A day in the life of an entrepreneur: Beware of rabbit holes

Written by Alex Harris

Beware of rabbit holes

There are many perks to being one’s own boss, and off the top of my head, the greatest perk is having control over your working hours and activities. You can work for 12 hours or two. You can choose to tackle the difficult tasks in one go, or work on them at a more leisurely pace. You can work through holidays and weekends, or you can scale back your hours so you can have lunch with friends, dinner with your spouse, or be able to pick up your kids from school. Being an entrepreneur allows you a lot of liberties.

However, life as an entrepreneur isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Too much of a good thing can be (kind of) bad, including freedom

Having too much freedom on your hands has its drawbacks, too. One of these is being prone to distractions. Another is not having absolute control over factors that may directly or indirectly affect your productivity. Take the other day, for instance. It was 10:00 AM but my day was already considerably eventful. That week, my book was supposed to launch. Instead, I had to make it my pre-launch week because there were some aspects of the things I wanted to do come launch time that weren’t quite right yet. I had to take a step back and figure out what my next steps were in order for me to get it live as fast as possible.

So, I went to my computer and started playing around, checked a couple of emails, and ended up on Twitter. Oh, I saw that VWO had shared one of my blog posts, so of course I clicked on that link and for the next 20 minutes, I went down a rabbit hole of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and social media in general.

sheana-shiba-inuWhile sorting through my personal social media accounts, I saw that my wife had posted an adorable new photo of our dog, our Shiba Inu Sheana. I thought, “Wow, that is a really great photo!” It got me thinking: what if Sheana, our dog, had her own Instagram account? So I went ahead and created an Instagram account for Sheana. Okay, rabbit hole #2 just went down. I was sufficiently distracted by the time I realized I that there is so much going on and if I continue down this path, I won’t get as much done as I should.

Stop getting distracted

One of the challenges of any entrepreneur is staying focused and being wise with how time is spent. If you are an entrepreneur, remember that you only have 24 hours in one day, so you have to prioritize the things that you need to tick off your to-do list for the day.

Speaking of to-do lists, it is a great idea to have an actual one. It seems old school, but list down the tasks that you have to accomplish for the day, and quickly decide how you will go about each one of them. You can choose to tackle the more difficult tasks first before working on the easier ones, or you can ease into your day by doing the easier tasks, and plunging into the more challenging ones later in the day when you are on full work mode already.

If you’re the creative type and absolutely cannot go full steam with work without taking short breaks, it is a great idea to spend maybe 60-90 minutes on a task, then taking 10-15 minute breaks in between to do things for yourself – check your email, your social media accounts, take a short walk, indulge in a power nap, play with your dog, fix yourself a snack – basically anything to keep you rejuvenated and ready to take on the other tasks on your plate.

Oh, and if you think my eventful day is over – there’s more. Tune in to part two of A Day in the Life of an Entrepreneur. Share your entrepreneurial obstacles and stories, I’d love to hear from you. Sound off in the comments section.

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