Most startup founders and entrepreneurs launch their businesses, in part, so they can lead the lives they want and achieve work-life balance, or so they can chart their own paths to success. I hear from many though who end up working more hours than expected, who can’t seem to get control of their lives and who burn out or do not succeed because they fail to find a way to manage their energy in an effective way.
I would like to share with you my secret for energy management and as you read, ask you to consider how these strategies might look in your own life.
The Monday fresh start
Monday morning is the best time for me in many ways because I am fresh from the weekend, rested, and so it is when I have the most positive energy. For this reason, I make Monday mornings all about me. Starting the day with a clean desk and a review of my weekly plan, I launch straight into creative tasks such as creating content for my online courses or developing strategies around new ideas for the business.
The afternoon is still all about my business but my mind may be spinning with ideas, so I focus then on operational tasks, things like my website or video courses that may still be creative but also more structured.
Get to work
Tuesday is a full day, a classic work day. For me that will mean mentoring, working with startups who are transitioning or in need of guidance, and generally involves working with several clients in a day. Many days, especially full work days, I will take a quick nap of 10 or even 15 minutes, and I find that that can do a lot to rejuvenate and help me get through the day.
This middle of the week can be mentally exhausting for people because there is still a long work week ahead. Understanding this, I use Wednesday mornings as a time to focus on myself personally, to refresh and to gather energy for the rest of the week. For me that means a morning run, a quick swim and a time at the spa.
I am then refreshed and more focused in the afternoon and can spend the rest of the day mentoring or working on business tasks.
Read to work
Thursday is a classic work day again which involves consulting, mentoring and an entire day focused on the business of clients.
Wrap it all up
The end of the week for me is a chance to wrap up any client activities that did not get done during the week— finish any operational tasks that need attention and then give some focus to people who may want to connect for one of my free mentoring sessions.
Because I want to head into the weekend able to rest and not focused on lists of things to do at work, I also do a brain dump. By writing everything I have on mind down on paper, listing everything I have been thinking about, things I want to tackle for the next week, I head into the weekend with my mind clear.
The weekend then is a true break, a time to relax, to refresh and to catch up. During the week, I practice something called “The Miracle Morning.” But on the weekends, I allow myself to catch up on much needed rest to spend time with friends and family, and to focus on things away from the business that I enjoy.
If order to develop a similar plan for yourself, you need to know when your energy is at its peak. You also have to understand how to allocate your time so that you can do the tasks that need to be done most effectively, and where you can schedule the time to help you restore your energy levels.
It is also important to understand that a founder has two roles: CEO and deep work. The CEO time is time where you should plan, prepare and act in order to support your business, and the deep work time is when you can focus on what are likely less creative tasks to actually work in the business.
Remember why you got into business for yourself in the first place and make sure you are focusing your time and managing your energy to keep you, and the business, on target.