Entrepreneur’s “Schedule”

One of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is the freedom to create my own schedule.  Every day is different.  I deal with meetings, lunch appointments, to-do lists, and challenges that don’t always fit into a pre-determined time frame.  I’m good with that.  However, I’ve discovered it’s still important to maintain some sort of order in my day and I’ve put together a brief outline of how I achieve that while still living life as an efficient entrepreneur.

Let’s take a quick look at my daily “schedule” before I leap into a few basic pointers.
  • Early AM- Power up the computer and quickly scroll through the day's world and business news. I check e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels to grow our contacts and secure more podcast interviews.  
  • Mid-Morning- Head into the labs for meetings with some of my partners at Outlier regarding our conferences, meetups, workshops, and/or the magazine.  This is the time we discuss our podcasts interviews, make travel arrangements for our onsite visits, and hash out (sometimes loudly) the details for our upcoming October conference at Zion National Park.
  • Lunch- This is one of my favorite times of the day.  I have the opportunity to meet with some truly inspiring people for lunches where we discuss the Utah business community and the startup culture in general.  Great contacts are made, partnerships are formed, and stories are swapped for an enjoyable and informative experience.
  • Mid-Afternoon- Return to the labs to respond to e-mails before meeting with sponsors, clients, and city officials in regard to the Outlier Movement.
  • Late-Afternoon- Finalize meetings and appointments for the next day and usually have a recap meeting or conference call with my partners Melinda Yeaman & Kim Struck.
  • Evening- This is my other favorite time of the day: going home.  I head back to the family where we have dinner together and talk about the day.  After spending the evening with my children and the wife, I often step into my home office to finish any work left over from the day and to contemplate goals and future plans. 
As you notice, while the events that fill up my day are random and varied, they still fit into certain brackets of time.  Let’s go over how that balance is achieved.
  1. Set Priorities- The life of an entrepreneur is made up of last minute meetings, cancellations, appointments, and problem solving.  While these are certain to arise every day, it’s imperative that you keep a list of the things that must be accomplished no matter what, our very own Commander's Intent.  For me, it’s responding promptly to e-mails, keeping scheduled appointments, and spending time with my family.  If you find your priorities are getting swallowed up in menial tasks, you need to shift your focus.  Try working in a different environment if home or office distractions cause the problem or move your priorities to a different time of day if you’re being interrupted by drop-ins or appointments.
  2. Keep a Checklist- Whether it’s mental or on paper, a checklist will help keep you on track throughout the day.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter exactly when you return that phone call just so long as you remember to do it.  Scan your list about an hour before you leave for the day so you have time to complete any unresolved goals or tasks.  This will not only help you be more productive, it will also help you maintain a reputation for follow-through and dependability with your co-workers and clients.
  3. Set Aside Alone Time- This may seem like an impossibility but it’s another important element in the life of an entrepreneur and empire builder.  With the many things you must accomplish during the day, having some time to sit and think without interruption will allow you to review your activities, plan for the day ahead, and make decisions regarding your business life.  It also gives you an opportunity to reflect on past interactions and to decide if there are things you would like to do differently in the future.
  4. Make Time for Family- It’s easy to become completely absorbed in the business and your professional goals when you live the life of an entrepreneur.  Sometimes it’s tempting to come home after a long day and head straight into the home office for a few more hours of work.  If left unchecked, this habit will create a very unbalanced wheel.  Fight the desire to spend every waking moment absorbed in your work and shut your professional brain off when you step through the doors of your home.  Spending time with your family will provide a much needed break that will refresh both mind and spirit.
Ever Gonzalez

Co-founder & CEO @ Outlier