An Entrepreneur’s Small Business Summer Bucket List
Summer is upon us, and nothing shouts “entrepreneur” like knowing that you don’t get a summer vacation. When you’re running a business, there’s always something more to do or a new challenge to address. At StartBlox, we’re not buying it.
Enjoying the summer isn’t just a matter of personal benefit to the founder, but it can also help your business be more productive, creative, and sustainable. Skeptical? Consider this: when you’re consistently thinking about one problem or challenge, you’re losing exposure to new environments that may spark ideas for your business.
As entrepreneurs, we may work odd hours or do a little more multi-tasking than our corporate counterparts, but even we have some grand plans to enjoy the summer. So, entrepreneurs, make sure these things make it onto your to-do list:
1. Take time off
The most common sense yet most daunting to-do list item is to take time off. Schedule multiple days for yourself to step away from your work, soak up some sun, and enjoy yourself. Worried about how to make it happen? Use a co-founder or employee to manage the day-to-day tasks for you. If that’s not an option, take some shortcuts with marketing automation tools, get ahead in your bookkeeping, and schedule key emails ahead of time. When it’s all done, turn off the notifications on your fun and get out there! You deserve it.
2. Leave the office (or desk) early
Summer can be a particularly difficult time to work into the evening, so don’t do it! Optimize your work day so that you can meet friends for a happy hour or host that backyard barbecue for your family. Use productivity apps and project management tools to stay on top of your high-priority items, and be honest with yourself about what can wait. Looking for ways to work faster? Use a timer to push through short bursts of productivity, and you’ll find that the lack of distractions will speed up your entire work process.
3. Start a new workout routine
Entrepreneurs can (and should) live a healthy lifestyle, and summer is a great time to kickstart this habit. Whether playing a team-sport in a league or going for a run on your own, use the season to spend some time outside. Want to know the benefit for your business? Your new routine can help spark creativity, keep you more awake with less caffeine, and drive a healthy culture of work-life balance in your business.
4. Grab a beer while growing your network
If you really feel the need to be “productive” on summer evenings, network. This is a skill gained through practice, so use the summer to see new spots in your city, network with other entrepreneurs, and enjoy a cold pint. Use sites like Meetup or Eventbrite to find local events that matter to you, and bring along some business cards.
5. Catch up on some reading… for fun and for work
An entrepreneur is always learning… from our mistakes. Wouldn’t it be nice to learn about something before we mess it up? Check out top reading lists and for your industry or business management, and add them to the stack of fiction you’ve been meaning to get to. When you’re on the beach thinking about your business, you can balance one chapter of fiction for one chapter of business. Just make sure you have a pen to write in the margins or use your phone to take a picture of pages you’ll want to bring back to work with you.
6. Clean up… your home, your phone, your desk, and your inbox
In the whirlwind of getting your business off the ground, it’s possible that you’re other priorities have… slipped. Take a Friday afternoon off to get your home in order, clear needless apps out of your phone, tidy your desk (and wipe off the coffee stains), and get your inbox down to zero. Alright, you may need to take all of Friday to do this. Doing this before the weekend, or before a vacation, will make coming back to the office more peaceful and more productive.
Whether you take the time to do one of these tasks or all of them, taking some time to enjoy the summer is a must. Healthy businesses also need healthy balances, so go for it! Enjoy the sun!