As a small business owner, time management is incredibly important. The more hats you wear for your business, the more important it is to prioritise your tasks and get to everything on your list. There's a careful balance between getting everything done and staying motivated to tackle tomorrow with equal gusto.
The key to optimal time management from dawn to dusk is to start your day right. It's not just a cliche; getting energised and taking control of your morning helps you hit the ground running on your daily checklist of entrepreneurial tasks. So today, we're sharing five morning routine hacks you can put to use that will help optimise your time management all day long.
1 • Get Up Early & Leap Out of Bed
Waking up early is one of the best things you can do to master your schedule. Even an extra half-hour to take control of your day in the morning can help you to feel more empowered and on-the-ball. You have a little extra time to wake up, comb your hair, eat breakfast, read the news... whatever starts the day for you. You give yourself a chance not to feel rushed and behind at the get-go.
Second, don't drag yourself out of bed, or your body is the boss instead of your brain. Leap out of bed. Make yourself leap out of bed. Set the alarm to an annoying ring across the room if you have to, but get yourself moving. Assert energetic control over yourself and you'll have more powerful control over the whole day.
Special Note: Do not check your phone yet. Wait until you've got yourself squared away before tackling work messages. Trust us.
2 • Exercise Immediately (No, Really)
Speaking of getting moving, do a little exercise the moment you're on your feet. If you read about the morning routines of highly successful CEOs and entrepreneurs alike, they all (almost invariably) recommend morning exercise. Do a few squats or kicks. Go jogging if you're a jogger. Or just rock out to your favourite music in your pajamas first thing.
The point is to get your blood pumping. A cardio heart-rate gets your brain humming and you'll quickly notice that you are thinking more clearly and quickly in the morning with even a touch of exercise added to your routine. It doesn't have to be difficult, just enough to work up a pounding pulse.
3 • Review Your Mental Checklist in the Shower
Now jump in a steaming hot shower. Let that hot water hit with a wakeful force and feel your muscles relaxing into that powerful shoulders-back posture that makes a strong leader. As you shower, go through your mental checklist for the day. Review your goals, predict your challenges, and plan the steps you'll take to tackle it all in a reasonable and efficient fashion. Square away your thoughts so that they're ready at the start-line before your workday even begins.
As you dress, take a few minutes to pamper yourself. Put a few extra seconds into smoothing your hair, using lotion, and buttoning your shirt just so you look and feel sharp. This little psychological trick will help you accelerate into the day's challenges without hesitation.
4 • Grab A Power-Packed Breakfast
Don't skip breakfast, and don't call a stale donut snagged from the break room breakfast either. Your stomach is the engine that gives energy to both your body and your brain. So fuel it with the same strategic approach you'd use with your car or business equipment. If you're not ready for breakfast, grab a bran muffin and a bottle of orange juice to eat when you're ready. If you are hungry, take that ten minutes required to scramble an egg or inhale a healthy bowl of cereal. Or, if you have time for breakfast, make sure to load up on whole grains, protein, and fruit instead of carbs and sugar.
5 • Check Your Messages When You're Ready to Answer Them
Ideally, you've stayed away from the phone while you get yourself mentally and physically ready for the day. Only check your messages when you are ready to answer them in your squared-away business owner persona. Have your mind clear, your priorities in line, and be prepared to tackle whatever surprises the day has in store. From here, you will make your smartest, fastest decisions and hit the ground running on smart time-management the entire rest of your day.