The 5 Scheduling Challenges Every New Entrepreneur Faces
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Entrepreneurship is an exciting new adventure for thousands of people every year. They’re drawn in for the thrill of creating and providing something new to the world, or for the promise of making practically unlimited income, or maybe for the prospect of leaving a legacy for their families. But they underestimate some of the challenges that naturally accompany the entrepreneurial lifestyle, and one of the biggest sets of challenges is related to scheduling and managing your time.
The Biggest Scheduling Challenges
Fortunately, these challenges aren’t quite as powerful when you’re aware of them. If they blindside you, they could devastate both your professional and personal life, but if you know they’re coming, you can expect and prepare for them:
1. Knowing when to stop working.
Entrepreneurs frequently overwork themselves, for a variety of reasons. They’re super dedicated to their own creations, so they’re willing to go the extra mile. They may be motivated by the prospect of earning more money, which means they’ll want to work harder and longer to make a higher profit. They also face extreme workloads and a never-ending plate of tasks. Ultimately, that means they usually work nights and weekends, which in the short term can be an effective way to get more done, but in the long term, can sabotage your health and productivity.
2. Preserving a decent sleep schedule.
Along similar lines, entrepreneurs often disregard a “healthy” sleep schedule in favor of almost anything else they need to do. They’ll stay up late finishing a presentation, wake up early the next morning to check email before a meeting, and sacrifice hours of sleep every week for a few more waking hours of relaxation. Over time, this can have significant detrimental health effects, including both mental health (such as influencing depression) and physical health (such as raising your blood pressure).
3. Spending ample time with friends and family.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll have less time to spend with your friends and family members. You’ll be working 80-hour weeks in some cases, and your family time may be interrupted by important phone calls or emails coming in. Obviously, you have some control over this; in the long term, it’s probably better for you to slow down your business from time to time and enjoy your loved ones.
4. Dealing with overbookings.
Even if you’re willing to work long hours, your employees, clients, and vendors probably won’t be. That means you’ll be stuck dealing with a 9-5 schedule for the vast majority of your contacts. With only 8 hours in a day and 5 days a week, there’s going to be significant overlap, and eventually, you’re going to overbook yourself. Finding time for meetings without scheduling them weeks in advance, and ensuring you always have time for a basic conversation is difficult in the entrepreneurial world. Fortunately, you can improve your management by delegating tasks you don’t need to do yourself and by keeping your meetings as short as possible.
5. Keeping to a routine.
Being an entrepreneur means changing hats all the time; you’ll have many different types of responsibilities to manage at the same time, and expectations of you will change frequently as well. At the same time, keeping to a semi-regular routine is beneficial for just about anybody, so you’ll need to find a way to compress your tasks into a repeatable, streamlined daily schedule if you want to maximize efficiency.
Mastering Your Time
Of course, you’ll face other time management challenges along the way, as well. You’ll need to learn how to manage your employees’ schedules and workloads, and you’ll never seem to have enough time in your schedule to get everything done. Still, with proactive thought and the right tools by your side, you should be able to minimize the most extreme effects of the entrepreneurial schedule.
Your biggest takeaways here should be to prioritize your personal health and happiness, delegate when necessary, and try to standardize your work as much as you can. These may not seem significant in the first days of starting your new business, but the sooner you build good time management habits, the better.
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