When I started GYST Ventures, I finally felt in control of my own life. Sure, I needed to put in the work to build my business, that’s a given. But I had the ability to choose what my day-to-day looked like and it felt freakin’ awesome. I was so thankful that I managed to jump off that endless corporate treadmill (even if it was more like I was pushed 😂).
And you know what I found once I left corporate? I found freedom! I realized that most people are programmed to think that you’re born to grow up and work your whole life. What’s even worse is that you’re taught to think you need to work for someone else! Not cool. Instead of going along with the status quo, it’s time to ditch the 40-hour work week and start taking charge. It’s YOUR life, after all.
I’m here to share a few easy tips for getting yourself out of the 40-hour work week mindset and to start thinking like a business owner. You’ll also want to make sure you read ’til the end – I’ve got an amazing book recommendation that every entrepreneur needs on their reading list!
Okay, so here’s my very first (and possibly most important) tip. Evaluate your time, NOT your individual tasks. Don’t write an endless to-do list that keeps you working every second of every day. Decide on the most urgent tasks, and make sure that you work on those things first. Once you’ve completed them, then you can move on to other, less pressing tasks. Then at the end of the week, take a little time for self-reflection.
Before wrapping up your work week, reflect on your small wins and achievements. What did you accomplish during the week? What are you proud of? Celebrate your success instead of only focusing on finishing your to-do list. Acknowledge the collective time and energy you spent on your business that week.
I also think it’s important to note that tracking your work hours is a good habit to make. That way, you can analyze the time you spend working and try to cut down on anything that is a time waster. I highly recommend using Toggl to track your time. It’s a fantastic tool where you can “clock in” and “clock out” even though you’re working for yourself. You can create different projects and see where you’re spending the most time throughout your day. And, the best part about Toggl is that it’s completely free! Sounds like a pretty good deal.
As a business owner, I’m sure that you spend A LOT of time cooped up in your office (or wherever you use to work). To break out of the 9-5 mentality, I encourage you to get out of your office more throughout the day! Remember, you’re the boss! You don’t have to follow a traditional schedule anymore. Pretty cool, right?
Oftentimes, people develop mental blocks when they’re focusing on one thing for too long. If that sounds familiar, heading to a new environment might be just what you need. The options are endless – go for a walk, grab a coffee, play with your dog, or even watch a quick TV show! Then, when you head back to your desk you’re coming with a fresh perspective and a clear mind. That way, you’ll see that you’re able to work more efficiently and get your work done in a shorter amount of time. So you’re still getting the same amount done, but with fewer hours on the grind!
And, once you start rejecting the 9-5 life, it’ll get easier and easier to build your days how YOU want. Practice makes perfect! You’re bound to take missteps while building your business. I hate to break it to you, but it’s unavoidable. It will happen. But that’s okay! It might take a bit to find the schedule that works best for you, but the good news is that no one else will know. Welcome to the perks of self-employment!
To go along with unchaining yourself from your desk, consider switching up your business hours. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you have a lot on your to-do list every morning? Or do you prefer to have nice, relaxing nights with your family? There’s no right answer! Being a business owner means making allll of your own decisions, and you’re not tied to any one way of doing things. When you’re thinking about these questions, create your business hours to suit your needs.
If you like heading off to the gym first thing and then taking a nap, do it! Adjust your business hours accordingly. There’s no one to tell you that you can’t start work at 11am. Heck, you can even start work at 3pm if you want! Or you can take the more traditional route of starting work first thing and ending early in the afternoon. You make the rules!
Here’s another fun thing to try – give yourself permission to work a 4 day week! You can take off every Friday, or even every Monday! As long as you’re getting all of your shit done, then there’s no reason you need to stick to a normal Monday-Friday schedule. If a 4 day work week sounds too radical, try easing yourself into the idea. A good way to start is allowing yourself to work a half day every other Friday. You deserve it! You’re the boss now, and you can do whatever you’d like.
I’m here to tell you that it’s OKAY to need time when starting your business. You don’t need to have everything figured out from the get-go. Unlearning the 40-hour work week will take time. You’ve got to find your groove, that’s all! Once you’ve been doing your entrepreneur thang for a while you’ll start to get more comfortable in your new position.
To help you along your journey, I have a bangin’ book recommendation. Run to your nearest Barnes & Noble or click “buy” on Amazon Prime, y’all. I want you to read “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” by Tim Ferriss. He’s all about forgetting the idea that you need to reject the traditional deferred-life plan and start creating a life that you love right now. He provides some crazy valuable insight and practical steps that you can implement into your business. More freedom? Sign me up. Seriously, this book is a game changer and I know that you’re going to love all that it has to offer.
Okay, guys. That’s all I’ve got for you today. I’m off to play with my pup and enjoy my time (even though it’s a weekday 😮). Keep following along with the blog for more awesome business tips and tricks!
I’m really excited about the next post I’ve got coming to the blog …
Until next time, friends!