The optimal daily calendar
One of the primary struggles for entrepreneurs, especially first-time entrepreneurs, is maintaining order in an environment in which you create the inputs and outputs.
You create your own hours.
You create your own work ethic.
You create your own outputs.
You create your own schedule.
The courageous leap to entrepreneurship allows you to step outside the traditional norms of mundane society and do something that lights an absolute fire underneath you.
It is exciting.
It is adrenaline-inducing.
It can be daunting.
It can be extremely unorganized.
So many people venture into entrepreneurship for the ability to create their own hours and not be held down by the traditional 9–5 society has tried so hard to implement and make stick. This may be the main attraction to begin with, but very quickly this freedom becomes inefficient.
Bill Gates and Elon Musk Schedule EVERY SECOND of Their Day
Two of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are deliberate and meticulous about making the most of their time. With multiple companies and charities to run, these two must be extremely careful about the meetings they choose to take, conversations they choose to have, and people they choose to see!
Their calendars are blocked off into 5-minute spans with different actions for them to take. This leads to the most intense level of focus, precision and productivity.
Richard Branson Schedules His Calendar Like a To-Do List
You do not have to be a tech entrepreneur to have a busy schedule! Billionaire CEO Richard Branson creates tasks for himself in the form of a to-do list. Once he completes the tasks on his list, his day is complete. This creates structure and helps us to ensure we achieve our needs, wants, goals, and dreams.
Entrepreneurial Controlled Chaos
My day is split into 19 “periods” with 19 different “subjects” ranging anywhere from 25 to 90 minutes. I allow myself 5 minutes in between each category to allow my mind recovery time, which is paramount in not becoming overworked or overstressed.
I have devoted time to physical fitness, personal growth and development, eating while learning, relaxation, rest, relationships, and entertainment.
These are all characteristics from when I thrived most during my days in high school. I set aside personal time for creativity and thought creation, providing me with the right combination of control and freedom.
This is the key methodology, the why, the seed that makes the schedule plant grow.
Schedule your day as an entrepreneur based on a time when you felt most productive, most engaged, and most successful.
Once you discover this, the rest becomes much simpler.
I use 12 hours a day for “work” related tasks and have been doing this 6 days a week, so 72 hours a week working.
I am more productive than ever.
I am more efficient than ever.
I am more creative than ever.
I am more energetic than ever.
I am creating more opportunities for my business than ever.
I am happier than ever.
The 3 most important attributes I have found in building your day, no matter what it entails or what it looks like, are intensity, consistency and flexibility.
These are short bursts or sprints in 19 different categories. Whether you have 5 minutes allotted to a task or 500 minutes, you better make sure it is uninterrupted, focused dedication to the subject at hand.
Schedule chunks of time for distractions like TV or video games, but do not deviate from the time you have to work on what you have to work on, and to get done what you have to get done.
This is your livelihood, so let’s make the time count.
This is not a one and done kind of thing. This is going to take days and weeks to get used to, to feel comfortable with, and to form into a habit. This will require discipline, commitment, and repetition that will allow you to memorize this within a few weeks.
Sticking to the plan is what will allow for the success you desire and deserve. Play with it to begin and feel out what is right for you, but once the experimentation period is over, cement this schedule into your brain.
Flexibility (Light Flexibility)
Tim Ferriss is a huge fan of this one.
The old adage is true and there is no particular day as an entrepreneur. But, we can get close, and this is the way to do so.
Calls may come up at different times, meetings may be scheduled, and opportunities may surface outside of their allotted zones, but make sure to adjust accordingly.
Understand that your optimal schedule is not set and stone.
But the further you deviate, the closer you get to that unorganized, overworked, and overstressed entrepreneur who cannot explain the inner workings of a day in the life of you.
My Entrepreneurial Beginnings
I made the move to entrepreneurship at the ripe age of 23. I wrote and published a book on a morning routine that focuses on overcoming stress and anxiety and on how to be the most productive student in the classroom or worker in the office from the moment you walk through the door.
I did so after 4 months in a management position with a prestigious restaurant group, working 6am — 8pm running daily operations.
My first few months as an entrepreneur were glorious compared to the tiresome hours I was used to. I still woke up early because I am a morning person, I messed around for a bit, hit my creative high around midday, produced some good content, made some cool connections, developed some cool opportunities, and then messed around some more.
I was going through the motions, but I wasn’t truly doing anything.
When an aspiring entrepreneur and writer asked me the other week,
“What does a typical day in the life look like for you?”
I responded with the common entrepreneurial verbiage,
“There really is no schedule, I wear so many hats it really changes every day and every hour.”
Then it hit me.
This was my problem. I had no remote sense of structure. I went into each day allowing it to lead and control me, rather than me leading and controlling it.
The foundation of a productive daily schedule is understanding when in your life you were most successful, most productive, and when you were experiencing peak performance. For me, this was high school, so my 19 period schedule emulates my success at that age.
This will be different for everybody, but this is my analysis and interpretation of how and when I function best, and if you are at all similar to me, if you are an entrepreneur who needs a little bit more stability in a world of uncertainty, use this methodology, and this guide, or at least some variation of it.