Dumb Little Man (dumblittleman.com) is anything but! It is also one of my favorite blogs. Recently he wrote about how to avoid the sleepless nights of running your own business. If you do run your own business you could be staying up all night working, or you could be losing sleep because of worry.
Here are the five ways Dumb Little Man says you can avoid Entrepreneur Insomnia, with my take following his headings:
Set your business hours
As an entrepreneur and/or a home based business owner you have likely heard the rumor of people having business hours, but have never been afforded the luxury yourself. Set them now. Knowing you will only be working from 8 am to 5 pm, or whatever hours work for you, helps you stay focused, not put off work, and keep your day from spilling over into evenings and weekends.
Let others know your hours
After you set those business hours, make sure you tell people what they are. Especially if you work from home (we’ve all see Ben Stiller in Duplex) people need to know when you are working so as not to disturb you. Also, your significant other will greatly appreciate knowing exactly when you are and are not working. My wife greatly appreciated me letting her know that I would not work past 5:00.
Prioritize your days
You’ve set your hours. You’ve told everyone when you will be busy. Now you have to actually get something done. Make sure you have a short task list of what to accomplish today. Use a calendar (Google Calendar is great) to allot times to complete certain goals or projects. This has been a great way for me to track how I’m spending my day. Whatever works for you, do it, to make sure you’re not just staring at your desk or a blank computer screen.
Plan time off
The studies exist. The data is out there. I’m not going to put it here. Vacations rejuvenate people, and sleep refreshes you. Employees and business owners who plan regular time off are more energized when returning to work and show far greater productivity than those who power through 365 days a year. As a business owner, if you burn out, so does your business. So plan a vacation, even if it’s just three days at a local park. Get away. Stop thinking about business. Love on your kids and spouse, or your pets. The come back and keep on trucking.
Use your bed for sleeping
The bed is for sleeping and only sleeping. No computers. No televisions. No cell phones (unless it’s your alarm clock). No technology of any kind. You will be amazed at how much better you sleep and how much your bed partner appreciates these rules.
Cancel Internet and Television Services
I would like to add this sixth tip of my own. This week my wife and I made the decission to disconnect our cable modem and television service. It is not easy for me to not have internet at the house, as high speed internet has been a constant part of my life for over a decade. The television I could care less about, but this is a huge time suck for many people. My wife constantly gets irritated when I sit with my laptop and work of an evening, violating Rule 1 above. Without the internet my work is crippled and will be focusing on my wife of an evening like I should be.
Give any of these tips a shot and let me know how they work out for you.