When I was first starting Lucid Books, I had some trouble finding the work balance I needed. Suddenly I was my own boss, and often working from home. This was a challenge because I didn’t have the external motivators of an office environment to push me out of bed and into my work every morning. I was excited about Lucid Books and knew that it was essential to my happiness that I succeeded in making it work. But I wasn’t happy with some of the habits I was developing and wanted to start a day to day routine that made me feel more in control and disciplined.
I’m always reading up on how to better myself and be a better entrepreneur. So naturally I turned to fellow entrepreneurs who blogged or talked about their experiences, and I began to develop a routine for myself. It took some tweaking for a few months, but I settled on 3 main habits that I incorporated into my structure that completely changed how I work and how I measure the success of my days. I’ll share them with you below so that you can consider if they will help you too.
- Wake up Early– Getting a head start on the day is probably the absolute most essential component of having a productive day. Waking up at 5:30 gives me freedom to get a workout in, answer emails before others get to the office, spend some time with my kids in the morning, and calmly plan out my day over a cup of coffee. If I wake up after 6, I feel like the world has already started without me and this adds to my anxiety levels instead of calming me down. I don’t wake up early every single day, (because who can?), but it’s definitely my norm, and it has helped me immensely. Also, as a side note, you’ll be surprised how much time you waste after 9 pm. I find it’s way better to get to bed early so that you can start your day the following morning before the rest of the world and get that head start.
- Set numbered goals and stick to them- As I mentioned above, being my own boss meant I didn’t really have anyone setting specific requirements for how I worked. Considering that for the majority of our lives we are in school where we have set requirements and deadlines for everything, this sudden freedom can be a little overwhelming for someone who is trying to work hard but has no structure. I decided the best thing to do was to take a minute every month and set numbered goals that I took seriously and essentially “had” to reach. I literally became my own boss in the sense that I set expectations and then treated them like I didn’t have a choice. Some months this was a 10 hours of work a day minimum, other months it was revenue based. I played around with it until I found what motivated me the most and heeded the most success. If you’re struggling to be your own boss, take some time to set goals and then don’t give yourself any excuses about reaching them.
- Start every day with motivation- It may be blog posts written by fellow entrepreneurs that make you feel excited to tackle the day’s challenges. It may be reflection on your original vision of your company and reminding yourself why you do what you do everyday. Whatever it is, take time every morning to remember what you’re working for and to get motivated. It can be so easy to fall into negative mindsets about feeling overworked or frustrated about projects going wrong, but if you start every day bringing yourself back to the larger picture, you stay motivated, driven and optimistic throughout the day’s work.
These are 3 habits that sincerely helped me to change my level of discipline in my work and finally feel competent at “being my own boss.” I hope they help you to remember that you’re not alone as an entrepreneur and that this blog posts reminds you of how excited you were to get started on your project back when it all began.