Establishing a Daily Routine for Entrepreneurs

Dear Jasmine,
What is a glimpse into your morning routine? I'm a bit disheveled and unorganized and I know that successful entrepreneurs have a daily routine that they follow that helps keep them on track. But I'm not sure where to start or how to structure my day.
Do you mind sharing how you developed your daily routine and any advice on how to develop one?
Disheveled and Unorganized

Dear Disheveled and Unorganized,
Are you sure you want to know the answer to this question? I'm afraid it's not pretty and makes the dream of running your own business disintegrate in some way. Now that you're warned, proceed at your own risk…

Three Tips for Establishing a Daily Routine for Entrepreneurs

1. Determine Your Peak Performance Hours
Everyone is different, especially when they're ready to get a ton of work done. I've learned that my peak hours are 6:00-7:15 a.m. and 1:00-4:30 p.m.. For some reason, my brain is wired to power through at these times, so I do everything I can to arrange my day for peak performance. Because I know my brain will be fired up at 6:00 a.m., I wake up at 5:30 to pray, meditate and read. I intentionally start my morning with peace and solitude, then tackle my inbox for an hour. Then I plan the rest of my day according to obligations, meetings, and other things related to business.
However, I try to block out the hours of 1:00-4:30 p.m. as the time I create. This is when I write, I craft blog posts, I edit photos, I execute new projects. I protect this time and try to turn off technology to help me focus.

If you are most productive at night, the create a schedule that gives you the latitude to lock yourself away to get work done. It's important to explain to your spouse/partner/family your schedule and ask for their support. If they give it to you, don't squander it scrolling through Facebook insisting you're doing “research”! (Been there, done that.)

2. Organize Your Week
On Sunday night, I review my week and itemize my commitments. I send follow-up emails to confirm meetings so I can carefully craft each day around the commute, the prep-time, and the meeting itself. Knowing just how much time each task needs it so important in scheduling your time.

3. Organize Your Day
Every morning I have two post-it notes on my desk. The first note is everything that needs to be done that day. The second post-in note is a timeline I must work from to accomplish all the tasks. Because there's so much to do and never enough time, I promise myself to stay within the timeline. (Yes, I know I sound as cool as a root canal, but it works.)

Here's a sample timeline from yesterday…
5:30am Wake up
6:00am Email
7:15am Walk the dog
7:45am Prep morning social media updates
8:00am Go to bank and mail album to client
8:45am Workout
10:00am Get ready for day
10:45am Facebook ads meeting – Skype
11:45am Lunch
12:15pm Write content for The Path to Profitability
3:00pm Consulting meeting – Skype
3:45pm Write blog post
4:25pm Check in with social media
4:45pm Check in with business accountability group on Facebook
5:15pm Email
6:00pm Dinner (yes, I'm an early eater…does that make me OLD?!)
7:00pm Take a bath and read
8:00pm Watch trashy TV (can I get a witness?!)

In short, working during my peak performance hours, scheduling my week, and scheduling each day has proven to be the most effective way to create a routine. As I'm sure you can attest, running a business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. While I love what I do as a creative, I must understand that the work I do everyday sustains a flow of income. If I don't schedule myself to work, I'll always feel like I'm behind or completely overwhelmed.

If you'd like more tips in running an effective and profitable business, I'd love to see you at The Path to!