Whether you work for yourself or have your own business (or a few), things can get complicated quickly. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs and business owners to work long hours. Kevin O’Leary from the Shark Tank perhaps put it best when he said that in order to be successful in this endeavor you should plan to work 25 hours a day, 7 days a week… forever. While that may not have to be taken literal, it’s definitely symbolic of just how much grit and determination is needed to see success.
While the grind may seem relentless, it’s not impossible to overcome. There’s a myriad of ways that entrepreneurs can make their lives easier, from outsourcing to managing their personal life better, to general time management. We’ll take a look at four concrete ways you can make your life easier starting today.
Dedicate Time to Yourself at the Beginning of Each Day
Hal Elrod laid out a plan in his in the popular book, The Miracle Morning, when he said that you need to dedicate time each day to your own personal development. First, ensure you have a simple “wake up” routine where you get the essentials out of the way first – such as having a glass of water, washing your face, and brushing your teeth.
After that, you can hop right into your morning routine of self-development which could last anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour depending on what you include and how much you need to get done. Usually, this will involve doing things that work on a few areas of your life, such a small fitness routine, reading a few chapters from your book, practicing meditation, and dedicating time to learning a new language.
When you dedicate time to yourself first each and every day, you give yourself the chance to learn and grow independent of your business, which will help give you confidence throughout the day to do the demanding tasks that being an entrepreneur entails.
There are thousands of articles and books on time management, so I’ll give you what is possibly one of the best analogies of the subject to help you prioritize items of importance. It has to do with rocks, pebbles, sand, and an empty glass jar. You may have even seen it before live while attending self-development or business conferences.
It goes like this. The jar represents everything that is in your life. The rocks symbolize the most important projects and tasks in your life, such as your health, your family, your most important projects, and so forth. Pebbles are things that give your life meaning and help you progress but they are not absolutely critical to your success. The sand represents your leisure time that you might fill with your favorite hobby, passing time, hanging out with friends, and so forth.
If you fill your jar first with sand, pebbles, and then rocks, you’ll find that you can’t fit in as much as you’d like. You’ll run out of time to do everything you want and need and the jar will actually overflow and not be able to fit all of the contents.
On the other hand, if you fill your jar with rocks first, and then pebbles, and then finally sand, the jar can hold much more and actually fit the contents that you have. This is very similar to your life. Prioritize the most important tasks each day first, followed by important but-not-necessary things, and then finally if you have time, you can fill in the rest of the day with leisure, fun, or other things that help give meaning to your life.
Surrounding Yourself with the Right Environment
A lot of people are familiar with the old saying, you are the product of your five closest friends. What you do or accomplish is heavily influenced by the people around you. There’s also the quip “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”, popularized at one time by motivational speaker Jim Rohn.
While these may not be hard truths, it’s always worth having a look at your surroundings to see if it is helping you move forward or holding you back. While it’s completely reasonable for a friend or family member to want what’s best for you, if they are actively being negative when you mention your goals or dreams then it may be worth looking at how you interact with them in the future; such as limiting these types of conversations or how much you talk about these subjects.
There can be a lot of doubts and hardship that comes with entrepreneurship and having a critic in your ear at every turn and corner may only serve as a force to help you give up.
Bringing it All Together: Focus on You
A large part of your success will come down to making sure you are taking care of yourself as much as you are your own business. Ensuring that your mind, body, and soul are taken care of will translate to more energy and success elsewhere. Factors like your sleep, diet, people you talk with, time management, and overall lifestyle choices will be huge in helping you get through the hard times so you can see success.
Whether that comes down to developing a morning routine, getting the right people in your life, or simply prioritizing your time management, you can start to make your daily routine easier so that you can work towards accomplishing your goals more efficiently.