Tips for a Productive Day as an Entrepreneur—Part 1
This month, our QC Event School tutor, Heather Vickery, tells us how to be the most productive as event planners and entrepreneurs. Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms.
This month I was asked write about “a day in the life of an entrepreneur.” While that sounds like a very easy task, the truth of it is, one entrepreneur’s day may have a very different look than that of another. Some entrepreneurs work from home offices, others in spaces outside the home. Some balance caring for children while others don’t. Some have a full time job and work their entrepreneurship as a side hustle; others just hustle all day long for their own business.
Regardless of your situation, here are my tips for having a productive, creative and inspiring day as an event planner—no matter what other factors shape your life.
Start the day grounded
We live in a busy world, constantly moving from one thing to the next. We often do not take time to really breathe or calm ourselves. Before diving into your inbox, I highly suggest starting your day with some type of grounding experience. This can be meditation in any form, a short yoga session, writing in a journal or even just sitting quietly with a cup of coffee listening to music. The most important element of this exercise is not having any devices on around you. Yep, you heard me! No TV, no phones, no iPads or computers.
Do not use this time to read the news or catch up on anything. This time is about you. It is about quiet reflection and preparation for the day ahead. Trust me, even those with small children can find the time and space for this. Even if it means waking up just a few minutes before the kids, it is worth it. Spending just 5-10 minutes each morning in this quiet space will have a great impact on the rest of your day and your emotional state. Make this a daily habit.
Work off of a schedule
For most entrepreneurs there is often so much to do that you simply do not know where to begin. This can be debilitating! When we don’t know where to start, we usually find ourselves surfing Pinterest or playing on Facebook. This is why creating a schedule is so powerful. By simply listing out what needs to happen in a given day and then assigning a time to begin each project, you have given yourself an intentional start.
The real key to success here is in assigning a time for each item on your list. I suggest scheduling in 30 minute blocks. A simple to-do list is not a real motivator in most cases. It just adds to the feeling of overwhelm. This system works if you start your day at 8:00am, 1:00pm or 7:00pm! No one gets to tell you what the “right” schedule is.
Designated email time
Do not check email every few minutes. It is a giant time suck and it serves no purpose other than distraction. Let’s face it, as entrepreneurs our jobs are not life or death. It is not brain surgery and if we do not respond to an email for a couple of hours, everything will be just fine.
I suggest setting aside specific times in your schedule for checking and responding to email. For many people, this is the first thing on their schedule and often one of the last things on the schedule. It helps set you up for success the following day.
Now, I can hear some of you freaking out now. “But my clients need to be responded to immediately.” No, no they do not. You are in charge of how your business is run and you get to set the boundaries.
By letting your clients know up front that you will return all emails within 24 hours, you have prepared them not to expect an immediate response. This will save a lot of stress, frustration and anxiety. Do not be a slave to your email.
Stay tuned for Part Two of Heather’s tips on being the most productive event planner you can be!