If you’re one of the crazy people who jump into entrepreneurship, you’re in a different class. You’re now in a class whose risk tolerance rivals Walter White from Breaking Bad and whose unpredictability can be more like Jesse Pinkman.
Most entrepreneurs start off by themselves, finally considering themselves the “boss”. But being the boss can be tough, especially when there are stresses that you could never anticipate.
There are a million things to do, and creating a system of order out of chaos can be the difference between life and death, business-wise. Small business owners work some crazy hours. According to More Time More Profit, one study found that they work well over 60 hours per week, not to mention all the planning, thinking, and preparations while not on “work hours”. 24 hours a day on call, am I right?
We’re working a lot of hours, but how many of those hours are actually productive? Everyone thinks they’ve found their “groove”, with some working in the middle of the night while others go to bed at 9pm and are jacked up to work at 4:30am. No matter where you fall, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
Productivity and Sleep
It is widely known that over 50% of businesses fail before their 5 year mark. It is usually not because the business owner didn’t want to work. It’s because they didn’t focus on the most important things. They weren’t productive and they didn’t incorporate Tact Hustle.
Small business owners and freelancers work when they want to for the most part. If you’re the type of person who thinks you’re more productive in the middle of the night, I would question that belief. Sleeplessness accounts for more than 411 billion dollars in losses each year. You may think you’re different, but most who think this have never tried anything else. They’re already awake, right? It worked in college, right?
Just because you may be able to get a lot done in the middle of the night doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you or your business. There are numerous health hazards that come to those who develop abnormal sleep patterns, including a propensity for premature death. Can’t do much for your biz when you’re dead, eh?
This isn’t meant to scare you. It’s meant to use science and biology to maximize your productivity at the right times.
If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I’m just not a morning person”, I’m now talking directly to you. There are few people on earth who spring from their beds each morning with a smile on their faces. It’s a skill and a habit, which means that it’s learnable. You can learn how to wake up in the morning and work.
Your body has what’s called a circadian rhythm, which is simply the times during the day when you feel the most and least amounts of energy (it’s the reason evolutionarily, why we sleep at night). Light and darkness affect hormones within your brain to promote alertness or drowsiness, and can throw you out of whack if you’re not careful. For example, if you’ve always stayed up late with artificial light, your circadian rhythm is thrown off, causing less restful sleep, and therefore more groggy mornings.
How to Combat This
The first part of your body that you need to train is your brain. With just a little self-discipline, you can turn off your TV/Smartphone an hour before bed and set your alarm for 5:30am. I can see your eye-rolling through the computer right now, but believe me, if you can master this, you can master anything. Do it for three weeks perfectly (even on the weekends), and your body will naturally start producing deeper sleep, giving you more energy in the mornings. I’ve tried this, and it absolutely works. My goal now is to get more done than my competitors before eating breakfast!
Benefits of Morning Work
Besides all the health benefits I’ve outlined, you also start the day with good decisions, which can have a compounding effect on your attitude and productivity levels. Our self-control tends to decrease throughout the day, so think about someone who starts the day by clicking the snooze button as their first decision. How productive can their day be with that as the beginning?
Sleepless entrepreneurs can still build their businesses and be extremely successful, but they’re also more likely to be gripped with more fatigue, along with other health issues, which can lead to business failure.
You don’t have to agree with me on this, but at least take it as a challenge. If it works, your productivity will increase and your skin will glow (literally, it’s an effect).