur, you’re extremely busy. In fact, you may be so focused on the task at hand that you may have neglected a couple of really important things. That’s why at some point during the day you should check in on a range tasks.
For a couple of minutes check how far you’ve been progressing toward the goals that you’ve established for yourself and the company. When you do so, you’re breaking down these goals into attainable tasks that can be accomplished daily. Taking the time to evaluate your progress will help you decide how to further prioritize your time.
It also wouldn’t hurt to figure out your cash flow. You probably should this every day because without money, your business is as good as done. To do this effectively, create and run your business using a 30-day cash-flow projection. This will help you identify what money is coming in and what you’re spending daily. Furthermore, keep track of invoices for clients and start a collections process if need be. Whether you call your bank, check online or chat with a bookkeeper, it’s better to be safe than sorry with your finances.
Finally, spend time every day to follow up with clients or peers via phone calls or emails. Donald Trump is known for making important phone calls first thing in the morning. These days it’s not wasting time to check email. You never know what important message you might miss if you don’t take the time to go through your in-box.