Entrepreneurs must deal with a wide array of tasks and decisions each day, varying in significance from impressing investors to checking social media interactions. Many creative entrepreneurs bristle at the suggestion of establishing a routine. They suggest that a routine will stifle creativity, suppress ideas and interrupt important creative and problem-solving processes. Unfortunately, by not establishing a routine for all of the mundane and regular activities that require a decision and action each day, the entrepreneur overloads his or her creative and problem-solving brainpower with a mix of mundane tasks and activities that are more important.
The result is more stress, confusion and frustration at not achieving important milestones or breaking through tough barriers. Tethering yourself to a cell phone only exacerbates this problem. Stopping your mental processes or important conversations only to reflect and respond to a meaningless tweet many times a day adds up to a massive distraction from your purpose. Aside from the productivity drain, it can also be quite disrespectful to other parties on whom you are depending for your success.
Think about all of the mundane tasks you must perform each day, including reading and responding to email, checking web site traffic, monitoring news feeds, scheduling meetings, market research, checking your Twitter feed, eating meals and many more. Don’t forget spending time with family – that should hardly be mundane but should certainly be included in the activity for every day. If you don’t schedule specific times for these activities, you will convince yourself that you’re too busy and overworked. You will also find they insert themselves into the time you need for more important activities.
Over time, the routine becomes second nature and you accomplish them almost without thinking. That’s the whole point – freeing up your brain to think about more important creative and problem-solving tasks. The routine also frees up time to be dedicated to those important activities. The ability to focus and concentrate without the interruption of routine tasks will prove to be a boost to your creative brainpower. You will realize a productivity increase as a result.
Surprisingly, you will also be less stressed as you gain in productivity and control over your time. Less stress means greater performance, improved health and happier life. You’ll also learn how much time is necessary for specific tasks and often this will be less than you imagined. Later on, as your business is established and begins to grow, delegating many of these tasks to others will be a lot easier and you’ll know exactly how much of your time will be freed up.
Plan your time to optimize your efforts on the most important things while still leaving time for the mundane but necessary tasks. Push aside the other unneeded activities and bad habits, like browsing social media or playing solitaire for hours on end. You’ll end up with more time and a more relaxed atmosphere for the very thing that got you started – creativity.