If you work on your own schedule, then you must know how hard it can be to find room for relaxation, family time or just “you time”. As an entrepreneur myself, I struggle with joggling my personal life with my business hours. Most of the time, the battle is lost and I end up working longer hours then I would if I had an employer. I also fool myself into thinking that this is how it supposed to be, being on my own, having me as a boss. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!
So I decided on writing this article after finding an infographic about how to take back our mornings (you can read it below).But I wanted to expand on the subject, making it a simple guide for entrepreneurs everywhere on how to regain some of that FREE TIME, by making some smart time management decisions. Here goes!
A simple guide to making time
In the morning
As I already said, someone more talented at drawing then I has made an infographic about taking back our mornings. It is based on research from sleep experts and productivity thought leaders, offering us a glimpse into a more resourceful way of living.
- plan ahead by setting up clothes, coffee makers and lunch bag the night before;
- try to wake up early – some suggest 5-6 am to get more hours in your productive day;
- do sports – it does not matter what type as long as you force your brain and body to wake up;
- work on your personal projects – the morning is one of the best times for learning (especially since our brains become lazier with each passing year). So use the time to look over some books or maybe learn a new language;
- eat breakfast with your family – this way you will still have time to connect even if by dinner you all have other plans.
For more, check out the inforgraphic from Entrepreneur Magazine.
When you have a busy schedule ahead, the lunch-hour can become the lunch-minute. We consider food as a nuisance, so we act accordingly. Most of the time we end up eating unhealthy fast food, on the subway or stuck in traffic. But what if I told you that you can use this time, to eat better, network and also get into a more relaxed mood? Here are a few tips and tricks to make lunch time better:
- arrange your pre-lunch meetings near restaurants, so you and your clients can end the discussions over a slow food menu.
- if you work from a co-working space, make people order food in and eat it together. Try a new restaurant each time to get everyone interested;
- if you bring your own food, try to skip sandwiches and go with fruits of small salads.
In the afternoon
With the day progressing fast, try to save time by changing the little things:
- keep emails short – no more than 5 sentences to responses;
- make a meeting schedule – so you can have days “on the road” and full office days to work;
- delegate and outsource – you probably already took some bigger jobs than your time permits (free time included), so delegate tasks to your team. Also, you can get trusted freelancers to take care of the simple tasks, while to work on the really important ones.
Evenings at home / Going out
- After a long day of meetings or working in front of the computer, you end up stuck in traffic on your way home. It’s ok, this is probably good for you. Use the time to play your favorite music, or listen to an audio-book. You can also stop to pick up groceries, since some stores have special prices after 6pm ( in Romania we have Kaufland – % at veggies and fruits);
- At home, use the time to learn a new recipe and maybe invite some of your friends;
- Learn to postpone answering to emails after a certain hour;
- If you really need to work, try to pick simple tasks, since your brain is not functioning at maximum capacity 🙁
- If you work from home, try to go out at least one evening per week. Try not to lose yourself in your work!
In the weekend
Keep the weekend as free as possible! Take care of yourself, your family, the house, your pet. Visit friends or get out of the city. Or read books in a comfy nook (or build that nook – instructions here). Or catch-up with your favorite TV series and movies. No matter what you decide on doing, try to keep it as casual as you can. And don’t forget to prep for Monday, when everything start all over again.