What does being an ‘entrepreneur’ really mean, especially today? When I set out to start my own business, I wasn’t quite sure. If you look up the *official* definition, an entrepreneur is someone who operates a business (or businesses) and takes financial risks. It’s ironic, in my opinion, that the risk-taking is such a big part of it, but it’s true.
When you’re an entrepreneur—whether that’s a business owner, freelancer, boss, or some combination—you are definitely more fearless than most. You are more willing to jump forward and chase your dreams than let opportunities pass you by. Perhaps that’s why you decided to pursue this career route to begin with.
As an entrepreneur (regardless of how you classify yourself) there are a few things you want to check off your list each day. These simple tasks will jumpstart you creatively get you on track, and help you pursue your goals.
1. Clear Your Inbox
What time of day you do this is purely up to you, but it’s one of the most annoying, yet most rewarding things you can do to help keep you focused.
Our mailboxes are constantly flooded with emails—promotional, sales, subscription-based, inquiries, opportunities, etc. While there’s definitely a positive side to getting emails for career-related ventures or ideas, it can be overwhelming when you’re looking at hundreds (or even thousands 🙈😅) coming in.
If possible, start filtering your inbox by unsubscribing to things you no longer care about or have an interest in.
I did this about a year ago, and the shift has been transformational. I’m no longer bothered by spammy threads and I’m saving so much time not having to delete pages of email because it’s not there in the first place!
Filter out threads by topic so that you can stay organized, even if/when you’re not available to answer right away.
Every inbox has the ability to label and sort emails by topic. I’ve literally never used this before until recently and it’s been helpful. When I have an overwhelming amount of new emails it’s hard to know what to answer because some urgent messages get lost in the shuffle when I’m looking from oldest to newest.
To make sure you’re not forgetting anything, add labels to your emails. You can choose to leave them marked unread, or read, but either way, they’ll all be in one place when you’re ready to buckle down and start responding.
Take advantage of the schedule and reminder features.
This is such a time-saver! Whether you’re scheduling responses out for appropriate times or setting reminders for yourself to follow up or check email when it’s more convenient for you, taking advantage of these features will significantly lower your stress.
2. Map Out Your Morning (Or Full Day, If Possible)
It’s not always easy to make the most of your morning, especially when you’re in a rush or coordinating more than just your schedule. It’s even more difficult if you’re in charge of other employees and have to take their needs and issues into account.
Regardless, creating a plan can help you with time management, staying organized, and feeling confident (even in the rush of the day-to-day).
If possible, take a few minutes each morning and write up a to-do list. Make sure it’s small enough to be able to accomplish (or at least make a dent!) in a single day. Prioritize your obligations, either mentally or on paper. And that way, when you get to work or *officially* begin your day, you’ll hit the ground running.
3. Focus On Your Relationships
Relationships are so important. Beyond the ones you have with friends and family, your work relationships are equally as valuable. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or freelancer.
Take time, each morning to chat with coworkers or employees. This doesn’t have to be full-blown conversations—a simple ‘How was your night?’ over morning coffee or response-provoking email reply will do. These are just simple ways to show that you’re invested in the people you work with and creates a sense of belonging within your work community.
4. Have an Endpoint to Your Day
It’s so easy to take work home with you each night, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. But not having a strong work-life balance can hinder your progress and cause unneeded stress.
Just as you have an official start to your day—whether that’s the moment you open your laptop or at 8AM when you pull up to the office—you need to have an endpoint.
Be sure to give yourself a block of time where you’re not answering emails or phone calls, and truly disengaged from the office environment or daily to-do list. If you must bring work home, then designate both start and end times for that, too, so you’re not bleeding over into time with family and friends.
Featured Image Credit: Andrea Vehige