Being an entrepreneur, I mean, make it work, isn't as simple as they say. Forget hipsters at the cafe with their MacBook and a flat white in front of them. They're probably still living with their parents!
Entrepreneurship is a lot more than that, and it requires a robust and consistent discipline.
In this article, I'll show you the top 3 habits I developed, to become a more effective entrepreneur.
I have to tell you. Being an entrepreneur is one of the best experience of my life. I love to work for myself, and focusing on the projects I want.
But at the same time, it's been one of the most challenging things I've done.
When I had a 9-to-5 job, I didn't have to think much about organisation or time planning. My Boss took care of that part, and I just had to respect the deadlines.
When I started working as a freelance, everything changed. I was suddenly in charge of my business life, and not just that.
I had to take care of my time, provide recurring revenue, finding clients, and so on.
Well, it was a lot more difficult than I thought.
Through my long career, I understood the importance of creating habits to become more productive.
The sad truth is that we can't rely on motivation, cause it's finite.
We start with the best intention, and then inevitably that flame fades.
Routines are exactly about reducing this risk. If I set the right habits for my working day, I'm sure 100% I'll stay productive even if I'm running out of motivation.
If you stick with your new habits for a consistent time, your body and mind will embrace them into their system. Once a pattern became a daily behaviour, it takes the place of a previous bad habit automatically.
Let's get into the meat of this video. Here the top 3 habits that made a total difference in my entrepreneurial career.
1. Pomodoro Time Tracking
I guess you know what's the Pomodoro technique. It's a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
This method works well cause it keeps you focused on a single task for the session length, reducing distractions.
The Pomodoro technique is an excellent gimmick, but I personalised and improved it just lately. It's all thanks to a book that I read called Atomic Habits, by James Clear. If you don't have that book on your shelf, buy it!
In this book, James Clear talks about the story of Trent Dyrsmid, a stockbroker who used to start his working day with two jars on his desk. An empty one, and the other filled with 120 paper clips.
After every sale call made, he would move one paper clip to the empty jar, and he would keep dialling the phone until he had transferred all the paper clips to the next pot.
I added this technique to my Pomodoro routine. I sit at the computer with two containers in front of me: an empty one and another with six wooden blocks. At the end of every Pomodoro session, I move a block into the other container.
I call it a day just when I moved all six pieces from a container to another.
2. Turn off my phone and social media
The first thing I do before starting a new Pomodoro session is to turn off my phone, and put it out of reach.
Why do I do it? To reduce the temptation to grab the phone, turn it on and check if I got any message.
I know, I have a problem with technology.
That is another good advice I learned from James Clear's book:
if you want to get rid of a bad habit, make it difficult.JAMES CLEAR
Turning off my phone and putting it away from me, I make my negative pattern hard to be adopted again.
But since I work on the computer, I have a universe of temptations in front of me! Social media, email, you call it.
A simple email arriving can interrupt my session.
One of the best tips for productivity is about focusing on a single thing at the time. If I'm working on my article, I don't want anything else to get in the way.
On this matter, I suggest you another book that talks specifically about that. It's called The One Thing.
Back to my session, I close the app to check the email, and I close every window of my browser if I don't need it. What I have on my screen is just what I need for my activity.
Many tools and apps have been created to push productivity, and I use a good deal of them. If you want you can download the list of the 5 productivity tools I use daily on my computer.
I've been on and off meditation for a long time. I discovered the benefits of Meditation after a 10 day Vipassana course. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Vipassana is the oldest of Buddhist meditation practices, and teach how to cultivate mindfulness or awareness into your daily life.
There are centres all around the word that teach you this meditation for free. The situation is a little bizarre cause you usually need to spend 10 days in a remote location without the possibility to talk.
Mum, if you're reading this article, don't worry mum, I'm not in a cult.
I've embraced meditation in my routine just after I became an entrepreneur, and I have to say that it's one of the things that help my productivity the most. Since I made an effort to cultivate mindfulness, I recognise that my mind is a lot more focused and clear from distractions.
If you want to know more about Meditation, I suggest you a book called “Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world”.
The book uses a program in 8 weeks to teach you how to apply mindfulness in your life. If you're interested, I've added the link in the description.
Question of the day
What routines or habits make the difference for your business?