As an entrepreneur, I love taking on new and difficult challenges each day. My passion for consulting and my desire to overcome unique and entirely unpredictable obstacles served as at least part of the inspiration that led me to found McLaren & Associates Consulting, and those qualities are certainly among the core components that have enabled me to enjoy such a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial success.
Although I am confronted with new challenges and unpredictable obstacles every single day, I have found that there are several habits and routines that are instrumental in entrepreneurship. This is especially the case when these particular habits and routines are applied on a daily basis, which is why I do the following five things at McLaren & Associates Consulting each and every day.
Plan and Prioritize Tasks and Responsibilities
With so much on my plate and so many critical responsibilities requiring my attention, I have to devote some time to meticulously planning my day first thing in the morning. I prefer to use 15-minute blocks of time to create my schedule, and I fill each of these blocks according to the priority level of each task and responsibility.
Since I am keenly aware of the times of day in which I achieve peak productivity, I fill in those blocks of time first and then schedule the rest of my day accordingly. Anything that does not make it into my daily schedule is either delegated to an appropriate team member or simply moved to the following day. I also block off a specific time period in which I can read and respond to emails, because — in my view, at least — checking email periodically throughout the day has a significant and adverse effect on productivity.
Attentively Listen to Peers and Colleagues
My peers and colleagues regularly make meaningful contributions to the company and routinely offer the kind of creative insight needed to ensure our clients are able to enjoy the greatest possible benefit from working with us. Each day I make sure I have time to truly listen to those I work alongside and ensure that we establish and maintain an open and ongoing dialogue. Not only do I benefit from the ideas and insights offered by team members, I am also able to check in on how they are doing both personally and professionally.
Express Sincere Thanks
In my view, one of the most problematic aspects of corporate culture is the lack of appreciation for the contributions of every team member. When contributions go unrecognized and unappreciated, it becomes all the more likely that productivity and morale will begin to precipitously decline. It is for this reason that I have made it my goal to sincerely express my gratitude every day to every individual who has contributed to the success of my entrepreneurial endeavor. This is indeed a sound strategy for ensuring continued productivity, but it is also the right thing to do.
Take a Few Moments to Engage in Thoughtful Reflection
Near the end of each business day, I make sure I have a few quiet moments in which I am able to engage in thoughtful reflection. I like to remind myself of the company’s long-term goals and then reflect on how my day’s work has contributed to the likelihood of achieving those goals in the future. I also take time to reflect on the goals possessed by our clients in order to make sure our objectives are closely aligned with their objectives. I then consider how I might be able to do better the following day, after which I take a few moments to write down anything I feel is relevant in a small notebook I keep in my desk.
Clear My Desk — Literally and Figuratively
The last thing I do every day is to clear my desk of any outstanding responsibilities and of any clutter remaining from a busy workday. This allows me to depart my office each day with a sense of calm and clarity that ensures my professional responsibilities do not dominate my time away from the office as well. Everyone has to be able to recharge and should absolutely take time to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and this end-of-the-day routine has ensured that the beginning and end of each workday is strictly confined to the office and the office alone.